On July 29th, 2010, I glanced at my left hand and noticed, to my horror, the main stone, a marquis-cut sapphire, in my engagement ring was gone. The day was my 11th wedding anniversary. (Gotta love the irony.) My husband and I checked into replacing the stone, but opted to put the purchase on hold for a while.
This past Saturday, we decided to revisit replacing the stone. In preparation, we dug in drawers and old jewelry boxes. We gathered a small pile of “scrap” gold and sterling silver jewelry and headed to the jewelry store.
We waited for the next available appraiser. Shannon called us to her office. We chatted while she sorted the things of value from the “this looks ‘fishy,’ let me test it further” pieces. While sorting through the silver, she noticed a dachshund pin and asked if we had pets. She shared she had two cats named Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. My husband, a musician himself, grinned and said, “So you like KISS?”
She stopped what she was doing, leaned in and grinning from ear-to-ear shared she LOVED them. She went on to tell us her entire house was very conservative and “plaid.” Plaid that is until the splash of KISS. Plaid. Plaid. KISS. We had quite a laugh together; it was nice to see her “other side.” (She has a picture of her and Gene Simmons on her phone. We’re talking serious fan. Love it!)
She continued working on our appraisal. My husband asked if she had ever seen a KISS snow globe.
Several years ago we somehow became the “proud” owners of a KISS snow globe (neither of us really remembers how it came to be ours, which is somehow fitting. :)) To say it was my least favorite “objet d’art” in the house would be an understatement.
Shannon “lit up” when she heard the words “KISS snow globe.” My husband glanced at me, and in the unspoken language of love between married people, my glance back said, “GET THAT THING OUT OF THE HOUSE.” He turned to Shannon and said, “We have one. We’d love for you to have it.” She almost burst with excitement.
Today, the KISS snow globe goes to a new home. Shannon joked she was going to build a shrine for it. Part of me believes her. LOL. I’m thrilled it’s gone. She’s thrilled to have it. We’re all thrilled we met each other.
And there’s the job search lesson in this story. A simple conversation led to good things all around. Think about it. There are lots of jewelry stores in the Wilmington area. We went to that one. There are five appraisers on staff at that store. We happened to be paired with the one appraiser who likes KISS. There happened to be a piece of animal shaped jewelry in the mix, sparking the conversation about pets. My husband happened to recognize the correlation between her cat’s names and KISS. And now because of all that happenstance, we all happen to be happy.
I tell clients, “You never know, who knows, who knows, who, who can help get you a job.” Substitute golf or sports or quilting or painting for the “pets” segue in our conversation and substitute employment opportunity for “new home for the KISS snow globe” opportunity. You can see how chance, unexpected, unplanned meetings can lead to something completely unrelated to the original goal, yet equally or additionally wonderful.
Networking doesn’t have to be anything formal or planned. It’s not confined just to job search either. Traveling though life, open to opportunities to give frequently and take occasionally, provides a nice foundation for strong, life-long connections. We may not have dinner with Shannon every week, if ever, but if there’s a need for our paths to cross again, we’ve established trust and can add to the foundation our first serendipitous exchange started.
PS – While the appraisal didn’t completely cover the replacement cost of the stone, it brought it within reach. I’m excited to be able to wear my ring again. I only have to wait two weeks.
UPDATE: 10-12-11: I picked up my ring and delivered Shannon’s snow globe today. A crazy period of unscheduled illness and schedule vacation prevented the exchange before now. She is thrilled with her globe. I am thrilled to have my wedding set back on my left hand where it belongs. A good day all around!