I know what is wrong with America

by kevinpotter on August 19, 2009

I figured I would just lay it all out there on this one, last week I got a call from a lady who needs a ring made, a couple of years ago this wouldnt have been unusual as a matter of fact it would have been downright common. Anyway if you havent heard yet we are in the midst of a bad recession, I have only made a couple of rings in the past two years so I was surprised by this. I ask her how she found me and it is a referal from some old customers, I have been making tools and presses for jewelers for the past couple of years so I tell her that I dont really do it anymore and refer her to my friend Craig who I consider the best goldsmith I know. A week later she calls me back and says I really want you to make it but I am still playin hard to get and I refer her to Jim anouther great goldsmith. She calls me last night and begs me to make it. I tell her if she is just lookin to get it cheaper to forget about it I am not cheap. This girl is eager she comes over in 20 minutes  and she is toten the costco catalog and the helzberg flyer from the sunday paper. This feeling of dread comes over me, it is a real famialiar one some of you may know it, the I am going to have to throw a class on what is good what is crap class. I straight up tell her we are not going there sister I dont copy from catalogs. She is taken aback but since I dont really want to make a ring I  have temporarly disabled my butt kissing mode. I explain to her that if she likes the stuff in those catalogs she should buy it. I sense that my directness is glancing off her thick skull, since she persists with showing me the beautifully crafted crap in those catalogs. I decide to out manuver her, I will use analogies, she will get the message. Lets pretend you go to an Elton John concert and he asks you what song you want him to sing imagine that little old you gets to make a request well you dont ask him to sing songs from ACDC or Metalica right. I get a blank stare and more page flippin and gum flapping.  I am stumped so I just start carving what I want to make and she starts watching me and I explain what I am doing, I think it is sinking in. We can make anything in the world we dont have to make vanilla, oh spoke to soon she starts puttin in her 2cents and she is trying to get me to eliminate everything that is unique and one of a kind about the design. I stop and ask her have you ever made an engagement ring? I get more confused looks but she is still trying to get me to make item g in the catalog. I say to her somthing that I have never said to a customer in my life, More of me less of you. That elicits a response, I get an Excuse me what did you say with a look of shock and Aww. Now she is listening I tell her you have seen the kind of jewelery I make if you like it then let me make you a ring if not then you need to buy a ring from the catalog. She is only momentarily detered she is back to the catalog. I am holding it together but just barely heck we have only been sitting here for 2 hours. I decide to make small talk and since she seems to be totally self absorbed I figure lets talk about her. I ask her where her fiance got the diamond, she says Helzberg and then with out missing a beat she says the cheapskate only bought me a carat I wanted a 2 carat. I ask her if he is going to come over so we can talk about the wedding set, no he is in Atlanta he is moving out here this week to look for a job he sells cars. I ask her you must live real close since you got here so fast, yea me and my three kids live with my mother in her apartment. You cant make this stuff up folks the truth is stranger than fiction. I decide to throw out a few numbers about the cost of gold and the 2 carats worth of melee she want slatherd on this ring.  I get thats not my problem he said he would pay for it, whatever I want. That is the end folks I blew a gasket damn near had an anurism I sucked in all my rage and discontent,  and no I didnt clock her up side that thick head of hers with my ring mandrel. I just said I am tired and told her it was time to go and I walked her to the door.  Unmitagated Greed.




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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Guptill August 21, 2009 at 8:15 am

Kevin, you are hilarious! I love the “more of me, less of you”… yep- we’ve all had ’em.

Michael Johnson August 20, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I know exactly the type of person you are describing. I get one occasionally that comes in with this can’t-take-no-for-an-answer attitude toting a catalog as well. It always blows my mind that they see what I make, yet still wants me to copy from a catalog, usually a crappy catalog. I just pull the crazy artist card and throw them out. I figure any bad speak coming from someone as stupid and crazy as these types of people could only be good publicity for me :o) I don’t want the ones that would take this type of person’s story seriously in my shop, and the sane ones would at least empathize.
You did the right thing, bravo!

Jeff Demand August 20, 2009 at 10:20 am

Your restraint with the ring mandrel is amazing.


Beth Wicker August 20, 2009 at 7:54 am

Amazing. If that was on a tv show no one would believe it. No wonder the other jewelers didn’t make the ring for her! Poor finance – got to wonder if he really knows what he is getting into!

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