Misleading Appearances

Scruffy is a pretty accurate description of many of the men who come for a free meal in our church fellowship hall on Wednesday nights. But you have to be careful in evaluating their intellect. One individual was Jeff who was living in his car at the time. I soon found out he had been to college and was very articulate in about any subject I brought up. He was very engaging, but his appearance put some people off.

A jeweler in Peoria, Illinois, told of a lady who came in his store wearing ripped jeans and a ratty T-shirt. She said she had a black opal that she wanted to mount in a pendant.

She’d been to every jewelry store in the city and no one had taken her seriously. One of our associates who was really into gems was shocked when she saw the opal, saying it was the most impressive she had ever seen—worth at least $7000.

They made a pendant for it; it wasn’t a huge sale. Then the customer filled out a wish list, a common occurrence in their business. Soon her husband came back and bought everything on it. Then he added a bunch of Swiss watches for all the employees in his company.

She continued to be a huge client. She came in one day before a cruise and bought a $50,000 necklace.

My guess is that she intentionally dressed that way to find a jeweler who cared more about people than their appearances.

Get beyond the clothes a person is wearing by treating every person as your number one customer. She or he may become exactly that.


Steve Boyd
Steve Boyd
Stephen D. Boyd, Ph.D., CSP, is Professor Emeritus of Speech Communication, College of Informatics, Northern Kentucky University, near Cincinnati. Steve won the Toastmasters International Speech Contest in 1970 and was chosen Outstanding Professor of the Year at NKU in 1984, among other awards and honors. Since retiring, he volunteers with nonprofits, spends time with family, travels, preaches occasionally, and enjoys reading and writing. Contact Steve at (859) 866-5693 or at steveboyd111@gmail.com.

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