Friday, May 14, 2021

Ollie, Ollie, Oxen Free!

All That Glitters

I remember playing hide and seek as a kid, only now I play that looking for my eyeglasses or truck keys. It’s now after Easter Sunday and it’s almost as though somebody climbed to the top of the Marco Bridge and yelled out, “Come out, come out, where ever you are!” to all of the island’s residents.
Oddly enough, late April and most of May becomes very busy around my place of business. It’s comparable to the last two weeks in December. Seriously, it’s kind of a perfect storm; the locals come out of hiding like the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil who pops his head out to see how long winter will last. Most are fooled by the lack of traffic, but believe me there are plenty of snowbirds still wandering around.
We should have some kind of Marco Island mascot, say for instance, “Tom the Tropical Tortoise,” who sticks his head out of his shell a week after Easter, telling the locals how many more weeks we have to wait before it’s ok to come out of hiding and move about the island to places we haven’t been because of the crowds. This also benefits Ole Tom because it’s now safe for him crawl slowly across Route 92!
Gee! Who wouldn’t another island event so we can dress up silly and celebrate with music and adult beverages?
The proof is the extra box of envelopes full of rush work my son and I have in the workshop. It happens every year, folks are here for months enjoying the island’s pleasantries, and then show up one or two days, sometimes even an hour, before they head up north to drop off articles of value that need attention, and they need it now. We try to accommodate them the best we can, but given the volume of last minute projects, it’s impossible to please every needy soul. It’s like being the head surgeon in a M.A.S.H. field hospital for jewelry… “I can adjust that catch, just give me a minute , that ring we can have later today, this broken gold chain will be ready late tomorrow and this ring is a basket case, that’s gonna be one of my summer projects, you‘ll have to pick that up next season!”
On a good note, we tend to move a good amount of store merchandise to the last minute crowd. They must figure if they buy something from me, I will consider finishing their poorly timed projects and put them to the front of the work box. (Guess what? It works!)
It is also the time for spring cleaning around the house and that should include your precious gems and fine jewelry. I suggest my service that provides a thorough inspection, a deep cleaning and a professional hand polishing that removes deep and light scratches from rings and other articles you wear on a daily basis. The finished result is like brand-new and spectacular.
During the inspection, any issues such as worn prongs and problem areas such as faulty clasps will be noted and pointed out.
One last note, you all know I’m not one to complain (Wink, wink, nod, nod), but is it me or should there be a memo to the world population about cell phone etiquette?
Another one of my infinite pet peeves is the rudeness of some people who walk into my place of business in the middle of a conversation. That truly happened one day, she walked in talking at the top of her lungs with lord knows who, about a subject I could care less about, and demanded with hand signals she wanted assistance with something… Really??? Last time I checked, my jewelry showroom was not designed to be personal phone booth. When I walked away without excusing myself (How rude of me!) to wait on a another newly-arrived customer because I was still being ignored by the socially inept ding dong before me, I assumed she was still engrossed in her oh-so important phone conversation.
Now it gets better! As I walked away, she covered the mouthpiece for a split second to inform me, “Wait a minute… I’m not done with you yet!” Oh really! But I’m so done with you! Take yourself and your glitter studded cell phone I assume is glued to the side of your head and please finish your call outside! I’ll be happy to assist you if you care to return without engaging in two unrelated conversations at once. I’m a bit harsh some of you may say, but I beg to differ. I’m sorry, those who ignore being civilized to my staff or me personally result in a clock cleaning and a refresher course in common courtesy. If I ever pulled that rude cell phone scenario to someone, I’m positive my mother would have had me apologize profusely and then drag me by my disrespectful ear out the front door!
Be nice out there, a little courtesy won’t kill you.
Richard Alan is an accomplished designer/master goldsmith and the owner of The Harbor Goldsmith on Marco Island and has been the island’s go to jeweler since 1994. He is also the product of an inner-city parochial grade school education where manners were taught with a wooden ruler or pointer. He welcomes your questions about all that glitters and life in general.

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