The Israeli moment series will be reinforcing negative Israeli stereotypes. Yeah, I know, that’s bad. It’s just been a particularly ballaganistic week, so please let me indulge.

Dryclean Guy: You had the green dress, right?
Me: Yep.
Him: Ok, it’s 40 shekels.
Me: Okay. :::hands over money::: (bad move)
Can I check it out? :::checks it out:::
What’s this? :::referring to a big area of patchy discolorations:::
Him: Nothing. What?
Me: This whole area is discolored.
Him: It’s from when you washed it.
Me: I’ve never washed it, I just brought it in to be drycleaned!
Him: It’s from when you sat and your shoe got caught on it. (Huh???)
Me: It comes to here. :::points at knees::: My shoe never got caught on it.
And the texture is all weird. You totally ruined it.
Him: You washed it and that happened, you cleaned it somewhere else, I saw their tag on the inside.
Me: What are you talking about? I wore it once and brought it here after I spilled something on it! Now it is all discolored and bally. :::turns it over::: And you didn’t even get out the stain!! I want my money back, I’m not paying 40 shekels for a dress that is still stained and on top of that is ruined…
Him: Can I explain before you…
Me: Fine.
Him: We got out the stain and we put it in the machine.
Me: No you didn’t! The stain is still right here.
Him: You showed me another stain.
Me: No, I showed you this and this. Can’t you see that they’re still there? And the color is all off. And there’s these spots on the back. Can’t you see? I came here for a service and you didn’t provide it, so I shouldn’t’ have to give you money for that.
Him: I worked on it, it takes time. I ironed it, I’m running a business.
Me: I understand, but I didn’t bring it here for you to iron it, I brought it here for you to take out the stain. You didn’t do that so I’m not paying. I understand you worked on it and that takes time, so fine, take 5 shekels, but I want 35 shekels back. The dress is ruined.
Him: I don’t need your 5 shekels.
Me: Fine.
Him: Fine.

It was almost as annoying to live as it was to read.

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  • Rule #1: The customer is always wrong.
    This is the rule in all non-English speaking countries. Israeli corrolary #1: the longer you are a customer and the friendlier you get the more you will be taken for granted and the worse shape your laundry/dry cleaning will be in.

  • Cary a bottle of iodine in with you next time. “Hey! You just dumped that on my shirt!”
    “…No I didn’t. You did that when you cut your finger yesterday.”
    “I didn’t cut my finger yesterday.”
    “Yes you did, then you spilled iodine on your shirt.”

  • Would it be accurate to say “semi-to-socialist” countries instead of Mark’s “non-English-speaking”? Japan has good service. Will that guy still be running a business for long with that attitude?

  • ok, I”m gonna have to add my own little Israeli stereotype story. Just happened yesterday, and I’m still pissed.
    So, flying British air from JFK to Ben-Gurion, my flight is delayed en route to London, so I miss my connection. They bump me over to El-Al so that I don’t have to wait 12 hours till my flight, only 6. Shoulda stayed with british, at least they aren’t 3rd world.
    So, I land in tel aviv, exhausted, the flu bugs I’ve been entertaining for the last week decide to celebrate mardi gras in my head, and of course, my luggage doesn’t show up.
    So I trek over to the lost and found desk, where they take my information. I ask them about compensation, since of course my toothbrush, deodorant, and all my clothes are somewhere in limbo…and I smell like butt having run across heathrow trying to catch my original flight.
    “Well” Guy, the smug looking jobnik type behind the desk says “we pay 75 dollars, but you are an israeli resident, and only tourists get compensation.”
    I guess the rationale is that you have stuff in the country if you are a resident, so they don’t need to give you money to buy stuff. Only problem is, all my stuff was in my luggage.
    “no I’m not, I’m an american, who happens to speak hebrew, this is a US passport”
    “Well, we don’t offer compensation to Israeli residents.”
    “But i’m not Israeli, I’m just going to school for a few months.” which is true.
    “but you have an aparment here” also true, but besides the point.
    “yes, but that is because I go to school here, and besides, all my stuff was in my suitcase. Can I talk to your supervisor, please.”
    wait five minutes, so that she can walk the 15 ft. to the counter…
    “So you are not a resident, well, why do you have an apartment?”
    Apparently she is a detective, and is going to catch me in a lie. I feel like breaking down and sobbing, you’re right..I’m ISRAELI, I’m just scamming you, I have an american passport and lost my luggage on purpose…just to get your 75 dollars. Right.
    Instead I say.
    “Because, as I said to Guy, I am going to school for a few month here.”
    “well, do you have a ticket to go back?”
    “Of course”
    “Can I see it”
    “No, it’s an e-ticket, which is what most people use in the 21st century. It’s quite amazing, maybe you’ve heard of it”
    “Well, I can’t give you anything without a return ticket” And that was that. I was discrimated against because of my good hebrew and lack of a paper ticket…two things that up until that point, I had considered assets, not liabilites.
    Now, the best part of this whole thing is… that last part of the conversation was repeated 4 times. Yep, i said I have a ticket, so they should give me compensation, and they said so show it to us. Ahhh…but it is an e-ticket, so let me get to the internet, and I”ll show you.
    It’s felt a lot like who’s on first, but only if abbot was an exhausted, severly annoyed American kid with the flu and dirty underwear, and costello a bleached blonde mega-biatch israeli.

    and to top it all off, they can only drop my bag off between 11-12 am. who the hell is home at 11 AM?!?!?

  • If you substitute dry cleaner George Jefferson, (the actor Sherman Hemsley), for the Dryclean Guy, it is not as annoying and it becomes a lot shorter.

    George Jefferson: You had the green dress, right?
    Me: Yep.
    George Jefferson: Ok, it’s 40 shekels.
    Me: Okay. :::hands over money::: (bad move)
    Can I check it out? :::checks it out:::
    What’s this? :::referring to a big area of patchy discolorations:::
    George Jefferson: Nothing. And I have your money; now get the hell out of my store you stupid, honkey Jew!

    The End

    Hey isn’t “Sherman” a Jewish name?

  • Mayer, I fly to UK ‘often’. Prefer it over British anyday. And British was responsible for not getting your luggage on the plane, not EL AL.

    I used to love to hate EL AL, but after flying so much more (though I haven’t used the Asian cos yet), I have to say I prefer them of the other airlines.

  • All the guy was trying to tell you is: ‘I don’t want you as a customer’.
    But I agree, he should have been up front about it.