Sometimes I'm really smart. Sometimes I'm really stupid. I'm really smart when I go to an auction and find a $200 treasure in the bottom of a box lot that I just paid $3 for. I'm really stupid when I go to an auction and miss a $1000 treasure because I made an untrue assumption.
Remember the old adage about the word assume? Assume; it makes an ass out of u and me. Well on Saturday, I managed to make an ass out of me. It all started with a typical household auction. I got to the auction my typical 1 hour prior to its start. During the preview instead of doing my review of every item that would be offered for sale that day, I instead became involved in a long conversation with the auctioneer who happens to be a good friend of mine.
We talked about golf. Not Tiger Woods golf, we talked about our own miserable game. He told me in detail about how poorly he played last week. I in turn told him about how poorly I play every week. He told me about how he was going to get lessons. I told him about how every lesson I ever had made me play worse. Then we talked about bowling. He told me about how the season was over and about his 194 average. I talked about how I went bowling once this year and about how my 13 year old daughter beat me. We then talked about.....
And so it went. I spent 50 minutes talking and 10 minutes previewing. It seemed like plenty of time to preview to me due to the fact that the sale was mostly household items. I proudly discovered a set of flatware that I knew was worth $250, I ascertained that one lamp was worth $300, I used superior intellect to determine that a set of three prints was worth $60 and I confidently concluded that a plastic bag filled with Euros was worth $30. Everything else was well, junk.
STUPID!! The exact adjectives and colorful metaphors that I used to express my disgust with myself should not be entered into a blog designed to be "family" friendly. Overconfidence, not paying attention and yes, assuming were my downfall. I should have looked. I should have known. I should have paid attention. Instead of talking I should have looked at every item. I should have known that every item deserves to be properly previewed. I should have paid attention during the selling of the item because even after everything else I still had the opportunity to correct the mistake.
I allowed myself to not see what was right in front of me. I go to auctions every day and every auction seems to have some type of anniversary clock. After seeing several thousand of these clocks I just stopped looking. They just are not worth the effort (except this time). They are only worth a few dollars (except this time). You don't even need to bother looking at them (except this time).
O.K. Atomos clocks, as described in an advertisement for them:
ATMOS clocks are technological marvels. Inside each clock are a hermetically sealed capsule that holds a combination of liquids and gas that expands and contracts as temperatures rise and contracts as temperatures fall. This motion constantly winds the mainspring a variation of only 1 degree centigrade being sufficient for two days operation.
Every ATMOS clock is made entirely by hand, and with some models, a single clock takes over one month to produce. The incredible precision of the ATMOS manufacture produces clocks that have an expected life of over 600 years.
New cost: over $4000.
Over the years I have seen thousands of anniversary clocks most are not worth the time of day. Never ASSUME that because 99% of the time that something is true that exceptions don't happen. Don't let your arrogance stop you from examining every item because you think that you already know the answer. Pay attention! Because even after everything else that I have said I still had the opportunity to correct it when the auctioneer announced that he was now selling an ATMOS clock.
The final analysis of my errors. Used ATMOS clocks sell for between $500 and $3,000 and I never looked at it. I had a great conversation about golf. The clock that I did not look at sold for $90. Stupid