By Jonah Freedman
For my birthday I asked for a G-Shock. It’s the sort of thing that’s so ugly that it’s kind of cool. Often worn merely as an accessory, it is a staple of ghetto-hipster culture, branded by Kid Cudi himself. Anyway, the point is, I did receive one for my birthday. It was given to me by my sister. Excited to add a little ghetto to my wardrobe, I quickly opened the black hexagonal aluminum box. To my surprise however, a metallic grey watch with a red face lay in the box. I removed it and tried it on. There was something not quite right. Indeed it was a G-Shock, but there was a certain style that wasn’t being accomplished with this subdued colour scheme. It was almost too nice and normal, ruining, for me, the point of a G-Shock. No, I needed a colourful one, perhaps a purple or pink, and luckily enough the gift receipt lay folded in the bag underneath the watch. Doing some more research and consulting with Devon (he has a purple G-Shock with a red face), I decided I’d get the red one with an orange face.
And so, after ‘Sunday Hoops’ with the Power family, Phil (von Hann) and I trekked down to the Bay to exchange my G-Shock. We shuffled through the entirety of the store, traveling to every last floor in search of their watch department. With no employees in sight and the draining gray tinge of the store looming, things were looking grim. Traveling back down the escalator, we finally spotted a sign for ‘Men’s Accessories.’ Walking up and down the empty aisles of clothing, we finally found an employee who explained to us that the watches were on the opposite side of the store. Letting out an enormous sigh, we managed to drag ourselves over to the watch department. We circled the glass cases looking for the G-Shock section and sure enough, as we made our way around the final stretch of counter three red ones sat among various other coloured watches. I found an employee and explained to her that the G-Shock I had with me was a gift and that I wanted to exchange the watch for the same one in a different colour. I handed her my gift receipt and the watch and asked to see the red one in the glass case. I tried it on and then asked to also see the purple one, just to make sure. Deciding on the red one, I told the lady behind the counter that I’d like to exchange my grey watch for it. She explained that to do so I couldn’t simply switch the watches, but rather she had to give me a Bay Gift Card for the value of the grey watch and then I had to give her the gift card to pay for the red one. It all seemed overly complicated to me. So she scanned my gift receipt, only to find out that my watch was sold for thirty dollars less than the red one. I asked how that could possibly be the case when the two watches were identical save their colour. She explained that every week there is a sale on G-Shock watches and that this one must have been on sale. I explained to her that it was indeed on sale, but so were all the G-Shock watches, so I could have easily bought this new red one for the same price as the gray one. In addition to this, my mother, who purchased the watch for my sister to give me, was told that the watch could be exchanged at sale price. I was told however that this watch was not on sale this week and so they couldn’t possibly honour the sale price. The manger overheard our discussion and subsequently tried to tell Phil and I that they were not in fact the same model (they were), even though they may look exactly the same. She explained that “there must be something inside the red watch that makes it thirty dollars more than the grey one.” I argued for a bit as they continually asked me if I had a Bay rewards card. I don’t. Deciding that this really wasn’t worth the trouble, and deciding that I really wanted the red watch, I agreed to pay them the difference between the two watches. She apologized for the inconvenience and I vacantly said, “it’s okay.” I shouldn’t have said that.
In the end, the only positive experience from my excursion through the Bay was my new red G-Shock and a pleasant run in with Ms. Gauthier.