Sunday, May 06, 2007

Suits you sir

UPDATED: What's worse than old people? What's worse than snowbirds? What's worse than the ghetto trash which rolls out of the trailers and into our store on a regular meth-fueled basis? Thaaaaaaaaats riiiiiiiight Johnny! European tourists. They love the Florida. Europe. It's where the history and the whiny come from.

I've got nothing against Europeans, per se. I love Britcoms, cave paintings, reindeer, Belgian chocolate, French food, Italian wine, Sophia Loren, Swedish boys and movies with subtitles (except the ones with Roberto Begnini). But European tourists are usually everything the stereotype makes them out to be.

So I've got this old German man (two for the price of one - old AND European!) who comes up to Customer Service wheeling this cheap black Wal-Mart luggage set.

He's got paler than pale skin and wearing a usual "I'm trying to blend in, but I don't know how" tourist get-up of black shorts and this ugly gray and red striped shirt. The shoes are some ugly Continental thing - black and leathery. Note: Color is your friend!

He hefts the luggage set up on the counter and asks for a price check. I scan it and tell him. $49.92. Total rip-off. Buy your luggage elsewhere. And don't be fooled by the "American Tourister" line at Wal-Mart. It is poorly made.

Anyway. He points to a tiny mark on the cloth, which looks like chalk, and says "This mark, they will give discount because is not good?"

**SIGH** This is not a marketplace in Bavaria. I am not the rosy-cheeked granny selling apples in a market stall on Sunday morning. I do not make bargains. I do not barter. I do not trade eight peaches for a chicken. This is the Wal-Mart. Retail behemoth. Oh, wait. They can't hack it in Germany.

But I'm authorized to give a ten percent discount, no matter what, because the usual markup is about 35% on anything bigger than a lightbulb on the merchandise side of the store. I inform him of said 10% discount. "Well, what is price?" I was severely tempted to go "What is attitude?"

I work the calculator magic, and it comes out to $44.93, plus tax. "I leave here, and go look for wife." "Um, OK."

At this point, I'm like please, just leave. I stick a note on the suitcase with the new price in case I'm busy and go on about my business. Over the next hour, he wanders by at least three times. I see him with a Snickers bar and a water, once again with a book and later just wandering. Never do I see the mythical "wife." I wonder if she did a runner like in "Bagdad Cafe?"

Finally, he comes back up and pronounces "I buy suitcase now."

The final total was $47.63. So basically, he got about $2 off the price of the suitcases. He pops out an American Express card, swipes and I give him the receipt.

He rolls the suitcase and I thank my stars this episode of the Barbarian Invasions was over.

PS: Bonus points for anyone who gets the reference in the post title.

BULLETIN: I leave my regular job and go to the food court at the mega mall near the office where I work for lunch today. WHO DO I SEE? That's right. Mr. Suitcase. WEARING THE SAME BLACK ON GRAY OUTFIT. Still sans wife. PS: Bavaria. It's where donut cream comes from!

PPS:
The post title is from "The Fast Show." It was also used with great effect in an episode of "The Royle Family" and parodied endlessly.

21 comments:

High-Maintenance & Hostile Heidi said...

Are you referring to Johnny Depp's sketch on The Fast Show?

Do I win something? Like a couple of free passes to return something past 90 days at Walmart? :)

Anonymous said...

LOL

bbcamerican said...

Well, if you raise enough sand, you can return anything at any time. So no prize there. Three weeks ago, a co-manager took back a ginormous flat-screen TV without a receipt and gave the man $1,094 in cash. I heard about this from the claims guy. You want a haiku or something?

Erin Bradley said...

The hotel clerk in Spinal Tap?

Songbird said...

Awww. I'm stumped. Is there a second prize for getting "where the history comes from"?

/planning to tour the south of Europe on a moped with no helmet, going "ciao"...

Jonathan said...

The waiter in Monty Python's the Meaning of Life?

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that just like Scotland and England are totally different countries, "Bavaria" (ie: the state farthest south in Germany.) isn't the country with bargaining market places. I take it you've never been to Germany? I'm pretty sure that even 50 years ago, they didn't have bargaining market places. Barbarian Invasions? Well, if by, "barbaric", you're refering to a place with inferior culture or customs, you might want to steer away from all of first-world Europe. "Barbarians" though, came from all over the planet and the term has been used since BC dates.

For wit to be effective, it needs to be accurate and not thrown together in some haber-dasher style. Maybe he was terribly annoying but since Americans ask you for discounts every day & the stereo-typical description of a bargainer is more akin to someone from India, the Middle East or perhaps Mexico, because bargaining is indeed, part of their culture, the "Bavarian Marketplace" visual falls absolutely flat on its' face.

Your analogies only exhibit extreme ignorance and how tiny your view of the world is. The reading here isn't bad at all, just work on your linkage of concepts/comparisons.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Douche, Ph.D: Please keep your nonsense thesis on your ideas on how people should put together "world-view" jokes to yourself. Also, placing a dash between "haber" & "dasher" makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

When you mentioned the chalk mark, I envisioned you slowly putting your thumb in your mouth, then using the spittle to ever-so-gently wipe the chalk mark away, and saying "NO."

Mercedes Lopez said...

The Suit You Tailors

Two of The Fast Show's most enduring characters, the Suit You tailors, Ken and Kenneth, spawned a generation of people who can't pass a certain high street menswear retailer without a smirk.

Suit You!The sex-obsessed pair sidle up to customers and then unleash a torrent of filthy suggestions about their client's personal life.

'Were you with a lady last night sir? Did she want it sir? Ooh, suit you!'

Love google; just dump the phrase in and MAGIC happens. Too bad I was last, on bbcamerican, they give out cash in your store?

Man you guys are getting raped; they probably stole it; 1 loss, they now return it and you now have to sell it at a lower price since it is open box so you lose 10-20 percent if your cheap on the discounts more if your not.

Anonymous said...

"Are you being served?"

Julie said...

That line has got to be from the show "Are You Being Served?" That's hilarious.

Can't believe some American show copied it.

damon said...

Actually, your German friend sounds relatively tame compared to some of my fellow American tourists here in Germany. Just a hint--tourists are morons everywhere. We can trade stereotypes if you want. For example, the American fashion of always wearing white socks is a little less than attractive. btw, your previous poster was right. Reactions to bargaining at German market (esp. in Bavaria) will earn you reactions ranging from a very dirty look to a strict talking to in some very unfriendly German. You probably ought to get out more.

C N Heidelberg said...

Are you sure this guy was German? His bad English structure isn't typical of the bad English structure of a typical German-who-doesn't-speak-English-well.

Anonymous said...

One of the news magazine shows had a special about how to get a discount and never pay full price at any retailer.Within three days I felt like Walmart had turned into Lets Make A Deal.Customers would bring up items with damaged boxes or ones that had been opened wanting to get a better price on it.We were constantly telling them the items inside were not damaged so no discount.Everyone always looks at any walmart store like it makes tons of money and can afford to lose money.When they dont make the projected numbers the stock price bottoms out and the stock owners are not happy.

Jabes said...

Trinny and Susan used the "Suits you sir" line to great effect in one of their "What Not To Wear" shows, this one about the various types of men as defined by their styles of dress. Hilarious. I still haven't seen the original show it came from, though.

High-Maintenance & Hostile Heidi said...

You want a haiku or something?

BBC, I would absolutely love a Haiku...especially from YOU, one of my favorite bloggers! I will treasure it always...unless I can return it for something else!

Meline said...

In Germany, they have what they call a Wertkauf, usually a very large two story building. Name an item, any item, they have it. Damaged? Sorry, pay price on sticker. (or was it because I couldn't speak German...)

S E E Quine said...

` Heidelberg is right. Bad English sounds Russian.

` Sounds almost cute in comparison with the people who live in my building.

` I so do not want to go to another country so I don't look like that to other people.

Anonymous said...

Ghehe, cool!
Actually, it is not that uncommon to bargain here in Europe. I am dutch and it will happen on occasion that people bargain to get a bit of a piece of merchandise that has something wrong with it. It is no biggie.

Anonymous said...

just read a few posts... wow what a sarcastic disillusioned bitch. hates pretty much everyone. basically, humanity sucks because she works at walmart and hates it. sad thing is this kind of attitude is probably typical among thousands and thousands of overworked and underpaid "associates" of all major retail chains not just walmart. but walmart is probably the worst. well chance is i will get fewer hateful looks from those associates as with the advent of blogging some of them found a better way to vent their frustration... then again, there are probably as many disillusioned busboys out there... those too should seek relief in venomous blogging, instead of spitting in their customer's drinks...