Apartment/World HQ

Yesterday I posted the entry about my new phone, but I neglected to mention the katzenjammer that I had to go through to buy it.

I spotted the phone on a sketchy webpage, but I didn’t want to pay the $35 fee to have it delivered because, let’s face it…I’m cheap. I figured that if I visited the vendor in-person, I would be able to get the phone immediately with the possibility of negotiating for a cheaper price for the phone. When the weekend came, I picked up my friend and we headed to Queens, NY home of this company’s headquarters.

While my gps system predicted the entire trip to take 55 minutes, it took us well over 2 hours to get there. I attribute this time extension with the fact that the headquarters was the size of the head of a quarter.

I drove up and down the street that was listed on their website and looked for a store with the number “14848” on it, but the location didn’t seem to exist. After driving past the location 3 times, I parked the car and continued the search on foot. We walked down one block and found the place that we were looking for…or did we?

Their “headquarters” was a dirty first floor apartment in a 2-family house with no doorbells. No, scratch that. There was a doorbell, but the wires were cut and exposed, possibly by an angry customer. I knocked on the door to ask where the real showroom was and a young middle-eastern male frantically opened the door while 3 other males in the background stood behind boxes, all staring at me. When he opened the door, he did it in the same manner that most pothead college students open the door when they’re in the middle of smoking a joint/blunt/marijuana/cannabis/ganja.

I walked in and waited for the previous customer to finish his transaction as I looked around. The place was filled with boxes…filled. I have reason to believe that the boxes were there first and they built the [dirty] house around them. There were 4 guys: one salesman who persistently said “my friend”, one go-getter who knew exactly where each phone was located in the sea of boxes, one secretary who answered the phone and yelled random phrases from the background, and one security guard, who tried to put on his meanest face while intensely staring at us.

The security guard was getting very weird, so I asked him a question to ease the tension. Suddenly, he dropped the whole facade and answered me in a foreign language. I assume that he thought I understood what he just said, but he was mistaken. I just nodded and continued waiting.

When it came time, I sat in the chair and started the phone searching process, knowing fully-well that I wanted the Motorola v635. I said “I want a phone with bluetooth, a camera, and speakerphone for under $200” the salesman immediately sent his go-getter to fetch me a Motorola Razr. I then told him that I wanted a v635 for the price of the Razr and he responded, “My friend, NO NEGOTIATIONS, my friend, my friend.”

First rule of negotiating: No means yes.

We kept going back and forth for a short while, then I left to get money and to strategize. A few minutes later I returned and was able to get the phone for $4 less than the listed price. This was my most unsuccessful negotiating attempt ever, but $4 off is better than full price.

Now, I like to cater to all audiences on this site so here are two alternate endings, both for the optimist and the pessimist.

Optimist: I got a great phone at a decent price, and I didn’t lose my life in the process.
Pessimist: There is a possibility that I just funded terrorism.

Either way, my phone works great.

Katzenjammer: I am fully aware that the word “katzenjammer” was used in the wrong context, but I just learned the word yesterday and I needed to use it in an entry to flex my verbal muscles.