Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Contrary to Public Belief

All That Glitters

Submitted Photo

So when did the world’s population adopt an “I want it and need it now!” mentality? I get it, lately you simply pass the thought of purchasing something online through your mind the night before and it’s on your front steps at 9 AM. It’s crazy fast! I once ordered a motorcycle part on a late Saturday afternoon and got it delivered on Sunday morning! Try competing with that. For most brick and mortar businesses it would take that long to just locate it, let alone deliver it.

I apparently missed the memo mentioning that pretty much no one wants to wait for anything anymore. Three out of ten watch battery customers are appalled when I can’t always do it while they wait (mainly because I’m backed up with the other things that happened in a busy jewelry shop). Besides, it’s usually a dead as a doornail 1970’s Timex that’s been in a drawer in the guest room for a decade! And they need it now? The staff or I will ask or beg them to come back a whole one or two hours later, or better tomorrow. (The audacity, making me wait!)

Have you ever noticed a drive-through window on a jewelry store? There’s probably a good reason for that!

I admit I’m guilty sometimes. I don’t wait for anything that involves standing in any kind of line and that now includes waiting in a lounge for a table in any restaurant for an indefinite time. I once did that at an exclusive eatery in Miami’s South Beach and after a 2½ hour wait in the lounge I forgot where I was and what I was doing there! A real unmemorable dinner. (I noticed later if you greased the maître d’ at least a $20 it was a miraculous ten minute wait!) Bribery is still alive and well. You live and learn!

I deal with my share of folks with high expectations wanting me to drop everything I’m doing during high season or even days before Christmas to play “Show and Tell” with every piece of jewelry they own for hours on end! Where do these people come from? I swear these people crawl out of caves after decades in the Ten Thousand Islands and try to throw a monkey wrench in my shop’s gears during the busiest weeks of the year!

Only moments ago someone needed their diamond engagement ring enlarged while they waited. It’s a Monday, my busiest day of the week year-round, and I’m short-handed (my 84-year-old mother called in sick, you just can’t get good help anymore!). And I can assure you that I’m not on my phone playing Candy Crush. I politely explained to her, it’s not possible today, but for a small additional rush fee I would have it in the morning around 11 AM. “Oh no I have no intentions of leaving it, I have to wait here for it while you do it!” Swell, yet other impatient and untrusting soul. Now instead of what is really going through my mind, I realize I have to give her the benefit of the doubt. She’s new to the island and from a large Northeast city where no one even trusts the mailman. Did I mention that I was highly recommended by her neighbor who happens to be a regular customer? And ok, even so, she’s trusting a perfect stranger with her precious diamond ring, namely yours truly. I know my Mom didn’t raise no scoundrel, and my picture is not tacked to the Post Office wall, plus the fact I’ve been handling diamonds belonging to Marco residents and world-wide clients, some as large as ice cubes, for nearly fifty years without a single accusation of wrongdoing. She has nothing to be concerned about as far as me being trusted, and as far as my credibility and honesty goes.

It’s 4 PM right now… If overnight isn’t fast enough for you, it would require having me stay after closing hours to finish your sizing job. This tells me a few things. First, in your mind, I’m still not to be trusted with your diamond (which by the way, I’ve seen a piece of rock salt with less flaws and more brilliance than her so-called precious blue white diamond!)

Second, you must think you are someone special, when all of my regular customers understand that I’m a busy guy and in a fragile state of pre-retirement, and tittering on the edge of wondering why I put myself through this time and time again. Most of my customers are perfectly happy waiting a week for me to perform the same professional service without turning everything into a super rush job.

And third… this person wouldn’t trust Honest Abe Lincoln and George Washington rolled into one person, and will always have their doubts about you and will question if the finished returned ring is really the same one that they left, no matter if you compared the diamond before and after with an electron microscope.

I can sense these types a mile away. The tell-tale traits; their eyeballs are usually bouncing around like pin balls; they then break out into a prolonged sweat, caused by their paranoid anxiety. In other words, most of them would give an aspirin a headache… so at this point in my retail life, I try to avoid doing business with them. Besides I’m not desperate for the money or the grief that comes with it, so I’ll pass on the pain and anguish and tell them to go where they feel more comfortable (which of course is Nowheresville, just south of Margaritaville in the Gulf of Mexico somewhere).

The cooler weather will soon be upon us. Remember if your rings fit pretty well now, even through this brutally hot summer/fall season, you are better off not changing the sizes if they get a little loosey-goosey for such a short cool period, because come March/April they will be snug again and you will have to size them back to the size they were originally.

Of course a bad fit can be caused by weight loss (good for you!) or weight gain (lay off the bread!). All can be a reason to resize to avoid loss or an uncomfortable fit.

Richard Alan is a designer/Master Goldsmith and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith, Marco’s Island Jeweler since 1994 welcomes your questions or comments on All That Glitters. Call 239-394-9275, email harborgoldsmith@comcast.net, or visit www.harborgoldsmith.com.

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