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Let's Have a Look At the Other Side

From The American Horologist and Jeweler magazine, February, 1942

Let's Have a Look At the Other Side
By C. B. MOORE, El Reno, Okla.

Much has been said pro and con about the July Reader's Digest article "The Watch Repair Man Will Gyp You If You Don't Look Out."

While I have no sympathy for, and nothing in common with the Gyp Watchmaker, have nothing to offer for his defense, I do have sympathy for and defense to offer for the Watchmaking Industry.

Also, may I say, that I think Mr. Riis would have been more lenient in his writing had he been more familiar with the every day problems of the ordinary watchmaker. Gyp Customers are far more abundant and are as treacherous as Gyp Watchmakers, and don't kid yourself for a minute about that, -- I know-I have been exposed to both of them for 30 years.

Now, there is the Brother who will enter your place to tender you a watch that you have recently repaired.-The first thing he says to you will be something like this, he wants to know if you make your work good, after you assure him that you always strive to do whatever is right, then-after he has said about all that you will stand for bemoaning you with all sorts of sarcasm, making it appear as much as possible that he thinks he has been hi-jacked. You finally slow him down, though, and eventually he gives you the watch for you to look over.

Upon examination of the watch you find it has a broken Balance Staff, and sometimes you may find crushed jewels. You tell him your findings, the watch in your opinion has been dropped, or, struck with some violent force. As a reason for which you feel that you are no longer obligated to repair it free. He will then swear to his cork leg that no one but himself has had the watch since you last repaired it and that he pos-i-tive-ly knows that it has been only subjected to the greatest of care. However, when he sees that you are pat on your decision and that you DO know the watch has been a victim of 'unnecessary roughness', he will then, as a rule, weaken and give you that old story about his "brother-in-law" carrying the watch a day or so and he MAY have dropped it? Of course, you know he is not telling the truth, but what can you do about,it.-You then, after a couple of hours of your time has been wasted, get the watch to repair at the regular price, BUT YOU DON'T GET ANY PAY FOR THE TWO HOURS WASTED WITH HIM.

Many times I have been approached b!y this gyp customer, and upon examining his watch I would state that it needed cleaning. With the gesture of surprise and looking wise as Solomon, he retorts that I, even I, had recently cleaned it. Well of course, then the record book is drug out, which reveals that I DID clean the watch but that was exactly 2 years, 10 months and 4 days previous.
Right quick like, he tells me the record is wrong, that it couldn't have been that long for he well remembers that he had the watch cleaned the time his wife's brother's aunt from California was visiting them, (that was the time she gave junior the scooter).

When you are determined and consistent that the record is correct, pointing out to him that the watches are registered by consecutive numbers and that 9874 is scratched inside the watch case, that the dated pages are also consecutive, that the watch could not have been registered on that space 011 the book unless it was done on the mentioned date, when his resources for argument are completely exhausted, he will then break down and do the Charleston.

True, brother, the Gyp Watchmaker and the Gyp Customer are birds of a feather and a sore menace to the Watchmaking Industry. 

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