Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Catholic Larry David

So today i had an experience that i can only qualify as Larry David-esque. For those who are not familiar, this is Larry David:


Mr. David is the star of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, and has a penchant for getting himself into totally uncomfortable situations.

So, let me first explain what got me here.

About 5 months ago, i purchased a second cell phone charger so that i could leave a charger at my parents' house in Cresskill and/or at my office and not have to worry about bringing my sole charger everywhere with me. I went to a store in my lovely town of Oakland called "Phones 4 U" which is apparently an authorized Verizon dealer (or so their 3 huge signs would have you believe).

Well, the first charger i bought there stopped working within a month. It was the type where you had to pull the prongs from their home on an adapter and then stick them in the wall (this all sounds vaguely sexual). Anyway, not only did this charger turn the phone off whenever it was unplugged, but it was unplugged often, since the prongs did not stay extended at all. So unless it was plugged into a power strip/surge protector, it could not stay plugged in. You put it in the wall, it falls out, it turns the phone off. Very frustrating.

Anyway, so i go back to the place two weeks ago to buy a new charger. I specifically asked for a kind where the prongs are always "out" and told them how the last kind didn't work. The clerk was very sympathetic and gave me $5 off the price. However, i did not get a receipt and for the second time buying at this "authorized Verizon dealer" i did not have a Verizon product. In fact, neither charger had a brand name i have ever heard before.

So i use this charger for 3 days or so, and then take off for a ski trip at Gore Mountain in NY State. I was staying in Glens Falls, which is about 40 minutes from Gore. Friday night i get up there, plug my phone in and go about my merry way. The phone rings (it was Erin) and as i pick it up, i get a slight electric shock, and it blows out the charger. Now, i'm talking the kind of shock that you get pulling a sweater off your head. This was not a "you could see it in the dark" kind of shock.

So, today i bring the charger and its box into Phones 4 U to get my money back. I've decided that anything they sell me will be shite, so i'll just ask for my money back. To me, this is not ridiculous. If i sold you two CDs, both of which broke after the 3rd listen, i would have to refund your money.

Before i get to the confrontation, this needs to be made clear: The proprieter and all the employees are Indian, and wear the traditional turbans. They always are quite shady/suspicious when i come in. So, i walk in and the dude is glaring at me something fierce. He says "can i help you?" and i explain the sitch. Eventually he says "well you must have done something wrong or plugged it in to the wrong kind of socket."

Now, what i meant to say was "No, i didn't leave the country, and i know how to use an outlet, i do it all the time." Somehow that came out as "I'm an American citizen, i know how to use an outlet." Now, this was caused by a combination of me being borderline retarded, nervousness and the fact that this guy was already trying to imply that i was a biggot by the way he was talking to me. For instance, when i said "You sold me shotty merchandise, TWICE" he said "well i don't make it in the back you know, i don't have my whole family in the back making electronics" or something like that, as if implying thats what i thought.

So, needless to say, this guy FLIPS out. "So you are saying that because i am Indian i do not know how to use a simple socket?" Now his two buddies (one in turban, one sans) come out from the back. So there are three large Indian men staring me down like i called them some sort of slur. I immediately started apologizing, as i really did not mean it that way. What i meant was that as a functioning member of society, i know how to, and use, sockets all the live long day.

Well this sent them on a shitstorm for at least 2 minutes about how i'm racist. Anyone who knows me (i would hope) knows that i am not racist at all. I try and explain to him what i meant, but it was clearly too late for that. So i keep telling him that i did NOT mean it that way, and whatnot, and i think he starts to believe me, but is still giving me shit. So he eventually says "i'm not an American citizen, but i'm not some kid who thinks he knows everything."

Nothing bothers me more than being called a kid in a condescending way by people who are well older than i. Yeah, i might look young, but fuck you - i spent $35 in your store for two products whose entire worth did not last me 30 days when both should have lasted at least 6 months. So i say "I am not 'some kid,' i own my own business, i work a full time job AND i'm a tax paying citizen." Snap, i did it again.

I was saying that i am not a child, and once again i have offended this guy's country of origin totally unknowingly. However, this time he did not either notice, care, or misunderstand what i said. Well, at least he didn't let on that he hated me even more. Eventually, i got my phone back (which he was holding the whole time, as he had to check my charger to make sure i wasn't full of shit) and walked out.

I'm still going to report the store to Verizon and the Better Business Bureau, because shit merchandise is shit merchandise. What i feel terrible about though is how this guy is going to go home to his wife and kids and talk about this cracker who called him a towel head, or imply something that i meant to insult this guy's immigrant status, which couldn't be further from the truth. I really wanted to say "i have Indian friends!" but i felt that it was a) too cliche, and b) i'm not really GOOD friends with any Indian people, and he would somehow know this ("you haven't hung out with Roy Joseph in over a year!").

Anyway, tune in tomorrow as i accidentally offend more people.

9 Comments:

At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hitler-tastic Story Bri! You tell those darkies that you represent THE MAN and they better watch their backs!

Jeff "I am not a biggot either"

 
At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the guy wouldnt have flipped out if he was a citizen... i mean, think about it... if one of us was called an immigrant, would we flip a shit? hell no. i say call the government and watch as these guys are deported to sweden (even tho they'll probably claim that theyre not from there)..

 
At 11:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the guy wouldnt have flipped out if he was a citizen... i mean, think about it... if one of us was called an immigrant, would we flip a shit? hell no. i say call the government and watch as these guys are deported to sweden (even tho they'll probably claim that theyre not from there)..

-mark

 
At 12:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i obviously dont know how to use a computer, hence the multiple comments..

in conclusion, white people are never questioned about immigration..

-mark, again

 
At 3:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I don't think open-minded white folk are racist on purpose.. the crackers have good intentions, but it just comes out the wrong way. Case in point: I was sitting at dinner tonight, and someone asked me if one of the Asian sounding foods on the menu (the words "egg" and "roll" were in there, so I'm guessing the Chinese association with an egg roll came into play) was good--

"I assumed you had it before because.. you know.."
"Because..."
"Well, because.."
"Because.. I'm.. Asian..?"
"Uh... yeah"

Knowing for a fact the person who said this to me was not a racist, I was not offended or mad. I just laughed it off.. even though I'm Korean and not Chinese.. and the bulk of my friends are white.. and my parents are white.. Whatever.

However, before I finish, let me remind you that us Asians are all not the same.. And, as a person who lives in a dorm that is over 50% Indian, all Indians are not the same..

But, since that guy was an asshole, I think your unintentional racism was warranted, and furthermore, funny. Keep up the good work.

--timothy john berardo

 
At 8:00 AM, Blogger Salvatore The Elder said...

First of all, your first mistake was apologizing...for what??? For saying you were a citizen who knows how to use electronic devices? The second mistake was not demanding that the police be called when his two Thuggies (how's THAT for insensitive)tried to intimidate you. I would certainly follow through on your threat to call Verizon, the Better Business Bureau and, perhaps, INS.

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger Dave said...

I'm with Vinny on this one....INS...INS...INS...INS.

But on note a tad more realistic. The BBB and Verizon won't make this guy's life a living hell, but they'll make sure he's mildly uncomfortable for an extended period of time.

Now, if you REALLY wanna make this bag of douche's life a living hell...call the IRS and say you have reason to believe this fine establishment and vender of all phones cellular is skimming money off the books. Nothing say "FUCK YOU FOR JUDGING ME AND THINKING I'M RACIST" like an audit from the IRS.

Just a thought,
Dave

 
At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so WHACK!

Matt

 
At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian "Grand Wizard" Salvatore... thats all...
-Ed

 

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