Telling Her “No” Has A Nice Ring To It

, , | Right | April 19, 2019

(I work for several years for a jewelry company. My main job is to run the repairs desk and take orders for the jewelers. One day, I am helping a sweet, elderly lady who wants to have her husband’s few pieces of jewelry melted down into a necklace. They were married for over 50 years and he recently passed away, and I am honored to help her. We are in the middle of her scheduled appointment when a well-dressed, middle-aged woman marches into the store and approaches my desk.)

Me: *to the first customer, [Lady #1]* “I think this design would work very well; it’s simple and you can use the stone from your husband’s other ring in the center.”

Lady #1: “I do like that! Do you think we could—“

Lady #2: *walks up and slaps her purse onto the counter to get my attention* “I need my rings cleaned and rhodium plated!”

Me: “Of course, ma’am. If you don’t mind waiting just a few minutes, I’ll be with you as soon as I’m done with this customer.”

Lady #2: “I said, I need my rings cleaned!” *holds up her hand, which is weighed down by a massive diamond ring and multiple diamond bands* “This is important! I need them clean for an event tonight!”

Me: “I completely understand, ma’am; however, this lady was already here for a scheduled appointment. I can also see if another employee can assist you, if you don’t have time to wait for me.”

Lady #2: “This is unacceptable! I insist you help me right now! I need these done in ten minutes!”

Lady #1: *whispers to me* “If you need to take care of her…”

Me: *to [Lady #1]* “No, it’s okay Mrs. [Lady #1].” *to [Lady #2]* “Ma’am, even if I was free to help you, which, unfortunately, I am not, the jewelers would need at least an hour to properly clean that many rings, check the prongs for diamond security, and then replate the rhodium coating.”

([Lady #2] makes a growl-like sound and stomps across the store. I see her talking to my manager and pointing at me.)

Lady #1: “Oh, my… I hope you won’t be in trouble, [My Name].”

Me: “Don’t worry; my manager will help her.”

(I’m finishing up [Lady #1]’s order request. Right around the same time, I see [Lady #2] stomp out of the store, get into the back of an expensive car, and drive away. [Lady #1] is so appreciative that we’ll be able to help her create a keepsake to remember her husband by, and I make sure we’ve got everything she needs before walking her out of the store. On my way back to my counter, the manager pulls me aside.)

Manager: “I just want you to know that you did the right thing. Mrs. [Lady #1] is a good customer and her husband bought gifts for her from us for years.”

Me: “Thank you. What was the emergency with that other woman?”

Manager: “You didn’t recognize her?”

Me: “No… Was I supposed to?”

Manager: *laughs* “That was [Large Tech Company CEO]’s wife. She refuses to make appointments to have her work done.”

Me: “So, she expected me to drop my appointment with a sweet, eighty-year-old lady and help her, instead?”

Manager: *sighs* “Yes. Usually, I try to grab her as soon as she comes in, but I missed her this time.”

Me: “Well, at least I know to look out for her now.”

(From then on, Mrs. [Lady #2] refused to work with anyone but the manager, which was fine with me. [Lady #1]’s necklace turned out perfectly; she even hugged me and cried a little when she picked it up. That, of course, made me cry, too! She still comes in every once in a while to have her necklace cleaned, and says people always ask her about her necklace.)

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