Last updateThu, 22 Feb 2018 4pm

Howard Kelrick

24 Karat Corner: Until you come back to me

If you are a fan of Aretha Franklin, you may remember her hit song from 1971, “Until You Come Back to Me” (by the way, if you are not a fan of the Queen of Soul, I’m not sure we can be friends). At the moment, I can’t get this song out of my head, and its all due to an unfortunate jewelry story, that of course, has a happy ending.

My neighbor’s son bought an expensive engagement ring from a jeweler in his home town, and sadly, a few weeks later, the engagement was broken off. Confident in the knowledge that diamonds are a great investment, he took the ring back to the store where he purchased it, only to be told that the best they could do was to refund half his money!

24 Karat Corner: Back to School

Two things happen like clock-work this time of year. First, our summer intern breaks all of our hearts and tells us that yes, she really must head back to school. And second, my staff yells at me for tasking her with planning her own farewell party. Despite their objections, I think it is a great idea. I give her the budget, tell her to show us what she has learned over the summer, and then “wow” us. Despite the awkwardness of having to plan her own event, and the complete lack of any surprise in it for her, we’ve never been disappointed.

24 Karat Corner: Words I don’t need to hear

Unless you are sitting in an astronomy class, you probably don’t hear the word “trillion” in too many conversations. Unless, of course, you are talking about our national debt. Our federal government’s total debt is almost $19 trillion, which is about equal to all the goods and services we Americans produce in an entire year. In other words, if the government were to confiscate every company’s production (and I’m not talking about their earnings, but everything that rolls off the production line), they would only be able to pay down the debt, and not have anything left over to pay for government services like national defense, medicare, social security, and the like. So, how will the government ever make a dent in this enormous number, much less pay it back? The same way governments have been doing it for years - they will just print the money, making it worth less each year.

24 Karat Corner: Help wanted - stat!

After a few months of not being able to get away, I was happy to get out and see some people I hadn’t visited in a while. My first stop was to my friend Donnie’s store. Donnie and I have been friends since we both started in the business back in the bronze age.

When I pulled in, the store was busy with customers, and Donnie was trying to work with two different customers at the same time (a definite “no-no” on so many levels) and other customers were milling about waiting impatiently.

24 Karat Corner: Who pays for training?

Regular readers of this column know that The 24 Karat Club is a strong proponent of continuing education for employees, up-dating one’s skills, and working towards advanced certifications. And yet, I am sympathetic to the two main reasons why more people don’t do it. One, the very high cost of taking classes and attending seminars. And, two, the significant amount of time away from family and the job that is required. The third reason, however, “I’ve been doing this for twenty years. At this point, what could I possibly learn?” doesn’t fly with me at all!

24 Karat Corner: No deposit, no return

It’s only a few days after New Years, and already two of my resolutions are toast! So, once again I’ll be putting “eat healthier” and “get more exercise” on the top of the list for next year. And, the one resolution I do still have working - get chummy with Warren Buffet - isn’t looking too promising either.