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Jewelers Share Their Most Humiliating, Frustrating and Bizarre Stories



As part of Big Survey 2016, we asked you to tell stories that you’ll laugh about one day — even if you’re not laughing yet.

You didn’t disappoint. We received many stories that made us laugh, and lots that made us cringe as well.

If you’re having a bad day, at least know that you’re not alone. Here are 32 people who had a day at least as bad as yours — and probably a lot worse.


My girlfriend (now wife) bought me a blow-up doll for a joke and dressed it up with some lingerie. I put it on my dad’s office chair and when he went back to his office we heard the hoot of surprise. He came out onto the sales floor dancing with the doll and comes face to face with a mother and her 7-year-old daughter. Oh boy, here we go, we thought. Then my dad said, “Isn’t she light on her feet?” and he did a couple more spins and danced back into the office. I don’t think we ever saw the mother again. That was the ’80s. Yes, we started laughing many years ago.


When I reached into a case to pull out a necklace and the whole shelf fell down. During Christmas with a store full of people.


I sold one engagement ring to one guy, my dad to another guy. Both sales happened on the same day. Both guys ended up proposing to the same girl. We got both engagement rings back.


The day the crazy bus stops in front of my store and all the passengers come in.


Shortly after opening my first store, I had an (elderly) man come in for a watchband sizing. While I was working on his watch, he leaned his arms onto my case. Suddenly I heard a very wet, gassy sound being emitted rather slowly. He had on those loose sweat pants that are not elasticized at the bottom. I was horrified and dreaded the thought of cleaning anything from my new carpet. (Bless those who work in hospitals and nursing homes!) I finished his band and held my breath for fear I’d gag. It fit! He walked over to the checkout to pay. And then walked out. I gingerly came from behind the counter … No tracks! As I walked over where he had been standing, I was elated! Nothing on my carpet! Made my day!


After three interviews, I hired a lady age about 45, part-time, going back to college. Well dressed, well spoken. FIRST day, she is working out of the men’s showcase, waiting on a grey-haired attractive gentleman. I know this customer exceptionally well as he was the second customer I did a custom job for and probably 25 over 20 years. I see a somewhat weird expression on his face and approach from her blind side, only to hear her asking if his pubic hair was as grey and pretty as the head on his hair? Hopefully I will laugh someday.


It was the day I got the most god-awful things to repair! “Cuz nobody wants to do repairs any more!” I took in an antique auto horn to solder the bracket back on (circa 1903), a dress horse halter to polish the German silver accents, a large glass lamp to repair the brass glass brackets, a car remote to solder the battery clamp back on, glasses to solder. I drew the line when a toaster came in to replace the power cord! Dammit, I’m a jeweler, not Emmit’s fix-it shop! The joys of being a small-town store!


My mom was helping out, cleaning showcases, when a guy drops in and buys a ring — it’s his 40th anniversary. This was a store I had in a very small town some years back. A few hours later, his wife comes in is looking for a gift for a 40th anniversary … My mom pops up and says, “Isn’t that something, that is just like the man who bought the ring earlier!” Busted! Thanks, Mom


The time I walked out of the bathroom with my skirt pulled up and tucked into pantyhose with my butt showing.


A sales presentation with my zipper down.


The time I had a stroke and my customers thought I was joking. … Ouch.


I helped a client design an anniversary ring and a redesign on her wedding set adding her grandmother’s and her mother’s stones. We recalled the arrangement — over and over again — only to have ME get the arrangement of rings wrong in the final solder!


My husband’s first ever sale in the industry was a return.


My mom thought there was a natural gas leak and asked everyone if they could smell it. I could but didn’t share that I heard it come out of one of my best client’s you know what!


A client who “drank her lunch” threw up on my sales case on top of a velvet tray of $1 million dollars retail in diamond engagement rings.


When I was a rookie and was very nervously showing a $70,000 very large princess-cut in tweezers and launched it across the room. Closed the deal though!


I was trying to sell a rock nightlight in our regional section, and I didn’t realize we had a 220 industrial plug on the wall. I plugged in the nightlight and it exploded — like shot-across-the-room exploded. I tried brushing it off by saying it was defected and plugging another one into a regular outlet. The customer wasn’t impressed and didn’t buy it.


Installing that belly button ring.


When a client came in to sell gold, I put my hand out to get what was in his envelope….he proceeded to dump teeth into my hand with roots in tact and being very pregnant I threw up everywhere!


Customer came in ranting about what lousy jewelry we have because her diamond fell out. She calmed down when she realized it was purchased from our competitor.


Bought a new ring sizing mandrel and all my ring sizing was wrong for a week.


I received a phone call from a future bride (who planned her own proposal) asking if her ring was ready. The boyfriend asked me to tell her it was not ready when she called because he wanted to have at least a little surprise. Well, she called me every name under the sun and promised to ruin me. I just kept apologizing and biting my tongue as she made my ears bleed with her foul words and threats.


“Native American” stock that turned out to be from costume jewelry from local garage sales. Am now EDUCATED! Not laughing, but happy …


I bought a 5-carat diamond for 22K only to discover later it was clarity enhanced. Ouch!


One day I’ll laugh about the person who dropped a crystal diamond prop and shattered the showcase.


From May 2 through the end of June 2016 the company occupying the offices above our store had their four toilets leak and torrentially shoot urine, feces and used feminine hygiene products through six big pipes directly our beautiful exposed ceiling SEVEN times. We had SEVEN poo and pee storms and floods in our store in about six weeks. Enjoy that mental picture. You’re welcome.


My daughter’s ring broke in half at no fault of hers!


We had completed a major renovation of our showroom, by chance I stopped into the store on a day we were closed to pick up something very unimportant. I walk into the store and a drop of water hit me on the head, I turn on the lights to see a portion of the ceiling had collapsed, water dripping from cracks, light fixtures, the carpet and cases soaked with dirty water. Turns out the tenant in an apartment above our store had hooked up a portable dishwasher to her sink, which backfired and flooded our store, the dishwasher was against her lease and not to be used. Months of hard work flashed before my eyes that day. One day when the wounds are not as fresh, we will go back, watch my reaction on security footage and have laughs for days!


A guy just came in recently to ask us information about pearls. He wanted a ton of information and was trying to save some money. He was familiar but I could not place him. Then when he left my staff pointed out this was the same guy that had been in our store about six months ago and spent close to 10 hours in the store or online pumping us for information and details and then bought the exact same diamond (branded) from another store. We did all the work and he chose to buy elsewhere but came back to us for information again. As he left, he told us that he really felt we were knowledgeable and honest. Yup, I can hardly wait to start laughing. And the original diamond he bought elsewhere was $25,000 plus the ring. Ouch.


The time I threw away a platinum wedding band.


An employee destroyed a 150-year- old Patek when all he was supposed to do was cement the crystal in place.


Had a couple come in looking at wedding bands. One of them put a ring on their finger and was having a hard time getting it off so I made my usual joke: Don’t worry I’ll just cut the finger off. They both held up the other hand and were each missing a finger.


This article is an online extra for INSTORE Online.

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