New York Shitty Video Du Jour: Failure to Communicate
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic
The junk shop has imparted me to a number of things money cannot buy. My fellow junk folk; Larry, Johnny, Laura and Cass are wonderful people. I consider it an honor to know them. The customers are by and large wonderful as well. I consider them to be my friends and for this reason I keep an eye out for items they might find of interest. Foremost and above all, it has given me ample amounts of cocktail party conversation material. A number of people find my tales unbelievable. I do not blame them. Would you believe someone would:
1. want to purchase a single nudie girl playing card for 25 cents
2. rip pictures from other pornographic magazines and stuff them into one porno mag in the hopes of pulling a “fast one”
3. try to bargain down the price of one 25 cent photo to 10 cents because (and I quote) “I do not have 25 cents”
4. attempt to shoplift $1.00 ashtrays, a stack of postcards or an issue of Architectural Digest
unless you yourself have witnessed it? Of course not. But I have seen all the previous come to pass and more. Much more. There’s very little in the way of chicanery that has the power to amaze me anymore save the methods prospective customers employ to chisel me. This is a never-ending source of fascination for yours truly. A few are quite inventive. Most are not. The following tactics are in my experience the most prevalent:
1. Claiming the item in question is a gift “for a friend”. (What does this say about you, as a friend?)
2. Claiming an article of clothing does not fit. (Either you’re too fat or it’s too small. Take your pick. I am no longer a size “00”. I am a size 2-4. If I can accept this, so can you.)
3. Asking another employee for a price quote.
4. Claiming the item in question is somehow “defective”. (The condition of any given piece of merchandise is taken into account before pricing. If it is broken, why do you want to buy it so much?)
5. Feigning a lack of comprehension of the English language.
In regards to the latter most point, I am very aware our fair city is an international one. The clientele of the junk shop reflects this. The junk shop’s (if rudimentary) command of Romance and Germanic languages usually suffices. Regardless of one’s mater lingua there is one common language: U.S. Dollars. Most understand this— but some don’t. Which brings me to the following woman. She not only wasted no less than four minutes of my time haggling over one dollar, but she also attempts to use tactics #3 and #4.
Before anyone berates me for being a mean person and/or anti-Polish here are a few things to consider:
1. before this exchange came to pass I had told this woman in plain English to STOP to rummaging in the junk shop’s dumpster. She understood me.
2. the previous exchange came to pass after she pretended not to understand that the two frames in question were priced at $1.00 and $2.00 respectively. $3.00 total. Not $2.00 total as she claimed. When this was shown to her by the other person she attempted to drag into the haggling process, she became argumentative. And curiously enough, less proficient in English.
3. She paid with a $5.00 bill. (Think about this.)
4. I have lived in Greenpoint long enough to know the difference between individuals who speak Polish exclusively and those who are— even if rudimentarily— bilingual. I do my best to accommodate both of the previous. BUT…
5. I don’t like being bullshitted and hassled. Especially over one dollar.
So you get what we have here today. Which is the way she wants it. Well, she gets it.
I don’t like it any more than than you do.