Friday, November 21, 2008

Random Observations

Just a few things I noticed the past few days that I found interesting...
  • It's interesting how different stores treat customers, and how customers act in general, at least in NYC. I stopped in Mendy's on 34th Street on Tuesday, and an older man finished his meal, got up, and started to leave. One of the cashiers, a frum guy who looked Moroccan or Israeli, called out "Sir... Sir! There is a garbage over there." The man calmly stopped, walked back, threw his garbage out, and left.
  • Yesterday, I was stopping in Rite Aid to get diapers, but as I was nearing the store, a shaky-walking older black man was staggering fast, backwards, from the store pointing at the Indian store manager who was yelling at him to Shoo. He bumped into me (didn't see me), then turned around and walked quickly away. The manager then apologized to me, and explained that the man would steal from the store, grabbing items off shelves and stuffing them into his jacket before running out. The manager then turned to one of the cashiers, who was black, and said "Your friend was just here again! He tried to come again!" While I don't think he meant it negatively, the cashier seemed to react for a second at the term "your friend" because he was the only black cashier there. Nothing poorly intended anywhere, but the choice of words made for an interesting result.
  • Last night, I was getting Serach something from the burger place and a customer who sounded a lot like Rocky was a bit frustrated with the Mexican man behind the counter. He decided that the delay (even though his burger was still cooking and he'd been waiting all of about two minutes) was annoying and said something along the line of "F*** you, n*****" to the Mexican guy, much to the surprise of everyone else there. He then proceeded to drop a couple more F-bombs over the next couple of minutes, including when he didn't realize that the guy before him was getting the same sauce on his bun and didn't understand why the worker was putting it first on that guy's before his. Finally, he demanded his stuff "to go", so the Israeli girl who worked there - who had spoken up at one of his outbursts - said "To go, PLEASE" to him. (He didn't seem to get that she was talking to him.) Finally, he left... with his 9-year old kid in tow.
All in all, I think each store acted properly, but it was really interesting to watch. Often stores either argue with customers when they shouldn't or in the wrong way, or they don't speak up when they should. This was nice to see. It was also interesting that in each case, the customers were [seemingly] longtime New Yorkers, while the people who spoke up were immigrants from other countries.

  • I was moving our car this morning (stupid alternate side), when I saw our friend DGEsq2 who recently moved with his wife from Chicago stumbling, glossy-eyed, to his car. I rolled down my window and noted "This is where you say 'I hate New York'", to which he replied "Yeah, and this is why I'm going to an 8:30 Shacharis instead of a 9. Ugh."
  • There were a ton of frum Jews at the Cavs-Nets game on Tuesday, including a couple guys who got Lebron to sign their jerseys. For an empty place, it was a little surprising, but I guess it's reasonably kosher, cheap entertainment if you live near there.
  • Nancy Pelosi is a moron:
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House and Senate would hold hearings the week after Thanksgiving and move toward a vote on a $25 billion loan package one week later if the Big Three come back with a plan that is logical and ensures that the companies will remain viable. ...The decision to call the House back into session next month does not depend on the quality of the plans offered, she said, but rather on the automakers meeting the deadline.
Have a great Shabbos!