Sunday, November 12, 2006

With this ring

Saturdays in the Jewelry Exchange are busy. Outside, the Veteran's Day parade was going by. Inside, an endless parade of happy, hopeful young couples rode the elevators, bouncing between jewelry stores, juggling a desire for the best price with the ability to maintain stamina. There are a lot of jewelry vendors in those buildings. Having a successful day there requires a game plan--the kind we didn't have, similar to the kind you need to shop the Wrentham outlets without literally dropping from exhaustion.

Other than the fact that all the stores seem to have the same inventory, and that Barmakian heats their showroom to tropical levels (perhaps hoping that customers will become so incapacitated by the temperature that they'll buy something just to get the hell out of there), what struck me was the attitude of the salespeople. Generally when a salesperson wants you to buy something, they're nice to you. In the Jewelry Exchange, not so much. Sullen, impatient, pushy, resentful, annoyed--yes. Helpful or nice, no. And if you don't want the biggest bling possible, or if you don't want to break 4 digits on the price, god help you. Going on what we encountered in 4-5 stores, we were not worth the salesperson's time.

Buoyed by emergency Starbucks, we visited 8 stores and ended up getting rings at the very first place we'd gone. Isn't that always the way it works?

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