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Fuck you Germanos - I lose my rag in Kalamata

Tom Winnifrith
Saturday 2 September 2017

No this is not the nation that took over Greece in the 1940s and again via the EU seventy years later, this is the biggest computer accessory chain in Greece. Its Kalamata store is right in the centre of town within yards of my bank and also the office of my lawyer here, the charming Natasha. I am a regular at Germanos and earlier this week wandered in asking for a lead to connect my camera to my PC to bring you photos of Greece.

"Come back on Saturday when I will have one" said the little man to whom I had been directed and who has, in the past, "fixed" my laptop in the same way that dear old Dr Harold Shipman used to "fix" his elderly patients. Thus, this morning, I drove with my son and heir, Joshua, the one hour to Kalamata. Amazingly we found a parking spot within ten minutes of Germanos and off we went.

"Come back in an hour" said the little man who was again on duty. He is the sort of charmless geek who, one imagines, has no social life whatsoever and spends his leisure time as he spends his work time staring at screens. You would not bet the ranch on him scoring terribly highly in the personal hygiene or girlfriend department. But Joshua and I headed off as instructed and went to an internet cafe where used the fast connection to upload tomorrow's bearcast and enjoyed a coffee. Joshua smiled and waved at anyone whose eye he caught. My boy has the patience of a saint.

Ninety minutes later we returned to Germanos where, after queuing for 15 minutes we were asked by the same little man to wait for five minutes. The snivelling little man scuttled off to the store room searched some shelves and did not call us back. After about ten minutes he had no customers to protect him and I wandered over to give him a Paddington Bear type stare. Joshua did the same. Hopelessly he offered up a lead which fitted into my camera at one end but not to my computer at the other. I asked if there was another lead to connect the non camera end to my PC and he said No. I think even he realised that the product he was offering to sell me was therefore of no use whatsoever.

It was at this point that I finally lost my temper. As a crowd of customers elsewhere in the store and the other staff watched I started to shout about how I had travelled an hour in to pick up something he had promised would be here and then how he had jerked us around today. The man stammered, as pathetic little computer geeks do, so that spurred me on to recount the whole tale again in even more animated tones, conscious that the whole store was now staring,

At that point the manager intervened. I was asked to wait a few minutes and I was soon presented with a memory stick which allows me to transfer photos at will. It works and I have already started to use it as you will see shortly. The stick had of course been on the shelves all along. The manager could not have been more apologetic and said he hoped I enjoyed my holiday. I did not have the energy to explain that I semi-lived here and I WILL BE BACK. That surprise for all at Germanos, which is still the best store in town, can wait for another day.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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