Wednesday, July 6, 2005

The Briefcase

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. "" 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.  "" 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 :)



delela1 said...

A most excellent story!  I loved that.  I was once married into a diamond family...well, jewlers anyway but I learned a lot about diamonds during that time.  Not on the level you dealt with, I'm quite certain.   May each briefcase you carry always contain something very precious!

robinngabster said...

Awwww wonderful story! What would I do without you in my briefcase each day! xoxo

hohumlala said...

LOOOOOOVE this story!!!!!!!!!! I was reading it through the email alert and the email ended like this.........

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. "" the latches went up and a knot formed in my throat. He opened the case, it was ..."

I clicked on the link to your blog quick as lightening to tell you that was a dirty trick LOL and was much relieved to find the rest of the entry:) once again toching intelligent and thought provoking :)

Thanks Marc:)


mariebm56 said...

Excellent entry, I just love your story.
This is my first time visiting your journal.  Came here through your comments on
Ellipsis, MONET & BROWNING AND THE SEA.  I liked what you wrote on her entry which brought me here to your journal.
WoolyBully was great too.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom!


stormie4851 said...


sierrajazz said...

You always have a way of making me stop and think, to look at things differently and not take things for granted.  How often I rush around in a negative mood  thinking strictly of myself, only to end the day feeling empty and disappointed.  This little story will remind me instead of worrying about me all the time, to fill my days with being helpful, kind, encouraging, doing for others and ending the day feeling productive and appreciative.  Thank you Marc for your insight, caring and sharing. You do make a difference.

tschamberland said...

Such a powerful lesson, and remembered in telling detail.  I am quite certain that I, too, would have initially felt a sense of 'let down' over the discovery of an empty case.  Your boss was a wise man.


mamaklute said...

Another great entry like usual!  
I am sure nobody could of take care of that briefcase as good as you did!

highlander6246 said...

Marc, I applaud your willingness to take on so much responsibility.  I would not have agreed to carry a suitcase across the room with so much at stake.  Hope you're well and that your weekend weather has been milder than what we experienced.  Thanks for the comments, too!  Wendy

jtuwliens said...

Oh, Marc…  This is truly a beautiful piece of writing!  It reminds me about doing the right things in life, the good and just things, rather than self-indulging in frivolous whims of the moment.  I’ll forgo the trivial, the slap-dash, for the meaningful significance and weighty issues any day.  Why?  Because that’s where life occurs, in the challenges and the contributions that we make in this world.  What’s life if those go unrealized?  Thanks for this powerful entry; I love what is said between the lines!
Filling my briefcase and waiving the magic wand of friendship,

judithstwin said...

Marc, I've been a voyer for a while, I'm sure my dear Sissy (Judith) told you.  I like the lesson that you convey.  It's not doing what you want, but what you are obligated and compelled to do.  Thanks for the gentle reminder.  - Julie -

princesssaurora said...

Excellent story!  Thank you for sharing it at CarnivAOL so I found it!

Be well,


kissofvanity said...

That was really interesting.  Thanx.  :)


jmorancoyle said...

    Good story.

randlprysock said...

One of the best entires I've ever read.  What a fun job!  Send all your unwanted diamonds to me and the unwanted empty briefcases to my evil neighbor.  Hugs,