Today, I'm ultra-lame. I live in Manhattan, the sun has set and where am I on a warm Friday night? Boat Basin? No. Balthazar? No. Where? Best Buy, UWS. Doing what? Router shopping. Sidebar: like snow removal and lawn care, I think router shopping is a boy job.
I'm armed with the router spec sheet. My techie friend from (Post 233) did research for me so I don’t end up in the electronics department being hosed because I am the ultimate sorority girl, adult version. “Uhm, hi ... my name is Desi Girl and like my computer totally has this really bad virus, or something, and like I totally need a router-doo-hickie thingie…"
Once inside the two-level glass building I walk over to the information desk and ask where they keep the routers. They direct me to the back of the store. I step over to the counter and wait for help. A portly Indian boy whose name tag says Raj comes over. He is about 19 with clear skin and looks bored by the sight of me. Great this should be fun. Customer service in NYC is already an anomaly, but service by desis to desis can really suck.
“Can I help you?” Raj finally asks. Wow, to say he is bored is an understatement. It seems as though I have TROUBLED him to do his job, that hello, he is being paid to perform. And perhaps he hates working here. I used to work in a popcorn shop, believe me I know how to hate a job. Or maybe his parents are uber rich and make him work to learn the value of a dollar. I can relate to this too. When I was 12, I used to work in my parents’ popcorn shop. A side business Dad bought to teach my brother and I about earning and saving money. (Don't worry I was only pouring sodas and sweeping the floor).
Then again, Raj may subscribe to the old adage where sometimes Indians treat other Indians like shit because they can. This is what I don’t like about being Indian sometimes. There is something innately competitive about Indians and we don't ban together the way the Jewish community does. I find Indians, especially North Indians, are quick to blame the Muslims and then the British for enslaving them, but in reality desis are pretty good at drowning our fellow desi. With that said, not all desis are heartless --- some of my closest friends are desi --- Meera, Rohit and a host of college chums.
“I need a router. Where do you keep the D-Links?” I ask, very businesslike. Raj purses his lips, ones that are in desperate need of Chapstick. “Over there,” he says and points at something behind my back. When he finally looks up at me, he runs his tongue over his teeth.
Is he kidding me with this? He isn’t going to SHOW me? Fine, I don’t need him anyway.
I turn on my heel and walk away. I review my spec sheet and compare prices. From behind me I hear, “The D-Link you want is on sale, but I don’t know why you’d buy it." How nice of Raj to waddle over and help. “My tech friend recommended it,” I reply and silence Raj, who looks at me blankly. “Thanks for your help.” My tone dismisses him. He returns to the counter and glowers at me. What is his problem? He didn’t want to help, so he can't get mad that I have no need for his “customer service"? Sometimes I think Hindu pandits invented arranged marriage as a way to force nice girls to marry total dumbo-heads like Raj!