Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Tale of Frankenwatch

Disclaimer: you know you're a nerd when someone says Frankenstein and you think to yourself, What they really meant was Frankenstein's monster. In that same vein, there may be fellow nerds out there who may be tempted to comment that Frankenwatch should really be Frankenstein's Watch, but you would be wrong. A. Frankenstein didn't create this watch, I did. B. This is my blog, and I can take some poetic license if I want.

I was making my way through an average day at work when a customer approached me. She had been given a watch from our establishment as a Christmas gift, and the band was too small. I took possession of the watch and looked it over to see what could be done. I realized that the watch was one of our *ahem* less expensive watch brands, so I knew that the chance of getting extra links from the vendor was slim to none, especially considering that the watch had an expansion (read: stretch) band. Despite this, I decided to call anyway, thinking it would at least show the customer that I was willing to go the extra mile for them.

My suspicions were confirmed, at least partially. The customer service number was set up so poorly that I would only have been able to speak to someone if I knew their name. I managed to get to a general mailbox, which also instructed me to state a name before leaving a message. I left a message with my question, name, and work number in hopes that I would at least find out their policy at some point.

At this point, I was pretty much ready to apologize to the customer and tell her that I was unable to help her. Just before doing so, however, I remembered the watch graveyard. The watch graveyard lies in a drawer, appropriately enough, beneath a layer of watch tools. Contained within are dozens of watch bands and pieces of watch bands. Their appearance in that drawer stretches back into time immemorial, and they lay there for the sole purpose of letting we jewelry ladies practice our watch band skills. It occurred to me that if I were able to find links of the same size, I could help out my customer.

I proposed my plan to the customer, who approved, and got to work. Soon enough, I found a viable donor, er, a section of watch band that might work. It wasn't exactly the same color as the existing band, but it was close enough that it wouldn't be super noticeable, especially since links would be added to the underside of the watch.  I commenced my project, feeling incredibly excited at the prospect of creating a watch hybrid.

The operation proceeded normally: cap popped off, edges pulled back, staples removed. The moment of truth was upon me. Could I successfully connect two different watch bands? Holding the two ends together, I slipped one side together. The staple fit in both sides and the edge lined up. I lifted the final staple and slid it into place. It fit. I almost breathed a sigh of relief, but I then realized something horrible. The foreign watch band was thicker than the original, and the final staple had fit in, but the edges didn't line up. I attempted to finish the operation, hoping that maybe the watch would be able to hold itself together, but such was not the case. Sadly, I turned to the customer to admit my defeat. She was understanding and thanked me for trying. Somewhat anticlimactically, I returned to my tools and put the watch together to its original condition and handed it back to the customer, who suggested that the watch would probably eventually stretch out.

So that's it. Dreams broken. Aspirations crushed. Villagers safe for another day. Oh, wait, that was the original Frankenstein's monster...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Obligatory New Year Post

I suppose I should chat for a while regarding a reflection of 2011. Last year many things. Stressful, frustrating, gut-wrenchingly hard, but at the same time so much fun and so full of self-discovery. I went through a lot of trials last year, but every single one of them taught me something priceless. After all, no one ever learned anything worthwhile by taking the easy way out, eh?

On the other hand, I had a lot of incredible experiences. Since it's easier to discuss the things I have pictures from, I present to you my two awesome vacations.

I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Nashville in order to attend my little brother's law school graduation. Nashville is beautiful, and Bret was a fantastic tour guide. This magnolia tree is one of the many trees on the Vanderbilt campus, which was so gorgeous. The campus is covered in trees, each of which is labeled so you know what kind it is.

It was so great to see my brother in the place he called home for three years. One of my favorite moments was going onto the roof of his apartment building at night and looking out at the Nashville skyline. Bret pointed out all the buildings he knew. It was so beautiful.

Of course, the highlight of the trip was watching my brother walk across that stage and become an official Vanderbilt Law graduate. He'd probably be annoyed that I'm about to say this, but I cried big fat tears of joy for that kid. I am so proud of him.

I love this picture of him after the graduation.

Highlight number two of the year: the exciting trip to Missouri/Nauvoo/a brief jaunt into Iowa one night to find a Wendy's. My dear friend Nikki and I journeyed to this distant land in order to celebrate the wedding of another good friend of ours, Miss Suzanne. Suzie actually introduced me to Nikki, and demanded, shortly before her return to her homeland, that we become friends. Guess what? We did! Anyway, our trip was super awesome. It was so great to see Suzie after so long, and to meet her somewhat goofy (but totally lovable) fiance. On the way to the wedding day, we visited Liberty Jail and Carthage Jail, and managed to squeeze in roughly half a day's worth of touring the city of Nauvoo. I'd love to go back and fully explore that city, but it was worth missing out on that to be able to attend Suzie and Keenan's sealing in the beautiful Nauvoo temple. It was such a wonderful experience. Here's a few pics from that adventure:

Please excuse my pink face; it was quite the humid day that day.

P.S. Isn't Suzie's dress incredible? Her sister-in-law made it and it was so very very pretty.

So that was my year in a nutshell. Overall, not too shabby for Michelle. I can't wait to see what will happen in 2012.