Monday, February 4, 2008

Weekend Update: Watch Out

Saturday I had some errands to run while in Astoria visiting my parents. The first stop was a local jewelry store to find out why, after replacing the battery in my Fossil watch, it failed to work. Initially, I blamed it on the battery, reasoning that these probably sit on the rack at CVS for such a long time that they simply expire.

But according to the Greek woman behind the counter at Thessaloniki jewelry, this would not be the case. Click Read More to continue reading.

I pushed the glass door, then realized it was locked. Jewelry store, hold-ups, right. I pushed the doorbell. The buzzer released the door and let me in - where I had to wait for a second door to be electronically opened. Jesus Paranoid Christ.

The store was empty except for a scuzzy-looking man in his 50's who was talking to the woman behind the counter. I had interrupted their laid-back, Saturday afternoon coffee clatch with my entrance.

I pulled the watch out of my pocket, kept in a Ziploc bag since I could not manage to get the backplate to snap back on. As I did this, I wondered if she would panic for a split second, expecting a hold-up.

She puckered her lips as I presented the watch, noticing that the backplate was off. "I know, I couldn't get it back on," I told her.

She fiddled with the watch for a few seconds before taking it to the back room. I looked at the jewelry in the cases. Old, tarnished gold everywhere. This store hasn't seen a customer since 1989, although their turquoise and white display theme did give me a sudden urge to buy a one-way plane ticket to Greece.

"The battery is work," she yelled from behind the little curtain.

I sighed, as this was a huge relief. Until she came back out. "The battery is work, but the watch is not workie." I looked at her like she just told me that there was nothing they could do for my cat and that he would have to be put to sleep. I stood there, silently staring at my one-year-old Fossil watch, willing it to work and wondering how my Timex watch lasted for almost ten years with no problem at all.

She realized that she left the backplate in the little sitting area behind the curtain and walked back to retrieve it. The scuzzy man in paint-stained overalls gave some "advice." "Sometime you put new batterie in and no work, is the problem of the watch." Wow, I thought, why aren't you working here?

Damn. What do you say at this point? Defeated, embarrassed, and a little angry, I put the watch back in the Ziploc bag and turned to leave, just as she was pressing the buzzer to let a couple of old ladies in.

I stood there, waiting for them to waddle in through the second door door, side-by-side. Annoyed that I couldn't simply storm out, this was when I noticed how two ugly tall blue chairs have been placed flanking the doorway. Whether this was intended to slow a robber's escape, or allow customers to sit and wait to be told their watches are broken, I don't know. But the setup was effective in slowing down my rushed exit, as there was no way for me to grab the door before it locked once again.

Because the two little dinosaurs were coveted potential customers, I had to wait for the woman to stop greeting them and buzz me out separately. First the inner door, then the outer. This is worse than trying to slam a cordless phone, I thought.

Finally, I thought, as I walked outside, into the bitter cold winter air.

How could that have gone so badly? Was it my messy hair? Did she think I was some kind of junkie, stealing watches and trying to pawn them off as my own? And, why did she not offer to fix the watch?

Oh, I thought, because she's a fucking bitch, that's why. And off I went to get a haircut.

To be continued...


Steven said...

That story sounds so familiar, I could've written it. said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

My sister's Godmother was shot when her jewelry store was robbed.

Vidis said...

How dare you interrupt frappe hour!
You're lucky she didn't blow smoke in your face too like a normal Greek businessperson would ;)