Southgate Coins employee, Somer, leaves the coin shop

This is the finale. The final Southgate Snippets, and Somer's fond farewell speech. Of course, it is not a normal farewell speech, full of the many people she would like to thank, and all the things she will miss; but rather, bloopers.

Southgate Bloopers

By, Somer Athari 

Okay, so here it finally is; the after-the-credits bloopers that are only seen by the faithful audience members that wait patiently at the end of movies to see the out-takes.  For all you faithful Snippets readers that have been a part of this fine company for as long as I have and longer, here's your chance to see all the silliness that occurs at Southgate Coins, which is always entertaining.

Somer celebrates her last days at Southgate Coins

Now I know that this may seem hard to believe, but it is often…me getting into off-the-wall situations that end up going on the list of training procedures labeled, “Things Not To Do.”  This " 'do as I say not as I do' mentality " is one of my most favorite methods for training, because usually these instances that I am involved in are so unusual, yet beneficial to explain why things are done a certain way.

1. After about the third month working with Southgate Coins, I learned a very very important lesson; ALWAYS MAKE SURE THE CUSTOMER REMEMBERS TO TAKE THEIR CREDIT CARD. On one very busy day, a rambunctious family from out of town, came into the store and paid with their credit card, which I returned. Unfortunately for them and us, the woman forgot to take it with her.  Later that same evening, after the store had been closed for about a half hour, Rusty heard a loud clamor at the front door. For security fears, Rusty made the wise assumption that the outrageously raucous folks, were indeed attempting to break into the store. Withdrawing himself from their sight, Rusty called the police and informed them of the possible thieves. Apparently, the family was heading back home to California, when they realized that they had left their credit card at one of the many stores they had visited that day. As Southgate Coins became their final stop in a frantic search, they became ruthless, aggressive, and frightened that their one and only credit card was lost forever. Luckily, the Reno P.D. was quick to solve the situation, and the following morning, I learned another lesson from this one: BEWARE OF ANXIOUS OUT OF TOWNERS WITH ONLY ONE CREDIT CARD!

2. Okay, this second valuable lesson came to me right after I had returned to the expanded store for my very first day back to work with Southgate Coins. Rusty and Marie were dealing with technological difficulties (a.k.a computers) and I was preparing to open the store for the day. As I flipped the switch for the main ceiling lights, I noticed that they were not turning on. Immediately afterwards, I heard Marie yelp, “all the computers somehow shut themselves off.” I panicked. I flipped the wrong switch; instead of turning on the lights, I shut off every single computer, which at the time were in the middle of repairs and emergency updates. Lesson number 2: MAKE SURE TO LABEL IMPORTANT SWITCHES!

3. Alright, this next one wasn’t very funny at the time, but looking back it has complete blooper material. It was my birthday; silver had made a pretty big jump in the market and bullion customers began filtering in as soon as I flipped the signs to OPEN. The very first customer said that he had some silver to sell, so I sent him over to Marie at the buying counter. He told her that he would need some assistance and a cart to carry his goods from his vehicle (which was inconveniently parked at a distant spot, rather than directly in front of the store). Being an assistant, and pretty handy with a cart, I took my newly 22-year-old self and our cart to his car. The customer began piling 100 oz. bar after bar onto the top of the cart; along with what seemed like a boundless amount of bullion. As if in slow motion, I courageously lead the cart across the asphalt. A microscopic pebble (which in comparison to my cart was much like a measly house fly hitting a semi-truck’s grill) was peacefully placed in between my position and the store entrance.  Due to the top heaviness of the cart, I never had a chance to react; when the cart and the pebble’s fate met, disaster was there to greet me. The cart, the $18,000 of bullion, and yours truly, gracefully plunged to the parking lot gound. I was, for probably the second time in my life, speechless and stunned stiff. What do you say? What did the customer say? Nothing; there was nothing to say. I picked myself off the ground and retrieved the bullion and returned into the store with the customer trailing behind me. Nothing was bruised or damaged but my pride and what could have been a very pleasant birthday. Marie joked to the customer how it was hard to find good help, and Sarah had a sympathetic and yet relieved look on her face. I am sure that she was glad that it happened to me and not her. Lesson number 3: ALWAYS HAVE AN ASSISTANT FOR THE ASSISTANT!

4. This one is all Sarah and not me this time. Generally, if we girls go on errands, they are to the following places: post office, bank, restaurants (for Free-Lunch Friday), car wash, or the Toyota dealership. This occasion occurred when Marie needed to drop off her car for a tune-up at the dealership. The funny part comes in when Sarah called to find out where on earth Marie had gone. Sarah misunderstood, and thought Marie had said she wanted to take the car for a wash. Then the other line rang, so with Sarah on hold, I heard the familiar voice of Marie, and oddly enough, she was asking the same question about Sarah. The two, had somehow gone in opposite directions; one at the car wash, and the other the dealership. Oops! Lesson number 4: ALWAYS REPEAT THE FINAL DESTINATION/DIRECTIONS, WHEN TWO PEOPLE ARE INVOLVED IN AN ERRAND; JUST IN CASE!

5. These next couple thankfully didn’t happen to me either, but nevertheless these funny bloopers are always pertinent to why we do certain things around here. So Heather and Sarah had been doing eBay listings on their own for sometime when this incident occurred. Often the biggest challenge for them was to come up with something new to say; new adjectives, new detail descriptions, and new comments for common items. Well, on one particular day, Marie and Sarah were proof-reading the eBay listings when suddenly Marie began laughing heartily from her desk. When tears began streaming down her face, I had to inquire to what was so incredibly funny. She calmed down and chokingly read the mistake. While proof-reading one of Heather’s eBay listings she came across a sentence that was supposed to read as follows: “This coin is perfect to the naked eye.” What Marie found was this: “This coin is perfect to the naked.” Not only could this have limited the amount of possible bidders, but also could have created much confusion to the many eBayers that bid on our auctions each week. Lesson 5: IT NEVER HURTS TO PROOF-READ MORE THAN ONCE!

6. Another funny Heather moment happened when I was absent abroad, but it still involves me, because it was really a lesson for me to learn. Before I left, and the store was less than ½ the size it is now, I organized.I organized as much as I could in the small store, including empty boxes that Marie had saved over the years in case an odd sized box was needed. One afternoon, Heather needed just such a box; the only problem was, of course, it resided at the bottom of the gigantic pile. So, attempting to save time, Heather began tugging at the box, hoping it would dislodge itself from its fellow boxes. Disaster struck and the boxes at the very top of pile had become aware of the disturbance. Heather had no time to react; she was bombarded by dozens of boxes of all various sizes as they came crashing to the floor. Various lessons were learned from this one: CAN’T ALWAYS SAVE TIME BY TAKING RISKS, NEVER GRAB ANYTHING IF IT LIES AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF A SIGNIFICANTLY LARGE PILE, AND (this one was specifically for me) NEVER STACK A SIGNIFICANTLY LARGE PILE; IT BECOMES MORE OF A HASSEL THAN A GREAT SPACE SAVER! Because of this funny blooper, Rusty and Marie learned: SPACE IS ONLY A VAST PLACE FOR PLANETS, NOT FOR A COIN STORE ALREADY JAMMED PACKED!

Somer’s collage of life at Southgate Coins

These are just a few of the funny faux pas that have happened here at Southgate Coins while I have been employed. Naturally, if you put a bunch of silly people in one area, over time there will be all kinds of inside jokes, gags, silly sayings, and of course bloopers. Though, perfection is always our main focus, sometimes things just can’t be helped; that’s when unexpected humor happens.

All of the great times that I've had at Southgate, I will take with me wherever I go, and these lessons will stick with me for a lifetime. The main purpose for this weekly article is and always has been to show that Southgate Coins was not just some fly-by- night coin store, but a place full of experiences, laughter, and most importantly, people that honestly care about their customers. I hope that all my Snippets over the past couple years have shown all of you this, because Rusty and Marie, and all of the girls here try so hard to give all they possibly can to everyone involved with the company.

One rule of thumb I have in parting is this: You should always save yourself the embarrassment, but never the laughter; people are always the funniest when they aren’t trying. I especially hope that these Southgate Snippets have created some joy and relaxation in your busy lives over these two years, like they have for me. This final lesson is the best life affirmation I have learned here at Southgate: ANYONE CAN HAVE, AND SHOULD HAVE A SECOND FAMILY. Everyone at Southgate Coins has been like a second family to me, and I hope you can consider them yours too!

Your Family Member Correspondent,