When I first moved to New York from the Midwest, I was a little taken aback by the city’s pace and slightly rude demeanor, but I quickly learned that brusque manners are merely a disguise for efficiency.
To illustrate, soon after my arrival, I found myself in the jewelry repair department on the eighth floor of Macy’s, where several customers were awaiting service. When my turn finally came around, I explained to the harried clerk that I needed a battery replacement for my watch.
Without looking up, he barked, “Name?” I started to spell my last name, but he abruptly cut me off before I could finish, saying with exasperation, “Too long!” and handed me a ticket for pickup.
The letters “MARQ” were written on the top of the ticket.
Now I know how the immigrants at Ellis Island must have felt.