Friday, April 29, 2011

On Conducting an Auction

Part 4, Tempus Fugit

It already seems an eternity ago that this auction transaction started. Four weeks ago the first call, three weeks ago the first visit, two weeks ago the contract, one week ago the first meeting. I am sure that as quickly as last four weeks have passed, next three weeks leading up to the actual auction date will go even faster. Tempus Fugit.

The second trip that I made was a continuatin of the first. It was another day of sorting and preparing the auction ad, This trip I made by myself. Stephanie needed a break and this day would be a long monotonous one. After the initial excitement has worn off the work really begins and this day was going to be spent digging through mounds of just about anything.

Before leaving home I performed all of the madatory double checks to ensure that I had everything that I would need for the day; pens, paper, camera, boxes, flashlight, loop (magnifying eyeglass) and tags, I had them all. Feeling good about myself I hit the road. Since the long drive gives you a lot of time to think things through my plan was to review the steps necessary to complete the auction. My first major thought had nothing to do with the auction. I knew that something was wrong, but what could I have possibly forgotten? Then it hit me, I immediately turned around to go back home, it seems that I had forgotten my wallet and since OPEC keeps us on a short (and expensive) energy leash, going back home would have to be my first stop.

After the sidebar, once again, off I went. Upon arriving the search really began in earnest. For 9 straight hours, no lunch, no bathroom not even a drink of water, I worked. I looked in every single box, every drawer and every cobweb covered corner. I took over 100 photo's and filled 15 pages in a notebook. I detailed each item that I came across. Overkill? Maybe, but I firmly believe that it is my job to at least look at each item at least once before I sell it. The worst possible thing that I could do for my consignors is to be lazy and do incomplete work. It does not guarantee results, but it does guarantee that they will get the best effort that I have.

The amazing thing is I never realized how much time I had spent looking that day. In the early evening the owners looked at me and said "You know that you said you would be leaving over 2 hours ago.". Now I'm no genius but I can take a hint. Then the phone rang, "Where are you?", Stephanie asked. The second hint really hit home, which is where I should have been, so I packed my bags, said my goodbyes and into the sunset I went.

Tempus Fugit, time flies (flees) is a Latin term that is often engraved on grandfather clocks. Sometimes a little noticed an often misapplied term comes into play in life. As a kid growing up in Youngstown time seemed pass like a lazy river, as an adult it passes with a fury and as an auctioneer on this day it passed unnoticed.

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