SANTA FE, NM–According to coworkers at Spee-Dee Printers, Len Halicki, 37, is less capable in his day-to-day activities than his own wristwatch.
"It's sad to see someone get outperformed by their watch," said Craig Denny, who works with Halicki at the Santa Fe print shop. "But there's no getting around the fact that this watch has about three times as many features as Len."
Halicki received the $200 timepiece, a Suunto Vector, as a Christmas gift from his parents. Intended primarily for outdoorsmen, the watch is described in the Suunto catalog as possessing "total performance and superior style," two qualities Halicki lacks.
"I don't think the word 'style' has anything to do with Len," Denny said. "If the inability to dress yourself in clean clothes that fit properly is a 'style,' then, yes, Len has style. That kind of style he has in spades."
Unlike Halicki, the watch has made a positive impression on his coworkers.
"[The watch] automatically synchronizes with the atomic clock so you can get the absolute correct time for setting the cash register," said John Kiel, Halicki's supervisor. "Len, unfortunately, is much less reliable. I asked him to replace the print plates on the big color press about an hour ago, and it's still not done."
Many other Spee-Dee Printers employees agreed that the watch's flawless precision stands in sharp contrast to Halicki.
"Before he got the watch, Len always came in late because he overslept," Rachel Reardon said. "With the watch's three alarms, he can't use that excuse anymore, but it still doesn't stop him from punching in 15 minutes late every day."
Other advanced features further widen the competence gap between the watch and Halicki.
"The watch's heart-rate monitor can tell you how long you've spent in your target heart-rate zone," Denny said. "I remember once, after shooting some hoops with Len, I checked my pulse on my neck. Len tried to do it, too, but he had his fingers on his jawbone. How do you go through life not knowing how to take your pulse?"
The watch also edges Halicki in the looks category.
"Unlike Len, the watch has a rugged, handsome face," cashier Mary Lupino said. "And it doesn't have a big, bushy mustache that looks like it fell out of the '70s."
Added Lupino: "The watch's face is also scratch-proof. Len found out that his definitely isn't when he drunkenly tried to kiss me at the holiday party."
Suunto president Olaf Peterssen was not surprised when told that his product proved itself superior to Halicki.
"As watch technology continues to advance, the gulf between the abilities of timepieces and their owners will only widen," said Peterssen, speaking from the company's headquarters in Finland. "A person like Len Halicki is probably better suited to a plastic Powerpuff Girls watch from a Burger King Kids' Meal."
Halicki's coworkers said they do not know if he can withstand depths of 100 feet underwater like the Suunto Vector, but that they are willing to perform extensive tests to find out.