You know what’s crazy? I’ll tell you what’s crazy
The Jewelry Store.
I look down at my phone.
“Hello! Your item is ready for pickup.”
I stare at the message.
My item is ready for pickup? What Item? What Pick up?
Is this is a scam?
That’s my first thought.
I google the number.
Oh yeah. My Watch.
I call the number on the text.
A lady with a librarian like voice answers.
I pull the phone from my ear, and adjust the volume louder.
I have no idea what this soft speaking woman has said.
“Hi. I got a text from this number that my item is ready.”
“Is that my watch that I forgot to pick up, like 2 months ago?”
The woman with the voice like soft velvet whispers.
“Oh yes. We have your fossil watch.”
I try to even remember what it looks like.
“What was wrong with it?,” I ask.
“Oh, let me look,” she says, her voice trailing off like Charmin toilet tissue floating from the highest branches of a tree.
“Battery. We replaced the battery. It’ll cost $16.00”
“How late are you open?,” I ask.
“5 pm,” she says her words dissipating like a snow flake falling on an open camp fire.
I laugh. 5 pm? What the hell kind of hours is 5 pm. On a Thursday? Who can leave their job to go to a watch store in the middle of Christmas shoppers in Franklin, Tennessee where there is only 5 parking spots and get to a watch maker who can’t talk above a whisper at 5 pm?
“Can I have someone pick it up for me?”
“Of course,” she says from a witness protection program somewhere under a cone of silence. “What’s the name?”
I hang up wondering if I just did a drug deal with a soft talker.
Later that night Karen returns my watch to me.
I look at the time piece. As much trouble as it’s been to get a battery replaced, I half way to expect it to be a Cartier.
It’s not. The face is dinged. The band is frayed.
“Thanks for getting my watch,” I say to Karen. “Any problems picking it up?”
“I walked in and said I was here to pick up a watch. The girl went in the back and returned with the watch and said are you Karen?”
I look at Karen quizzically.
“They asked you if you were Karen? Before you even said you were Karen?”
“I’m sure glad you weren’t there to pick up my diamond ring.” I laugh. “What kind of security system is that?”
A person walks in off the street and the clerk says are you Karen? That’s it? No What’s your last name? No let me see some ID? No what are you here to pick up?
All you have to do is say, “yeah, sure, I’m Karen. What do you have for me?”
I look at the watch. It’s old but brings back good memories. It was a birthday present from an old General Manager who was from the old school. He rewarded his top people in little ways that let them know they were valuable to the organization.
This watch has a strange sentimental value for that reason.
The analog watch says 10:05. The date is 13.
“WTF,” I exclaim in a very un-librarian like way.
“What?,” Karen says from the kitchen.
“Customer service sucks now-a-days.”
“You’d think a watch maker – jeweler – mom & pop local business, that’s had my watch for 2 months, who called me to come and get it, who asked the security question: are you karen? would have set it!”
The watch has the wrong time and the wrong date. It just seems that a watch maker, a jeweler in business for 70 years would take a moment to set the watch to the correct date and time.
WOULDN’T YOU THINK THAT?
Customer service is weak in this country.
We bag your own groceries. We install our own batteries in the parking lot of the Auto Zone. WE cut our own hair with a flow bee in a gas station bathroom.
Like I said weak.
I’m wearing my watch now. My wrist and my watch are reacquainting themselves. It’s a light weight, hardly noticeable relationship between old leather and dry skin. They like each other, but there is still tension.
“Did you miss me?,” the Fossil Watch says to the wrist.
“He has an iPhone now,” the wrist says to the Fossil Watch. “Can you place sports bets?”
The Fossil Watch is sad, it’s second hand ticking a fraction of a click slower. It knows that the world has passed it by. It doesn’t get ESPN, or ETRADE or the weather in Anchorage.
“Yeah, we missed you,” the wrist says.
“I never thought you guys were coming back for me,” the little watch jokes.
The Fossil Watch is now set to the right date. It has a fresh battery and it’s in the jewelry box, waiting for a chance to be useful once again.