Independents

Squirrel Spotting: Life in Lockdown

IndependentsMay 12, 2020

Squirrel Spotting: Life in Lockdown

In his latest column, Peter Smith muses about “Taxi Driver,” a condescending conversation, and what jewelers can learn from his dentist.

Peter Smith is president of Memoire and Hearts On Fire. He is author of two books, “Hiring Squirrels,” and “Sell Something.” Connect with Smith on LinkedIn or at dublinsmith@yahoo.com.
My wife Sherry and I watched the movie “Taxi Driver” last Friday night.

If you’ve seen the classic Robert De Niro film from 1976, you’ll remember it had some pretty heavy content.

As we discussed the film over breakfast Saturday morning, we wondered aloud whether Jodie Foster, who was 12 or 13 at the time she was cast as a prostitute (a role that earned her an Academy Award nomination), was even allowed to watch the film after it was completed.

I turned to Sherry and said, “Do your little Google-ramble.”

She responded, “It’s too early for me to want to hit you!”

Welcome to week nine of COVID-19 lockdown.

For context, I often kid Sherry about her insatiable curiosity.

She and Google are on such good terms that anytime I even hint at a question, she whips out her iPad and looks up the answer. I love it!

Occasionally, I’ll try a little reverse-psychology such as …

“I wonder if so-and-so ever worked with such-and-such.” I do it in such a way as to convey mild, but not motivated, interest.

You can see what’s happening here.

If I said, “Hey Sherry, would you look up …” she’d respond with a something like, “I’ll do that right after I iron your socks.”

Since we are on the subject of condescension, I asked her what the most condescending thing was that’s ever been said to her.

She replied without hesitation that a “friend” once asked her in the course of conversation, “And you make how much running your piddly little jewelry store?”

For the record, she was running a very profitable jewelry store and employing 12 people at the time of the inquiry, many of them the principal breadwinners in their families. He, on the other hand, had a government job, employing nobody.

In an unrelated matter, I saw a post recently from my friend and former colleague, Pat Henneberry.

Pat is one of the funniest people I know, and she posted on Facebook about getting a “we’re all in this together” email from an airline.

Her post suggested that the last time she flew on that airline, her bag weighed 52 pounds and they were apparently not all in this together. 

I thought about Pat a couple of days later when someone posted a photo from the same airline showing a flight out of Denver where about one-third of the passengers, and some of the airline’s employees, weren’t wearing face masks. 
The plane was also packed, including people jammed into the middle seats. It wasn’t the kind of environment anyone is likely to welcome post-pandemic.

In better news from the same day, I got an email update from my dentist that could serve as a prototype for how things ought to be done. 

It read:

“We cannot wait to welcome back our team and patients into a NEW and improved space. Yes, our construction team has been working steadily and safely on creating a space I have always dreamed of having for our patient care. New equipment, new state-of-the-art technology, new features solely focused around our patients, and simply a beautiful space will be waiting to greet you all in the near future. We also used the equipment specifically designed to keep our team members and patients SAFE. Air-filtering systems and extra-oral dental suction systems will be features you don’t see at a typical dental office but will be valuable additions to our office as we stay on the leading edge of safety for everyone in our space. Providing the safest and best possible care is always on our mind and our mission.”
 Wow. That is an impact email amid the litany of nonsense we get from businesses telling us how we are “all in this together.” (Many of them, I might add, we’ve barely heard of.) 

For what it’s worth, my dentist is a small business owner and, as the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, she’s making the American Dream work for her. I couldn’t be any more proud of her.

That’s a “piddly little” business doing the right stuff in the midst of this crisis.

I’m almost looking forward to going back there.
Peter Smithis an industry consultant, speaker, and sales trainer, and author of three books, “Hiring Squirrels,” “Sell Something,” and “The Sales Minute.”

The Latest

Supplier BulletinJun 30, 2022
Here’s Where You’ll Find The Best Online Jewelry Auctions

Sponsored by HiBid

CrimeJun 30, 2022
What JSA’s Annual Report Tells Us About Jewelry Crime in 2021

Plus, JSA President John Kennedy talks about the trajectory of industry crime over the last 20 years.

CrimeJun 30, 2022
Smash-and-Grab Robbers Hit Booth at TEFAF: Watch the Video

The fair was evacuated temporarily Tuesday after four suspects smashed a showcase and stole jewelry from British jeweler Symbolic & Chase.

Brought to you by
Preparing for Proposal Season with High-Quality, A.I.-Graded Natural Diamonds

Rare & Forever is helping to create an enjoyable diamond buying experience for the millions of newly-engaged couples.

Events & AwardsJun 30, 2022
Nominations Are Open for Gem Awards 2023

The 21st annual awards show and gala will take place in New York City next March.

Weekly QuizJun 23, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
Events & AwardsJun 30, 2022
Registration Open for JIS Fall in Miami

The jewelry trade show is scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

AuctionsJun 29, 2022
Bonhams Expands Again with Purchase of Paris Auction House

It is the fifth acquisition under the ownership of private equity firm Epiris, which bought Bonhams in 2018.

Brought to you by
Discover The Extraordinary Italian Jewelry In Las Vegas!

Experience all the Italian Jewelry market has to offer in Las Vegas.

MajorsJun 29, 2022
Zales Has a New Diamond Cut

The “Celebration Infinite” diamond has more than three times the number of facets in a traditional brilliant-cut diamond, the retailer said.

WatchesJun 29, 2022
Bulova Introduces New Frank Sinatra Watches

The brand again partnered with the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School to celebrate the launch of the “Summer Wind” watches.

SurveysJun 29, 2022
U.S. Platinum Jewelry Demand Starts 2022 on a Strong Note

Retail ounce sales were up 23 percent year-over-year in Q1, according to the recent Platinum Jewellery Business Review.

Events & AwardsJun 29, 2022
Registration Is Now Open for the HardRock Summit 2022

Scheduled for Sept. 8-11, the event will comprise more than 310,000 square feet of show floor, exhibits, and education space.

ColumnistsJun 28, 2022
The PR Adviser: Why Should Someone Buy From You?

If you’re having trouble answering this question, columnist Lilian Raji can help you get a started with a few fill-in-the-blank statements.

CollectionsJun 28, 2022
Melissa Kaye’s New Collection Doubles the Color

“Lenox” marks the designer’s foray into bespoke jewels and large colored gemstones.

Events & AwardsJun 28, 2022
Second AGS Virtual Education Conference Is All About Negotiation Skills

“Confluence” is happening in August.

MajorsJun 27, 2022
George Holmes, Longtime Head Editor of JCK Magazine, Dies at 93

He first took a job at then Philadelphia-based Jewelers’ Circular-Keystone in 1963 and retired in 1996.

MajorsJun 27, 2022
Mayors, Analog:Shift Team Up With Goop

The lifestyle platform will stock fine jewelry and watches from the retailers on its website and in store.

CrimeJun 27, 2022
JSA Warns of ‘Pandemic’ of Distraction Thefts Nationwide

It cited two recent cases in California, plus incidents in Florida, Kansas, and Illinois.

CollectionsJun 27, 2022
This Designer Has Found a New Way to Bring Gemstones to Life

Svetlana Lazar’s “Wishing Well” collection utilizes an innovative component to mimic the movement of water beneath them.

Supplier BulletinJun 24, 2022
AGTA GemFair™ Denver is the Place to Be in September!

Sponsored by AGTA

Recorded WebinarsJun 24, 2022
Vegas Jewelry Recap: The Editors Weigh In

Watch the webinar in which National Jeweler’s editors talk about jewelry market week trends and their predictions for the rest of 2022.

MajorsJun 24, 2022
Banter by Piercing Pagoda Celebrates Pride with ‘SayGay’ Necklace

All proceeds up to $25,000 will benefit the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ+ youth.

CollectionsJun 24, 2022
Piece of the Week: Marie Lichtenberg’s Hidden Message Locket

It’s a reminder that life is best lived with discretion.

TechnologyJun 24, 2022
Cloud-Based POS Software Jewel360 Launches for Jewelry Retailers

The end-to-end software allows for real-time control over all sales, inventory, repairs, customer communications, and marketing.

EditorsJun 23, 2022
Antique Show Observations From a First-Time Attendee

Associate Editor Lenore Fedow shares her impressions of the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show and a few of her favorite finds.

GradingJun 23, 2022
AIGS Launches Grading Report for ‘Santa Maria’ Aquamarine

The Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences aims to set a color standard for the trade name.

SourcingJun 23, 2022
Rough Diamond Sales Rise Again for De Beers

Sales were up 36 percent year-over-year in June and are pacing 24 percent ahead of last year at this point.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy