This real life story is on my mind this morning. Hope you like it.
Sometime around 2004 I won a prize. My sales efforts for the year earned me a gift of one item from a catalog titled “Copper Tier Winners”. It basically meant I placed third, with hundreds of others, within the nation wide company.
This was during a time in my life when I was working so hard with my head down and nose to the grinder, that to receive recognition caused confusion. I didn’t need a gift, I needed a vacation! Not really paying attention to my progress but just working like a dog, the numbers came in, and by years end, I was a winner!
Suffering from lack of sleep, long commute and a stressful work environment, I felt more cynical that elated. “Blood, sweat and tears and they give me a crappy watch. Oh well it’s better than nothing.”
So, six years later, the battery dies. My new job requires me to work on a timed schedule in an environment with almost no clocks. After weeks of unsuccessfully trying to use the suns position as a guide, I decided it was time to get a new battery. So out of pure necessity I drove the three miles into town to fix this issue.
“How long will it take?”
“Come back tomorrow morning. It’ll be ready by then. Ten bucks total.”
That was in May.
Months later I called in to apologize and let them know I’d be in that week on my day off.
“What name is it under?” I told them.
“We don’t have a watch under that name. What kind of watch is it?”
I suddenly realized I didn’t know the brand of the watch that I had been wearing for almost 6 years.
“Ummm it’s a two-toned ladies watch, like a cheap Timex or a Seiko.”
“Nothing like that here.”
I left them my name and phone number in case they came across it.
Feeling hopeful this afternoon, I walked in to the jewelry store to meet with the assistant in person.
“It’s been a few days. Have you found it?”
“What kind is it again?”
“A ladies two tone watch.”
“Is it this one?” In the clerks hand was my watch!
“YES, that’s it!”
Then the lecture started, with a smile, but a lecture none the less “Now, this is not some cheap Timex or a Seiko, OK. This is an upper end Citizen. The difference of about $300.”
“Yes. You had us looking for cheap ol’ ladies Timex the whole time.”
The owner walked over and added, “So we found the cheap Timex owner, eh?”
We all had a laugh and I thanked her for correcting me. After wearing the watch for 6 years, probably looking at the face ten times a day, I didn’t remember the brand. To me the watch was a big joke.
The whole watch battery thing made me think back to that time. I thought about how hard that year was on me, “How’d I ever do it?” I wondered.
Seldom do we ever pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. Sometimes, many of us who are performance driven belittle even the smallest achievements.
I’m glad I lost my crappy Timex; because today I picked up a Citizen!
I’m a winner! (you can tell because I’m wearing a nice watch)