I Should Have Known

So my helping out the cigar shop is over. Well maybe it isn’t but I do have pride so basically it’s over. It was humorous. Brandon at the cigar shop called me last night and we talked about the situation. I surrendered my key on Tuesday night as Shlomo had instructed. It was actually Israel’s key, but since Shlomo is his partner I figured I should listen to Shlomo. Well Israel didn’t like the fact that I gave his partner Shlomo the key. Since I wasn’t going to be in on Wednesday as they would have liked, I thought the new guy, Moishe was going to need it anyhow.

Still it left me without knowing where I stood. Yesterday when I returned from New York City I stopped by the cigar shop. There was Moishe with a friend just sitting there. I asked for Shlomo and Moishe told me I just missed him by a half hour. I asked him if he was going to be working today since I usually help out on Thursday and Moishe said he was. So I walked away, figuring it was over. Brandon, being the one most capable of the incredibly rare skill of communicating, was who I called later on.

And Brandon claimed that he did not know anything. Where Moishe told me I just missed Shlomo, Brandon told me that Shlomo had flown to Tel Aviv at noon on Wednesday afternoon. Brandon said he would talk to Israel and Israel should call me later last night. I was up until 12:30, no phone call from Israel. Since there was no text from Shlomo, no phone call from Israel and nothing from Brandon (even less from Moishe) I was happy to sleep late until 9:00. Still bloody cold outside, I was also happy to stay in. It was better than sitting in a cigar shop wearing my coat and hat with very little heat like I did on Tuesday.

Despite the cold I did go outdoors and had a walk around Hoboken. A short volunteer trip at the bibliothèque and then I walked to the Guitar Bar and chatted with Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro. I went to the post office for Jim and stopped by Hoboken Cigars located across the street from the post office. Some of the workers seemed to recognize me from helping out at the cigar shop, but I just stepped in and got a quick smoke before heading out. I took a photo of Hoboken Cigars and posted it to my Facebook page. A patron from Facebook said it was a great shop and I agreed.

Israel saw it and chimed in, ‘Enjoy it my friend’. I commented in return that I did while waiting for a phone call which never came. I walked up the street, past the cigar shop where to my surprise was Shlomo. He did not go to Tel Aviv after all. He motioned for me to come in but as I was smoking a cigar I dared not. After all just like there is no fighting in the war room, there is no smoking in the cigar shop. He came out in the cold and wanted to know what was going on.

I mentioned that I heard he was in Tel Aviv. He said he wasn’t- which to my untrained eye, seemed obvious. He asked if Israel called me and I said he hadn’t. He didn’t know what to say. I did not mention that on the phone call last night Brandon sort of offered me the night shift and weekends to help out. I told him I would think about it but with the lack of communication that they have shown, it seemed doubtful. It’s too bad since Brandon is a nice guy.

After talking with Shlomo on the street, I came home after running errands, made dinner and after that the phone rang. It was Israel. He seemed upset. He asked what was going on and I proceeded to let him know. How nonexistent communication causes problems and obviously there are problems since no one communicates. I pointed out the example of a week or so ago, they called me in and I went, thinking it was the usual 9 to 5 thing. It was the rare occasion that Shlomo, Israel and Brandon were in the same room, plus a roller. They were off to a wedding expo.

Cigar rollers are a thing that goes on at receptions these days. They got their stuff together and left. At 5:00 I texted Brandon asking what was going on. He responded they were at the wedding expo and would be there for a few more hours. I was upset which I think would be understandable. No one said when they would be back, and perhaps I was foolish to think they’d be back at 5:00 or maybe 6:00. I also mentioned that their filing system looks like it was created by Helen Keller to which Israel suggested that I work for Helen Keller then. I had to tell him Helen Keller was dead.

I explained that all I wanted them to do was buy an accordion file and I would index and file all their paperwork and invoices. This was something I suggested to Shlomo several times and was ignored just as many times. I thought about getting them one for Hanukah but figured that they would be better off doing it themselves. Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach that man how to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime, unless he doesn’t like fish.

It started getting heated. Israel seems to be a bully and had no problem interrupting me as I spoke but if I interrupted him, then he would be greatly upset. Apparently he is quite used to getting his way. How very Netanyahu. It ended with me wishing him good luck, hoping nothing happened with the cigar shop, which being a Zionist- took it as a threat when there was no threat. I explained that I’ve been in Hoboken for 30 years. I know the people, I have a pretty good idea how they act and I also know people in city hall. He took that as a threat as well.

He went off about how he found out I was smoking in the store, when I wasn’t. I explained that I was the one, out of Shlomo and Brandon and myself- that did not smoke in the store. But he got a phone call that said I did smoke in the store and I remember that day very well. It was a few weeks ago, Brandon was in when I came in, just passing through. A salesman stopped by and blessed the store with some new cigars and so I clipped one so I could smoke it later.

But someone walking by saw me with the unlit cigar in my hand or in my mouth so therefore even though it was not lit, it was said I was smoking. Israel took the word of strangers over someone who handles his money, his stock and his store itself. I showed loyalty to someone who had no loyalty to me. If I was a thief there were plenty of opportunities for me to clean them out. But I am not a thief, I’m a good guy. It is basically his loss overall.

Believe me, I can do damage. But I won’t do damage. It is not my style, and it’s wrong. I’m not that vindictive.

So the cigar shop is over, with Israel saying that he was not letting me go, that it seems to have been my choice. He also said that he heard that I had gone on an interview and that I would leave them in the lurch should I get a real job. That wouldn’t be me. In fact during that interview, the cigar shop was discussed and the interviewer mentioned that it would be alright if I would have to give the cigar shop two weeks notice, which is what I would have done. Israel said that he had gotten burned like that before and just knew I would do the same thing since I am just like those other people. And I did not bring up the contraband, for which Bill thinks would be a good reason not to be there should the state department visit and ask about certain Habanos.

An hour later-
I just got back from the cigar shop, picking up my barter for the two days I did work this week. Shlomo and Brandon were there. Shlomo commented about how bad Israel is with communicating and I wasn’t about to let Shlomo off the hook. I told him he is even worse than Israel with communication, how I could be working with him for an hour, then all of a sudden he just gets up and walks away, not to be seen for hours or until the next day, at least not by me.

I told them how Shlomo and Moishe sat there on Tuesday for 7 hours in the basement smoking and not saying anything to me. No ‘John this is Moishe, he’ll be helping us out.’ I shut Shlomo down with this, calling him on his own hypocrisy. Shlomo did mention that both Israel and Brandon would be leaving the cigar shop, onto other things and Brandon didn’t disagree. I told them I doubted that I would be going back there again and they hoped that wasn’t the case, that they might still need me from time to time.

I explained that I do have pride and after dealing with that Zionist hoodlum himself, Israel, I couldn’t really see myself working for him again. They both replied, ‘Oh but he’s never around and not going to be.’ I wonder if Israel knew about that. If he did why would he be so upset when he had his quite irate phone call earlier with me. I figure if someone was leaving a company or business, they would more than likely not give a shit. Or perhaps it’s just that miscommunication is better than no communication at all.

A subtle memory- The only person who I mentioned the interview to at the cigar shop was Brandon. It was after the fact and I told him in passing. I was taken aback when Israel brought up the interview and told both Brandon and Shlomo outside the shop how surprised to hear Israel mention it. Shlomo was as usual dumbfounded and Brandon was immediately in denial, and suggested that it was Shlomo. I pointed at Shlomo while talking to Brandon and said “Shlomo didn’t know. You were the only one that I told.”

Those lights

Those lights

I walked home feeling like George Costanza.
Army of Me

2 thoughts on “I Should Have Known

Leave a Reply