So the Shane Co. files Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As one not in the habit of frequenting jewelry stores, you might think I’m utterly indifferent. But then you’d see that I’m blogging on the topic, so perhaps you’re wondering there must be something prompting me to waste a few minutes.
Well, you’re right. The lovely Mrs. Virtus and I are here laughing about the story, because we never intend to go back to the Shane Co., Chapter 11 or no.
It was the summer of 2002. I had just moved out to Colorado. We were running about, doing various tasks and last-minute errands in preparation for a fast-approaching wedding. We needed someone to solder the engagement ring to the band. We made the mistake of doing so at one of the Shane Co. metro Denver locations.
The only reason I remember it to this day is that it definitely qualified as one of the top five worst retail customer experiences of my life – perhaps THE worst. The arrogance, rudeness, and condescension of the saleslady were palpable. When she needed to make a rough appraisal of the ring’s value for insurance purposes, she undershot it by a significant factor and wanted to argue about it. Her eyes screamed, “What gumball machine did you get this piece of junk out of? Quit wasting my time.”
Now look, I’m far from the top tax bracket now, and I certainly wasn’t then. I’d saved a lot of money for this wedding ring, however, and I’d had it appraised. I knew roughly how much it was worth. But there I was with my then-fiancee standing next to me, and this haughty jewelry store employee scoffed at me without even giving a good look at it. She was unapologetic. I felt belittled, but didn’t want to deal with the hassle.
My only regret is that under weariness and an already pressing timetable we conceded and gave the Shane Co. our business anyway. But that was – and will be – the last time. Sorry to say that I’m unmoved by the filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Though, as a watcher points out, we’d be a lot better off if the Detroit automakers followed their lead.
A final note: No, I don’t dwell on this story. I harbor no bitterness toward the company or the employee. But there are plenty of other jewelry stores around, and the few we’ve been to have treated me and/or my wife considerably better. End of story.