Friday, April 26, 2019

Out of One’s Mind

All That Glitters

I was pondering the other day about things that go on in my place of business on any giving day. Like when I was told by a customer I was “out of my mind.” Out of one’s mind, what exactly does that mean? If I let my mind out where does it go? And does it come back eventually?

Before me stands a customer with his watch on my counter in a state of non-assembly. He asks my salesperson for a #377 watch battery. She trots to the battery storage case and presents the fresh loose battery to the gentleman, who obviously is a real D.I.Y. kind of guy. He pops in the new battery, and low and behold, he can’t seem get the rear case of the watch back on. He asks if he can “borrow” my special tool that makes the whole thing go back together again. I politely say “No one ‘borrows’ my tools.” It happens to be a $500 tool (one expensive tool among many to complete the watch battery replacement task) that comes in handy when changing watch batteries; hence the store cost of $10 to supply and professionally install. He replies So you are going to charge me $10 when I did all the work?No, actually I’m going to charge you $7 for my battery and putting the back on your watch so you can free up my counter space and be on your way. (For the record, a #377 battery costs around $7 next door at CVS!) His reply is, $7? Are you out of your mind?” Good question, does this do-it-yourselfer go into a local restaurant with his own food and expect the chef to cook and serve it for nothing because he brought his own food?

So, my out of my mind question is, why did he come in here in the first place? Especially when he could have done the whole thing on the counter at CVS, and tie up the cashier station and bang it closed with his fist like every other D.I.Y. guy. Instead, he would rather come in my shop borrow my equipment to complete his project! This is the same kind of person who will now bad mouth me on social media for being uncooperative, out of my mind and a poor excuse for a human being. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t tolerate abusive, and socially inept nitwits, especially when they abuse my staff. (Who, by the way, are the nicest people I know. One of whom happens to be my Mom!) I try real hard to be nice, I really do…and the nitwits still show up and push all my wrong buttons.

On social media I recently saw a negative review of food being too spicy at a Naples restaurant that served Indian or Thai food. It was spicy, seriously? That review must have must have been written by the watch D.I.Y.’s better half.

Only moments later, an estimate to replace a fairly large diamond that fell out of a lady’s ring because she failed to have it checked every now and then. “That much? For that little chip! You must be out of your mind!” It just so happens that “little chip” of a diamond was a quarter carat in size, plus the hour of labor replacing the missing prongs and re-setting that “little chip.” All that work ain’t cheap. I’m beginning to see that being out of one’s mind is a two-way street!

The next day, a person claimed they had a large credit in my store and wanted the money instead. Neither I, nor my staff, ever saw this person in my shop. Mom asked, “Do you have your credit slip?” She did not… And we had no record, no physical copy to her claim with her name on it and the amount of the credit. “It was around a thousand dollars! raising her voice in a nasty way! That triggered me getting off the workbench, now entering the ring, in a gray shirt and blue jeans, weighing in at 190 lbs. I said, “Madame,” (this is me being nice) “I just don’t hand a thousand dollars to someone who walks in my store because they claim they have a credit owed to them without a shred of documentation, especially when no one here recognizes you one bit.” “You people must be out of your mind if you think you heard the last of me!” And out she went with her flying monkeys in tow.                 

A week later, guess who comes back with her receipt, and yes, she was correct it was a credit for $925. Only one problem, it was not from my shop but from another jeweler on the island who closed his doors a few years back. You lose; you do not pass go and you do not collect $925 at this establishment.

It’s not just my mind that’s lost apparently, it’s my whole staff’s!

I overhear a customer complaining a silver ring she purchased here turned black. It was a simple case of tarnishing; salt water in the air and swimming in the Gulf or chlorinated swimming pools will turn silver grey or black. Being nice, yet again, I explained why it happened, dipped it in silver cleaner, and even gave her a free polishing cloth… There, good as new!

“But what if it happens again?” I explained, polish it with the complimentary cloth to remove any tarnishing in the future. But I don’t want it to tarnish again!” Ok! Most people know silver tarnishes, always has and it always will. Sure, you can rhodium-plate silver to prevent tarnishing; it’s expensive and will eventually wear off, especially on a ring. If you want jewelry that does not tarnish, buy 14kt. and 18kt. white gold and it will not tarnish. End of story.

My professional explanation about the metallurgy of silver and its tarnishing properties was not convincing to her. I could sense she thought I was out of my mind! One thing is for sure, it’s hard work being out of one’s mind and trying to get back in. Plus, I’m also a poor excuse for a human being according to one poor soul’s past account of me.

Please, please, will someone find my mind, wandering the streets of Marco!

Don’t forget your hunny-bunny on Valentine’s Day!

 

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