I’m told to do a lot of things on a daily basis, both at home (I’m married so that’s a given) and at my retail store and workshop where I work as a goldsmith/jeweler with my son, daughter, a cousin, a childhood friend and another wonderful person who is not family but I treat her as if she is. Oh! I almost forgot! Occasionally, my mother works a day or two. So needless to say, regardless of the fact I am the boss of bosses of the company I get told to do a lot of things… mostly by folks who happen to be women—and that compounds expediently especially when my sisters and nieces drop into town! Now that I think about it, two of my beloved dogs are female and they are always prompting me to do something for them!
Some things I love to do, some I like to do, some things I’m not especially fond of doing, and there are things I absolutely dread doing, especially when I’m told I must by certain people or strangers. Many times, it’s only because they mean well and are only looking out for me, because I’m now in my middle to late sixties and I may forget to remember a thing or two or maybe a little more.
Most men reading this out there will have to admit that they may live their lives in a similar scenario, only it could be more or less people of different genders telling them what to do. Two words gentlemen… Selective hearing!
The conversation usually starts off with “Richard Listen!” which usually ends up that I’m being told to do something of some nature that I will have to do or at least give that person the complete impression or illusion I will in fact completing that task. Selective Tasking!
You can talk to my wife about my selective tasking thing; I still haven’t repaired my back-yard fence that Irma destroyed!
I have reached a point in my everyday life where doing things that are really very hard to do or that is downright difficult; these are no longer an option unless I will have joy to do it! Judge not lest you be judged!
Now back to reality… “Richard, listen. I need to make this watch four links longer!”
Do you have the links that came with it, Madam?
“No, it’s 20 years old I’m sure I lost or misplaced them!”
Lady, if you don’t have the links for an obscure 20-year-old watch, it’s impossible for me to find them anywhere.
“Let me tell you, Richard! I have been coming to you for over 20 years. I am sure there is something you can do maybe you have the links in the back there somewhere!”
She may have been coming to me for 20 years, but her only known purchase is the one watch battery a year for that darn watch. This conversation is going nowhere and beyond, I have a better chance of finding Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Earhart sunbathing on Resident’s beach than find links for this tired watch! Meanwhile, my shop is filling up with impatient customers.
This is where my expertise of selective hearing and tasking combined becomes an art form. I quickly accept the watch, write up an envelope, give her a receipt and tell her I will see what I can do. Next, please…
A few days later, I get a call from you–know–who, “Any luck finding links for my watch?”
Sorry, I had one of my employees spend an hour searching high and low, there is nothing that will fit your 20-year-old watch. Maybe you can find one on eBay, then buy it and you can use the links to make yours larger!
“Why can’t you do that for me?”
Now I’m being told to do something that was to be a fool’s errand to begin with, all for a beat-up old watch that isn’t worth a bag of belly button lint! Inside my soul, I’m screaming, “Lady you’re killing me, why not gift it to someone you love or throw in your jewelry box, or even better, toss it off the Marco bridge and go next door to Beall’s and buy a new one for $12. Enough already! Please come by and fetch your watch please!”
A week later, I answer the phone, “Richard tell me you found some links for my watch on Uberbay!”
Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith and has been Marco’s Island jeweler since 1994. He welcomes your questions and comments about all that glitters! Website: www.harborgoldsmith.com.