03242017Fri
Last updateThu, 23 Mar 2017 12am

The Retailer’s Perspective: And so we must carry on

*Tap, Tap

*Tap, Tap, Tap

*Tap, Tap, is this thing on?

“Is anyone out there?”

“This is Chuck Koehler, from Nashville, Tennessee in the United States. Can anybody hear me?”

“I repeat, this is Chuck Koehler, from Nashville, Tennessee in the United States. Can anybody hear me?”

*Tap T… “Chuck, what are you doing?” my assistant Hannah asks. “Why are you acting so weird? The election is over. It’s been over for a month now. We’ve elected a new President and the world didn’t end like everyone predicted. You’re at work, just like yesterday and the day before. Get it together man.”

Yep, if you’re reading this, then America survived the oddest Presidential election cycle in the history of Presidential election cycles. We are now entering the 9th Christmas season since the Great American Recession began in 2008. This will be my 9th attempt to recapture the glory days of pre-recession Christmas sales. My first 8 attempts were less than spectacular, like so many others out there, but I’ve got hope. And as usual, I’m expecting this Christmas season to once again bring out the crazies.

While thinking about the upcoming Christmas season, I was reminded of something that happened to me a couple of years ago. The whole thing started earlier in the year.

On a pretty spring day, an older gentleman comes in with a pocket watch that belonged to his grandfather. It had been in a sock drawer for decades. He decided that he wanted to get it running again for old times’ sake. Since I’m in the watch repair business, I took it in like I’ve done a million times before. We serviced the 100+ year old watch and I charged him $150 and off he went on his merry way.

About a week or so later, he’s back because it’s not keeping time. No problem, it’s under warranty so we’ll take another look at it. A week or so later I call him and tell him it’s ready. He picks it up and keeps it for another week or so then brings it back again. This goes on for about 3 or 4 months and every time we look at it, it’s running perfectly.

Then, after about the 5th time we worked on it, he comes back in and he’s mad as hell. He wants his money back and he’s going to take it to someone who knows what they’re doing. He tells me he knows it’s not keeping good time because he has it displayed on his mantle beside his fancy atomic clock that’s accurate to within 1/1,000,000,000,000th of a second every 1,000 years, and he has to reset the pocket watch every other day by about a minute.

I try to explain to him that his 1800s era pocket watch will never keep time that accurately. He tells me that I should have told him that before he spent $150 to have some jackleg fix it? He says he would have never spent that kind of money if I wasn’t able to do the job and he demanded his money back. I pretty much told him to kiss my butt and get out of my store and don’t come back.

Yes, I know the old saying that if you do that he’ll tell all of his friends, but over the last several months of dealing with him, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have any friends. In this instance, the old codger was dead wrong and the watch ran better than it did when it was new. But, there is a funny ending to the story.

In the middle of December, I see him get out of his car and start walking towards my store. You know how that goes; you see him walking up the sidewalk and you try to turn off the lights, lock the door, pull down the blinds, and pretend you’re not home. Anyway, he comes in and pulls out his 10 year old flip phone and shows me a blurry picture of a diamond ring he wants to buy. It was your basic, run of the mill ring and I know right where it is in every one of my catalogs. He says, “I want to buy one of these for my wife for Christmas. I want it in platinum and I want a 2 ct. diamond. A cleeeeear diamond, (yes, he drug it out like that) not one full of carbon spots.”

I start to open the catalog up with NO intention of ever actually ordering anything for this guy. At this point I’m just trying to figure out how to get him out of my store when he says: “Don’t waste your time. I’m just showing you a picture of what I’m buying somewhere else. You know you screwed me over on that watch and I just want you to know what you’re missing out on.” He then turns and walks out the door. As he left, I said, ‘Tell all your friends about me.”

As a customer, he was a disaster from the minute I met him, but, I’m pretty sure he ain’t coming back so I’m pretty happy about that. But, just to prove that I’m the better man, I’ve seen him with his wife in the grocery store several times since then and she’s never wearing the ring I’m pretty certain he never bought her. I’ve also never walked up to her and asked her to show me the 2 ct. “cleeeeear” diamond set in platinum that he bought her for Christmas a couple of years ago. If you find yourself in the middle of any good Christmas stories this year, be sure and write me and let me know about it.

But, since it is Christmas and you’re wondering what to get for that person that has everything, my book ‘It’s Supposed to be Funny’ has been revised and updated with all of my columns from the very beginning to now. Go to www.LuLu.com and just put my name in the search box and they will ship it to your door in about 2-3 weeks. So don’t dilly dally if you want it by Christmas.

And if winter ever gets here, all of my bench jeweler peeps need to order the Mary Kay Satin Hands soap. It has a moisturizer in it that will keep your callouses from cracking during these dry winter months. Whenever I get a new bottle of this soap, I pour about ¼ of it into an empty hand soap container and top it off with water. The soap is very thick and very expensive, but this quadruples it. If you don’t have a Mary Kay rep, use mine. You can reach McKensie at 615-924-9686 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Well it’s December and we’ve all got to get to work so I’ll just say Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, I’m glad the world didn’t end and I’ll see ya in 2017.

But, since I’m actually writing this column the day before the November 8th election, I could be wrong.

*Tap, Tap

*Tap, Tap, Tap

*Tap, Tap, is this thing on?

“Is anyone out there?”

“This is Chuck Koehler, from Nashville, Tennessee in the United States. Can anybody hear me?”

“I repeat, this is Chuck Koehler, from Nashville, Tennessee in the United States. Can anybody hear me?”

Chuck is the owner of Anthony Jewelers in Nashville, TN. Chuck also owns CMK Co., a wholesale trade shop that specializes in custom jewelry and repair services to the jewelry industry nationwide. If you would like to contact Chuck or need a speaker or instructor for your next conference/event he can be reached at 615-354-6361, www.CMKcompany.com or send e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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