Saturday, October 14, 2006

One week

My first week at work was, in a word, long. I attended lots of training--someone saw me using the electric holepunch and said, "Hey, have you been trained on that?" and for a single horrified second I thought he was serious--and mets lots of people and walked lots of halls. I didn't get lost, but only because I was vocal about the building being confusing and usually got someone to give me directions. I'm learning my way around, and I can identify where my desk is. That's progress.

I've mostly been doing general company training and then shadowing the people who work in the areas where the product starts--I'm going to be doing quotes and customer service, but my boss wants me to understand what it is I'll be quoting. I'm totally happy with this, but I'm a little uneasy about not being trained about my actual job for at least another, he says, five or six weeks. Oh well. My coworkers are pleasant, and there are more of them and I can relate to them better, and everyone says my boss is excellent to work for. My desk is right outside his door, so I hope so. Anyway, work has been tiring so far but positive. And it's certainly better than the last place.

So, apple butter. I bought the jars, but I bought pint jars and I can't can them in the pots I have, plus I don't have tongs--I thought we did, but we don't, though we bought salad tongs today--so I still have some purchasing to do before I actually get to the fun part. I'm considering just buying half-pint jars instead of a whole new stockpot--they're cute--but then I already bought and washed these pint jars, so I might as well use them, right? I think I was a little too naively enthusiastic here, but that's all right. It's nice to be enthusiastic about things.

I don't think I wrote this all down, but at the Toledo gem show we met Debra Hoffmaster and asked her to make our Mobius strip wedding rings. She said sure, that was simple, asked us a lot of questions, and sent us a quote that made us extremely happy (around $300 for both rings; our stretch-it-to-the-utmost limit was $300 each) and said that she'd made silver prototypes and could we come by and okay them? We said yes, absolutely, and I asked as an afterthought if white gold would be a different price. She said she doesn't work with white gold. We showed up at the festival (Harrison Rally Days, city celebration in Perrysburg) she asked us to drop by and tried on the prototypes. They were awesome. Mine fit perfectly, Eric's was slightly too big. She said again that she doesn't work with white gold, and she'd be willing to try but we'd be paying for her mistakes. Eric was fine with yellow gold, but I really wanted white. "Go to Jensen Jewelers," she said, and wrote it down and gave us a map. "That's where I send people when I can't do it myself. This is your wedding ring; it should be what you want. If they can't do it, come back to me." We were embarrassed and pleased, and thanked her profusely, and I told Eric to buy me some beautiful leaf earrings she had in her booth for Christmas. Around then a festival representative came by with a "best of show" ribbon, so we congratulated her on that, too.

Today we went to Jensen Manufacturing Jewelers. We walked in and stated what we wanted. "Let me get Mike [or John, or Jeff, or whoever]," said the woman we spoke to, and she walked into the back, saying, "Mobia strip rings? Do you know what those are?" We requested paper and tape and demonstrated, and Mike/John/Jeff said, "Oh, okay. That's simple." He fetched a wax mold and explained how he'd do it, and said, "The cost would depend on the weight of the finished ring. It might be $450, or it might go up to $650, it just depends." Eric said, a trifle tentatively, "Is that total, or per ring?" and Mike/John/Jeff said, "That's per ring."

We got out of there shortly afterwards, with a business card and a handshake, and tonight we are e-mailing Debra. We both feel better going back to her, actually. She knew what a Mobius strip was, she made prototypes that we loved, she got a best-in-show award at that festival with pieces we admired (Jensen's stuff was fine, but pretty standard) and of course she'll charge less. The only question is whether or not we'll have her try with the white gold; we're probably going to ask her for an estimate of what it would cost assuming she makes a couple of mistakes, and go from there.

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