An advertisement featuring a stunning Diamond Necklace has provoked me........
Many years ago I worked for a very prestigious Jewelry Manufacturer. The company was known internationally for its one of a kind rare pieces. One morning the owner called me in his office. "I just sold the Pear shape diamond necklace" he said with enormous gratification in his voice. This necklace was a collection of flawless pear shaped diamonds ranging from 4 cts. in the center, tapering down to 3/4 cts right around to to the back of the neck! It had taken him over a year of examining hundreds of parcels of diamonds to make certain that all diamonds matched beyond the vision of the sharpest eye!
The price back then was close to 1.5 million dollars! He had called me in his office to tell me that the buyer wanted him to deliver the necklace in person. The buyer lived across the country, in Beverly Hills. My boss confessed that he was nervous about carrying such a valuable piece, in light of the increase in robberies."I have a plan" he confided, "and I will need your help". He then pointed to two identical briefcases that were on his desk. "I will place the necklace in one of these briefcases. I will lock both briefcases, and send the key, next day, to the place we are going. Tomorrow morning, you will take one of the briefcases, take a cab to LaGuardia and catch the 11 AM flight to L.A.." He then cautioned me about the cab ride. It was suspected that there was a group of drivers who knew the faces of people in the jewelry industry, and the taxi drivers would call ahead to the airport where thieves would be tipped off to make their heist. He continiued telling me that he would take the other briefcase and take a cab to Kennedy airport and catch a flight to L.A. He gave me the address of the person that was buying this precious necklace.
The next morning I walked into the vault, and saw the two briefcases. They were identical in everyway. I selected one, and off I went!
It felt so strange riding down in the elevator, everyone had a briefcase, I am certain some were filled with important documents, and some had nothing more valuable than a tuna sandwich wrapped in foil, but mine..(I felt)...a priceless necklace!
I hailed a taxi, and with a certain authority, commanded, "La Guardia airport". Usually, while riding a taxi in N.Y.C., I would take in the sights, people watch...observe the fashions, the movement. Not this ride. My eyes and ears glued to the taxi driver. Making certain that he made no suspicious calls or signals. I looked behind us, were we being followed?
Once at the airport, I bolted straight for my gate. I passed by a newspaper stand, "I always buy a newspaper at the airport"...well, not this flight! I passed by a coffee stand.."gee, I would love a cup of of java".....nope, can't stop...and no way will I put this briefcase down to sip some coffee.
While on the plane, I kept to myself. I avoided any casual conversation offered by my flying neighbors. The briefcase stayed in my lap, I did not even get up to go to the restroom!
The plane landed in L.A. despite my thirst, and my urge to go to the bathroom, I went straight to the taxi line and once again commanded the driver to take me to the address in Beverly Hills.
My boss and I pulled up to the house of the buyer almost simultaneously. We walked through this spacious "castle" and settled down in the buyers study. My boss had already told the buyer about his plan of using two couriers, to reduce the chances of having a loss. We chatted for a few moments, and then the buyer opened the envelope that he had just received which had the key in it. I placed my briefcase on his desk. "Click.....click" the latches went up and a knot formed in my throat. He opened the case, it was empty! I sank deep into the soft cushioned chair, like a man who had lost all purpose. "Click...click" the latches went up on the other briefcase, and inside was the velvet box that contained the necklace.
I remained quiet and subdued. We made the sale, the purchaser was exuberant. The purchasers' limo took us back to the airport, where we borded the same flight back to N.Y. My boss noticed my quiet behavior. "Marc, are you upset about the fact that you carried an empty briefcase out to L.A.?" I confessed that yes, some of the excitement had been exhausted upon learning that I merely carried a 25 dollar briefcase across the country. I told him how I had observed the taxi driver, put off my desire to buy a newspaper, a cup of coffee, and supressed the urge to chat and even go to the bathroom! He smiled, placed his large hand over mine and said .."good! You were observant! You were careful! You were concerned! You were sincere! That is what I pay you for! That is what makes your day worthwhile not only to me...but to you as well! Life is not about doing what we want all the time". At the time his statement seemed a bit stern, filled with expectation of how I was supposed to behave in order to suceed.
Many years later, after musing many times about this day a deeper lesson seeps in. Each day we live, is like carrying a briefcase. We have no way of knowing how that day will be filled...until the end of it, when it is opened. Should we stop and attend to each little thing that charms us, satisfies only us...then chances are..we are carrying an empty briefcase! If we live our moments with a deep appreciation, a certain sincerity, a display of integrity and sense of caring, then the day will be very worthwhile.....the day ("briefcase") will contain something very precious!
Hoping you all carry a full briefaces tomorrow!
as for me....hey! I gotta pee! Marc :)