Jan. 14th, 2011

loopychew: (Default)
So I was in New York for a week over Christmas Break. Unfortunately, I didn't get to visit people outside of family things (plus, I was sick the first couple of days--stomach bug), so I didn't get to meet up with most of my friends at all. For the four or so days I was upright, there was a to-do list, on which one of the topmost items was: buy glasses.

So, I go with my mother and a couple of friends, one of whom was also looking to purchase glasses, and thus the decision was made to go to Mott Street Optical, which I recall going to regularly as a kid but don't ever remember buying glasses from there (maybe Jamie did). So after getting xiao long bao at New Green Bo (Nice Green Bo? Either way, awesome food), we walked the fifty feet to the store to get glasses, and I chose Tag Heuer 7104s, the make and model of which aren't particularly important or relevant to this post, but they're awesome glasses and look cool and stuff, and I kinda want to show them off. (So much that I actually took off my glasses to find the model number.)

No, the relevant thing to this post was the conversation my mother was having when discussing price. You see, my mom is a born haggler, and in Chinatown, something like a price tag was not going to stop her. Paraphrased from memory, the conversation between her and J (the clerk assisting us) was something like this (in Mandarin, of course):

Mom: So how much is this going to cost?
J: Well, the frames are $350, and it depends on what kind of lenses you want. Regular polycarbonate lenses are $100 and ultra-thins are $170, so the lowest price would be $450. Because I know you [they've dealt with each other before], I'll knock it down to $430.
Mom: $250.
J: $430.
Mom: I got you new clients (gestures to friends, who are fascinated by a pair of...Tom Fords, I think?). $250.
J: $420.
Mom: Okay, $280.
J: $420.
Mom: $300.
J: Look, I like you and everything, but I can't get that low. $400.
Mom: $300.
J: $380.
Mom: $300.
J: $380's my bottom line.
Mom: ...$350.
J: No, serious. I can't go lower than $380.
Mom: $350.
J: No, serious. I can't go lower than $380.
Mom: $350.
J: No, serious. I can't go lower than $380.
Mom: ...$350.
J: No, serious. I can't go lower than $380.
Mom: $350.
J: No, serious. I can't go lower than $380.
Mom: $350.
J: No, serious. I can't go lower than $380.
Mom: $350.
J: No, serious. I can't go lower than $380.
Mom: New clients. $350.
J: I would if I could. $380.
Mom: Okay...but you need to throw in the ultra-thins.
J: Can't do that, they cost extra.
Mom: Lawrence, are you wearing ultra-thins?
Me: No, these are standard polycarbonate.
Mom: Those aren't that bad.
Me: No, they're not.
Mom: $350, I'm not going any higher.
J: I can't get any lower without talking to my boss.
Mom: So get your boss!
J: He's just going to tell you the same.
Mom: Then get him out here.
[Around here, I faze out, and am sidetracked by my friend debating between those glasses and a pair of...I think CKs. When I get back:]
Mom: I've got your card. You know I can bring in more business for you. What's wrong with $350?
J: $380 is the lowest I can get you, and my boss isn't going to tell you any differently.
Mom: I'd like to talk to the boss.
J: You can't.
[Back to the other friend and the glasses. Three minutes later:]
Mom: Okay, $380.
J: Thank you. (goes to fill order)
(Beat)

That's when Mom turns to A, the guy helping out our friend.

Mom: Is J the boss?
A: (flatly) No.

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