Reprinted from October 1996
We have customers who live in smaller, surrounding towns and on farms and ranches who come to the big city for a variety of services.
Last week, one elderly woman came in and there was some little jewelry repair we were doing for her. My nephew, Chip, chided her. “I’ll bet you came to El Paso just to watch the Cowboys play, didn’t you?
She tucked in her chin, gave him a stern look and replied, “No young man, I came to have my urine checked.”
It occurs to me that customers will tell you just about anything without prompting.
One couple came in with a hefty diamond set in a man’s ring. The man was lagging behind and the lady was annoyed.
“I want to have this diamond put in a ladies’ setting,” she demanded. “He was angry and he buried it in my ‘hedge,’” is what I understood her to say.
Since I was unable to comprehend this, I repeated, “your hedge?”
She shook her head as hubby cowered in the background, “Not my hedge, my head!” She bent over to show us the stitches in her head. When she had it removed by a doctor, she laid claim to the ring.
A few weeks ago a customer told us a remarkably true story which was not humorous. She said her waterfall ring of one carat was suddenly missing. There was only a limited number of people who had access to her house and one of them was the maid. Here in El Paso practically every home employs a Mexican day worker at least once a week.
This maid had been with the family for many years and was honest and dependable. It was a mystery, but nonetheless there were doubts as the ring was definitely missing. They were sure the maid had not taken the ring, but the family was unable to find it.
Eight months later, the woman took her car for service to a dealer who had not sold the vehicle.
When she returned, the service manager called her to the office and showed her the ring and asked if it was hers.
She was both delighted and astonished to see the cherished ring again. The service manager explained that the mechanic had reached to change the windshield wiper and the ring was resting in the well beneath covered with leaves.
The mechanic was honest and gave the ring to the service manager, who returned it to the owner.
It’s nothing to hear stories over the counter that rival soap operas.
One lady had a very successful son who was a professional man here. Every time she’d come in, she was telling us how successful he was and how happy their family was and what a wonderful car he drove, etc.
One day she arrived with tears in her eyes. She poured out a story to us about her son borrowing his wife’s car while his new car was in for service.
After the wife got her car back, she was straightening out the back seat and found an intimate item of ladies apparel. She confronted him, he denied it, and a divorce followed in due time.
We heard every single detail along the way. The mother was astonished that anyone would plant something like that in vehicle as a prank.
We all know mothers will believe anything don’t we?
Many years ago, we lived next to a family and befriended them and their daughter. This was 40 years ago.
One day last year the phone rang and it was the Mrs. telling me her husband had passed away. She wanted to tell me first before she told anyone.
I was honored, but what on earth made her think about us and pour her heart out for 45 minutes about his sudden illness and death? They had never been in our store in the entire 40 years.
In the years I’ve been in business I guess I’ve heard it all. It is possible I should write a book. No, I don’t think so. I think I’ll become a Dear Abby – yes, write your letters to Dear Martha.
I have plenty of experience!