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The way it used to be: Trade Shop Problems With The Ice Machine


Across The Counter
Reprinted from March 1991

Trade Shop Problems With The Ice Machine

Everyone should attend their state jewelry convention. It’s always beneficial to talk with others who are in the same boat with you. For instance:

At the last convention RB and I met Herb. He owns a store in the great state of Texas, but it might well be in your hometown! Herb confided in us that he was forced to send all his work out to a trade shop since he wasn’t able to see well enough to do the work himself.

 “After all,” he joked, “When you can’t see with a 20x you’re in pretty bad shape!”

Herb related to RB and me the following story about his problems with his local trade shop:

“You know, I was lucky to locate this Sabastian fellow - he’s a top notch jeweler. Only has one problem however, can’t seem to get the work out on time. Let me tell you a typical example:

“About two months ago a fellow came into my store with an old ring of his mother’s and selected a nice mounting for his wife. He said he wanted to be sure to have it for her anniversary, which would take place in about two months.

“Well, I assured him we would definitely have the ring by that time, no problem at all.

“So, I took the job to Sabastian myself.  ‘Now, Sabastian,’ I said firmly ‘this customer needs the ring in two months… are you sure who you can have it for me?’

“’Of course,’ he promised, confidently. ‘No sweat.’

“He glanced over the job.

“Well, a week went by and I went to check on the mounting job. ‘No, I haven’t started it yet,’ he alibied. ‘My mother-in-law died and things have been pretty upset.’

“I sympathized with him, naturally. With such a gloomy event, who could blame him? ‘Do you think you could have it by next week?’ I asked.

“’Oh sure, no sweat.’

“So I left confident he’d keep his word. Another week went by and I dropped in to check on the job.

“’Oh, Herb, I’m so sorry. I sprained my ankle and just haven’t been able to get the work out. You understand?’

“I was pretty upset but tried not to show it. ‘How about next week?’ I prodded.

“’Oh sure, no sweat.’

“Later in the day, my customer came by to check on his ring. ‘It isn’t ready yet,’ I had to tell him.  ‘Sebastian fell and sprained his ankle. But he assures me he’ll have it next week…check then.’               

“I was sure Sabastian would have the ring ready next time I called him, but I was met with more explanations.

“’I’m sorry, but my soldering equipment is acting up. Call me in two weeks.  We’ll have it for sure!’ I left feeling we were cutting it very close.

“Next time I saw the customer he was starting to develop a long face, I carefully explained about Sebastian’s faulty equipment and suggested he return in two weeks for his ring. We would definitely have it by then.

“I called Sabastian twice during the two-week period, but he was out both times. Once he was playing golf and another time he was down at the corner tavern relaxing… and who could blame him?  He works so hard – most of the time.

“I was really starting to worry when it came within a week of the crucial date. But my doubts were swept away by Sebastian’s assurance: ‘I’m going to start work on it this afternoon for sure!’ His voice was so strong with authority I really didn’t doubt him.

“’Now remember, Sabastian, the anniversary is next Saturday so I’ll be by at 4 pm Friday,’ I reminded him.

“’Don’t worry,’ he replied.  ‘No sweat!’

“So Friday rolled around and I picked up the phone and dialed Sabastian. ‘Say, you do have my remounting job finished, don’t you?’

“’Well, not actually,’ he replied. ‘I had intended to start on it this afternoon, but my wife’s ice machine broke down and I had to stop work on your job to fix it.  You see we are having a party tonight and she’s simply got to have the ice machine working to make frozen daiquiris.’

“Well I had to say to my customer: ‘I’m sorry about your wife’s ring, but Sabastian had to stop work on it to repair his wife’s ice machine. She has a party tonight and if Sabastian remounted your wife’s ring, his wife couldn’t make any frozen daiquiris.  Understand?’

“My customer stood there, his face turning from pink to red and then finally to flaming crimson. I guess he didn’t understand. So I went to the phone and called Sabastian once more.

“’Sab couldn’t you put the ice machine aside for a while, after all you’ve had my job almost two months?’

“’No, I am afraid, not,’ he groaned. 

“I returned to the customer, trying to smile. ‘Could I interest you in something else for your anniversary? I don’t think the ring will be ready.’

“’But you promised! I gave you two months! Tomorrow is the anniversary! I WANT MY RING!!!’

“Back to the phone again. I begged Sabastian, ‘Please, oh please!  Just this once, and I promise I’ll never rush you again!’

“So he finally agreed to get the job out by 11 am Saturday. ‘After all, the anniversary isn’t until Saturday,’ he sounded sorry. ‘What’s the big sweat?’

“My bewildered customer left with the idea of coming back at 11 am. I didn’t sleep a wink last night and this morning at 10:30 I called that. that Sabastian to check on my job.

“’Well Herb my mother-in-law’s clock isn’t striking, I’ll get on your job just as soon as I adjust her clock’”

Herb’s voice trailed off and I saw the hopelessness that clouded his eyes. “What happened Herb?” I prodded. “What happened when the customer came in?”

Herb shrugged his shoulders. “How would I know? That’s when I suddenly decided to come to this convention.”

The way it used to be: Translations for the Jewelry Trade


Across The Counter
Reprinted from February 1991

Translations for the Jewelry Trade

Customer: Isn’t this a lovely ring? It was my grandmother’s. At least 60 years old. You’ll notice the 18K gold mounting and genuine ruby. I’ll bet you don’t see very many like this one!

Jeweler: Ah, yes, it is very lovely isn’t it? There are even some spherical bubbles inside that would seem to indicate man’s scientific ingenuity, and it sure is pretty. Here take it with you.

Translation: Glass. 10K gold mounting.

Customer: I paid you to repair this watch only last week. Now it stopped dead. What kind of work do you do here anyway?

Jeweler: Just a moment, please. Let me check the record.

Translation: Customer paid for a new watchband and had a new battery installed.

Customer: I have Aunt Hattie’s old watch here. It is very valuable so I wouldn’t trust it with just anyone. I brought it clear across town for you to look at because I know you’re honest and wouldn’t steal the jewels.

Jeweler: That’s very nice of you to say, and this certainly is a beautiful old timepiece. Haven’t seen one exactly like this before. Unfortunately, though we simply cannot get parts to fit those valuable old antiques. I’m sorry. Why not display it in a treasure dome so you can continue to enjoy it?

Translation: Rolled gold plate & jewels.

Customer: I want you to see my diamond I got at a Seedy Discount Store. It’s blue white and perfect! And I’m so-o-o happy with my purchase. Didn’t I get a fantastic buy?

Jeweler: Wow! Now that’s really a ring.

Translation: Coal mine.

Customer: I’ve just returned from the Orient where I picked up some lovely jewels for practically nothing. Let me show you my genuine Persian turquoise ring and Imperial jade ring.

Jeweler: How lucky can you get? These are very interesting. You sure can’t buy anything like that in most independent jewelry stores.

Translation: Dyed turquoise matrix, aventurine quartz.

Customer: The diamond I purchased here just ‘fell out’. I didn’t do nothing. It just fell out.

Jeweler: Then let me look at it, please, to see what damage has been done.

Translation: One prong missing. Two prongs bent. Diamond gone.

Customer: Just put it back together and I’ll get my uncle to fix it. He is an expert watchmaker and never charges me for anything.

Jeweler: (forcing a smile) If your uncle can’t get around to it, bring it back we will be happy to serve you.

Translation: ‘Unk’ started a correspondence course in watch repair back in 1949, and quit when the lessons got too difficult.

Customer: I can get it from my brother-in-law. He’s in the retail jewelry business and therefore buys wholesale. He sells to me for the same price jewelers have to pay, so why should I pay you more?

Jeweler: Since you are already another jeweler’s regular customer and both you and he are completely satisfied. I’m sure he will appreciate your business.

Translation: The brother-in-law is in the dry goods business and there are certain wholesale jewelers who will sell to him. However, the two families haven’t spoken to each other for 15 years.

Customer: I know a great deal about diamonds. I’ve been studying up so I can buy with confidence in my own technical knowledge.

Jeweler: Then I’m sure you recognize the superior cut and clarity of this magnificent diamond and realize the extraordinary value we are offering you.

Translation: Customer watched a “Mr. Wizard” TV show about prisms about 3 months ago. Now he’s a diamond expert.

Customer: Would you be kind enough to install this watchband? My husband picked it up someplace - maybe here.

Jeweler: We will be delighted to lady, and the charge is only a dollar.

Translation: I’m absolutely overjoyed to install your discount store watchband that you purchased across the street 20 minutes ago.

Customer: Can’t understand it. Last time this was worn, it ran fine. I put it on yesterday, though, and now it won’t run at all.

Jeweler: These things are mysterious, aren’t they? But it does need some cleaning and adjusting now and we will be happy to restore it to good working order.

Translation: It was last worn by the customer’s deceased grandmother who died 29 years ago. The inside is a mess.

Customer: I’d like to wear a wristwatch. Really I would. But I just have so-o-o much body magnetism I can set off blasting caps if I don’t control it.

Jeweler: Yes, ma’am. Anyone can tell from your bright personality that you have tremendous personal magnetism. May I interest you in one of these new solid-state models? There’s nothing about these beautiful watches that can possibly be affected by body magnetism, and a lovely lady like you deserves a fine wristwatch.

Translation: Vain old biddy. With a face like her’s, she could stop a clock at 20 paces.

Customer: I’ll have to ask my husband before I have it fixed. He always makes the decisions about things like that.

Jeweler: I understand perfectly. And may I say that I truly do admire you for trusting your husband’s fine judgment. Please explain to him the recommendations I’ve made regarding repair, and should he decide your fine watch needs attention, bring it back to me for I will certainly be glad to see you again. Thank you.

Translation: Wonder what they’ll tell her when she takes it down the street to the discount store?


The way it used to be: Yakity-Yakity-Yak


Across The Counter

Reprinted from January 1991



Mrs. Maude Thatcher deposited into R.B.’s hands a ring bearing a large red stone.

“Now this,” she explained, “belonged to my Aunt Bessie Brown who came to Texas from Philadelphia in 1876.  She had three sons, two of them looked like her, and the third had bright red hair.”

She leaned secretively and whispered in R.B.’s ear, “None of the rest of the family had red hair… so it does make one wonder.”  She winked at RB knowingly.

“I always thought Aunt Bessie had a wild streak. Her mother thought so too…and her mother was such a dear…my mother’s sister…There was a brother, Bill Brown, but he moved to Miami and went into the shutter business…perhaps you have heard of him?....Bill Brown?”

“Ah, no.  Now about this ring…”

“Well, anyway, I have four sisters and two brothers. Everyone wanted this ring but Aunt Bessie left it to me. Now my sister Norma married an army sergeant and moved to Germany. They have three children, Mr. Williams, two boys and a little girl.” She smiled proudly.

R.B. smiled also and tried again to inquire about the ring. “This ring is…”

“Another of my sisters, Thelma tips the bottle. Her husband pretends not to notice but everyone is aware of the problem.”

“Yes, that would be a problem,” R.B. butted in. “But now, about the ring…”

“Just a moment, Mr. Williams, I’m not finished telling you about the way I came to inherit this lovely ring. There’s my older sister, Camela. Such a dear, sweet child and so frail. Anyway she could never have any children of her own; nobody knew if her husband was sterile or what, so they adopted two lovely children. They were both illegitimate of course, but Camela and her husband, Jeff, are thrilled with them. Oh, did I tell you Jeff works for the government?  He has a civil service job.”

“Speaking of jobs,” interjected R.B. desperately “about this…”

“Then there’s Sandy, my baby sister. Always been a problem. Must have been the generation gap. Sandy’s been married and divorced three times. Her first husband was a sailor and a real boozer, not worth a plug nickel. Every time he came home on leave, Sandy ended up ‘in a family way.’ Poor Sandy, her second husband was in the Peace Corps and he was gone a lot too. So things didn’t work out right.

“The last one was a traveling salesman,” she said with disgust. “Everyone knows about men like that!” So now poor Sandy’s single again – by the way, Mr. Williams, do you know any nice eligible men?”

“Not off hand,” moaned R.B. “Now, about this ring…”

“Well, if you’d stop interrupting and listen. My brother, Sam, he was the eldest, you know. I always favored Sam more than my other brother. Well, anyway, Sam went away to college and got a degree. He has a good job now and he married the sweetest girl, Patty Sue Jones. Did you know Patty Sue before they married? Her family lives on Falcon Street, I believe?”

“Er, no. But about this ring…”

“Anyway it doesn’t matter if you knew them I just thought you might. They are people of means, and now Patty Sue and Sam have a darling little boy. He goes to the first grade at Bowie School. Isn’t that sweet?”

“Ah, yea, sweet.  Now about the ring.”

“Now my other brother, Joe, didn’t do so good. He married a foreign girl, one from out of state, I mean! And the family didn’t accept her. She is a real spit fire and gives Joe a run for his money! Actually I don’t know why I said that because Joe doesn’t have any money to speak of…”

“Well, never mind Joe. What about this ring!” R.B. cried out, exasperated.

“What ring?”

“This ring you handed me when you came in.”

“Oh, my, what a pretty ring, Mr. Williams. I have one almost exactly like it.”

“Ms. Maude, this is your ring. You brought it in a few minutes ago.  What did you want done with it?”

“Good heavens, my ring? Well, it does look like my ring.”

“It’s your ring, “snapped R.B. “What do you want me to do to it?”

“Well I can’t seem to recall. You’ve kept me talking so much, I believe you’re trying to confuse me.”

“Oh, no I’m not trying to confuse you. Try to remember what you wanted done to the ring...please.”

She stood there a moment trying to remember. Finally she snatched up the ring and started out the door.

 “I’ll just have to come back another time, Mr. Williams, I’ll thank you to not pry into my personal affairs!”

The way it used to be


Across The Counter
Reprinted from November 1990

The Midas Touch

We often say we are “touched” by someone’s actions. College kids put the “touch” on dad for extra funds. The Bible speaks of Jesus “touching” little children. We hear of “touch me not” type of individuals. We write letters to keep “in touch.”

The physical action of “touching” is one of the most important gestures exhibited by human beings of all levels. Actually the sense of touch is the most important and powerful of all the senses. The effects of physical contact are instantly telegraphed to the brain, which interprets the gestures as affection, interest, friendliness, kindness, consideration and goodwill.  

In our American society women are permitted more freedom of contact with men and other women than men with women or other men. Men may actually shrivel with fear that an innocent touching gesture might be mistakenly interpreted as aggression on his part. He also fears any physical contact with another man might possibly be construed as an effeminate action. How unfortunate this is.

In selling, subtle physical contact with the consumer can mean the difference in making the sale and losing it altogether. The buying public has proven over and over again they buy from those they trust and like. A jeweler who can telegraph sincerity and warmth to the customer holds a far better chance of getting the sale than a jeweler who remains coldly aloof and distant.

Let’s assume a customer has asked to see some cultured pearls. The jeweler has produced several strands for her inspection. She holds them to her throat to judge the color and length and tries to affix the catch. A jeweler would be a clod to allow her to fumble with an unfamiliar fastener and should offer to assist her. Once he has secured the catch, he should step back and admire the necklace. It is highly embarrassing for a refined lady to be forced into asking for assistance. If it is preferred, a lady clerk can perform the same service for the customer. This type of physical contact rarely arouses resentment or reluctance.

Another field open to legitimate physical contact with customers lies in the showing of bracelets and watches and new watchbands. It is amazing how many customers (both male and female) are expected to wrestle with a difficult bracelet or catch on a watch band while a clerk stands by, looking for all the world like a cigar store Indian. The sexual polarity between clerk and customer, male-male, male-female, female-female, is not important. The gesture of aiding a customer with a difficult-to-fasten catch will be received and translated as being considerate.

Customers trying on rings offer additional opportunities for salespeople to establish rapport through physical contact. Help your customer, lady or gentleman, to slip the ring on the proper finger.  (Many customers do not know which finger is the appropriate one, nor the correct way to face the ring, so usually warmly welcome assistance) Once the ring is in place, hold their hand momentarily and admire their choice. Be brief, but not hurried.

The recipient of the touch will read into the gesture whatever you have intended to project. If no romantic overtones are suggested, then none will be received. It should be remembered romantic gestures are always preceded by eye communication and this type of communication is not likely when jewelry is being discussed.

Once I encountered a very obnoxious male customer. He was a big man, ugly and rude. Perhaps he’d been reminded of his shortcomings often because he was highly defensive and almost abusive in approach. Frankly I hated to wait on him. After all, winning him over seemed almost impossible.

For a brief second I asked myself why. Why is he so rude? Well, perhaps he has been rejected so many times he plans on rejecting me before I have the opportunity to insult or humiliate him. I smiled at him but he remained sour.

Then I took a watch from the showcase, extracted it from the box and put it on his wrist, sliding it over his huge hand. Immediately he relaxed and smiled because the band was far too small. But after a few trials, he found one he liked and the purchase was made. The customer was actually “touched” by physical contact. He has reasoned himself to be so undesirable and distasteful in our eyes that he assumed we would never consider any physical contact with him.

This approach works well with male-male and female-female as well as with female-male. Intentions of a seductive female or a lecherous man are easily distinguishable from those of ordinary customers. For one thing, those with unhealthy intentions are too brazen and forward, too insistent on taking liberties.

I’ve seen our jeweler (who is of small physical stature) actually poke scowling, stuffy male customers in the stomach and ask jokingly “What are you so sour about? Nothing can be that bad!” Fortunately the customers have always smiled, relaxed and we have been able to reach an agreement with them no matter what the original recipe. 

A certain amount of “personality” must be interwoven into any “touching gesture.” If a jeweler is all thumbs when helping a lady fasten a necklace, she will be amused and take on a feeling of superiority and motherliness. She knows the jeweler is adept with his fingers and accepts his clumsy actions as a form of nervousness caused by her proximity.

What better way is there for a jeweler to say, “I like you well enough to assist you. But I also respect your privacy and don’t want you to think for one moment that I am getting fresh!” Even if a jeweler is extremely deft at this type of thing, it behooves him to humble himself slightly - feigning minor difficulty when making this type of physical contact with women customers. By so doing, he creates confidence and allows the lady a slight edge of superiority.

Everything King Midas touched turned to gold. You can turn your gold into profits too by simple physical contact with your customers. Remember to use the Midas Touch when dealing with customers.

The way it used to be


Across The Counter

Don’t do it unto others – or they might just try to do it unto you

Reprinted from October 1990

Dr. Pullmore, our local dentist, stopped by last week with his solid gold chronograph of ancient vintage. He perspired nervously as he tenderly placed it in RB’s hands. “It’s causing me some problems,” Doc explained, as he strained to see over RB’s bench, presumably so as to not let his prize get too far out of his sight.

 “Okay, let’s get ‘er open,” RB recited non-chalantly for the twentieth time that day. One quick jab and a skillful twist with the case opener and it was done. I saw the good doctor wince. “My…h-m-m-m,” said RB, shaking his head like bad news. “It’s pretty bad in there, Doc. Pretty well shot, I’d say. Danged sure can’t make a new one out of it.” 

Doc paled. RB went right on with the gloomy diagnosis. “Needs a new gold crown, that’s for sure…. and could use some work on the pall bridge.” 

Doc swallowed and squirmed and stammered, “It’s really that bad, huh?”

RB touched one of the parts like it was a sore tooth. “Needs a good overall cleaning too, Doc. I just can’t understand why people let their watches get in such a sorry shape. Now, if you’d have taken time to have this watch serviced periodically, you’d have saved me a lot of work and yourself a lot of money.”

Doc apologized, meekly. “Well, you know time slips by.”

That made RB bold. “Why, look here,” he scolded, “there’s a hole in the back of this case!” He glared at Doc like he was demanding an explanation. Doc just looked humiliated. I felt sorry for him, but RB just kept pouring it on:

“Well I guess I could fill it up with some solder. Gold is plenty high now, you know.” He actually pointed his finger at Doc and warned, “It’s going to cost you more now than when you had the last work done on this fine watch two years ago!”

“Yes, sir,” acquiesced Doc. It was truly pitiful to see him squirm, and RB was being absolutely unmerciful.

“Can you save my watch, Mr. Williams?” he begged.

“RB reared back in his bench chair, lit a cigarette and blew some smoke, letting the good doctor sweat. “Well, I can try,” he replied at last, “but it’s not going to be easy.”

Doc loosened his collar and dabbed at his forehead with a handkerchief. “How much?” he almost whispered.

RB blew some more smoke and pondered the economics of the situation. You’d have thought he was estimating the cost of clearing out the Suez Canal. He took his pencil and did the multiplication table on the back of a Wm. R. Katz Co. order envelope, and finally said: “Forty seven, fifty…”        

Doc was breathing a sigh of relief, as RB added, “providing, of course, I don’t run into any real big problems, like unavailable parts and so forth.”

“Oh, thank you, Mr. Williams, thank you,” wailed the grateful Doc. “Just fix it up, please. I’ll pay. I’ll pay.”

With a professional flair, RB whipped out a repair ticket and wrote it up, tossing Doc the estimate receipt.

Doc arrived back at his office badly shaken. Pouring himself a cup of black coffee, he aired his complaints to his secretary-wife, Gloria.

“Do you know how much that vulture charged me to repair my watch?”

“No dear, how much?”

“Forty-seven dollars and fifty cents, for crying out loud!”

“Well, he was able to repair it, wasn’t he?”

“Heck, for that price, Gloria, I could buy a new one.”

“But you told me you wanted the old one repaired, dear.”

“Yes, but gee … for just one hour’s work – forty seven dollars and fifty cents! I’ll tell you, Gloria, we are in the wrong business!”

“But dear, you know Mr. Williams is a good watchmaker, and after all, he is a regular patient…”

Doc quit sulking right away, a devilish glint flashing in his eyes. “That’s r-r-right. Say, Gloria, while I was there I got a good luck at RB’s teeth, and you mark my word, Gloria, he’s going to need some dental work just any day now!”

Well, “any day now” came quicker than Doc anticipated. The very next day RB was feasting on Mexican chili beans, gloating over his success with Doc, when he encountered a rock - crunch!  The incident caused him to lose a filling, so he promptly called Gloria and set up an appointment.

Doc was nonchalant as RB flopped down into the victim’s chair. He began to fidget around and inquired anxiously: “ Do you think you can save my tooth, Doc?”

“Open wide, please,” Doc demanded for the twentieth time that day. With his fingers he prodded around expertly, then jabbed at the tooth with a sharp instrument that made RB flinch. “H-m-m-m,” he said. “It’s pretty bad in there. Getting pretty well shot, if you know what I mean.”

RB had heard the expression before, so he knew – and squirmed.

“Could stand a new gold crown,” Doc said, touching the sore place with the instrument. “Sure could use some work on that bridge.”

With both eyes and mouth wide open, RB managed to say, “Uh-huh.”

Doc continued the professional diagnosis, looking quite concerned: “There’s a big hole right there.  Guess I could fill it with gold. By the way, RB, you know gold has gone up considerably since you were here two years ago.”

“Really?” said RB. “But Doc, can you save my tooth?”

Doc stepped back and recited his sermon. “I don’t know why you haven’t taken better care of your teeth, RB. If you’d only have come in for periodic cleaning, you’d have save me a lot of work and yourself a lot of money.”

RB ducked his head. “Well you know how time slips away,” he pleaded pitifully.

Doc crossed his arms and took a very long time thinking. Finally he said: “Well, I suppose I could clean them up some to get you by. I’m not promising anything, understand. Danged sure can’t make a new tooth out of that one.”

RB cringed, cowed. “Just do the best you can, Doc,” he begged.

Doc picked up a syringe and with a professional flourish, filled it up with Novocain.

“Ah… how much is this going to cost, Doc?” RB got up the nerve to ask.

Doc took precaution to plunge in the needle before answering. “Oh, I figure it will run around forty-seven dollars and fifty cents.”

RB went limp.

Back at the store, RB unloaded his complaints on me.

“Martha, do you know how much that vulture charged me to fix my tooth?”

“No, dear, how much?”

“Forty seven dollars and fifty cents.”

“Well, he was able to repair it, wasn’t he?”

“Yeah, but heck, for that price I could have had false ones.”

“But you wanted your own repaired, dear – told me so yourself.”

“But gee! Forty-seven dollars and fifty cents for just one hour’s work. I’ll tell you, Martha, we’re in the wrong business!”

“But, dear, you know he is a good dentist and after all, he is our customer.”

RB stopped sulking, and that devilish glint came back into his eyes. “Say, that’s right,” he said.  “Martha, get out Doc’s Chronograph. I have a feeling when he picks it up Monday he is going to be sporting a brand new $47.50 JB band!”

The way it used to be


Across The Counter

How one jeweler’s wife copes with the “other woman”

Reprinted from September 1990

Every woman who has ever said, “I do”, has had thoughts about the “other woman”.  This malady is common to jewelers’ wives also.  Hubby is generally “nobody” until he has his name in lights over a jewelry store.

Then, even if he is balding, fat, wrinkled, knock-kneed, homely or whatever, he will suddenly become an overnight attraction to female customers and female employees.