Things are getting CRAZY around here. Spring workshops are in full swing, I think I have one day off in the next 40 days- and that’s just a day without a workshop, not a day with no work at all.
Last night I had to remind myself (again) that it’s okay to buy some things without a coupon. Because I’m going to be out of town all week, I needed some instant foods that my hubs could fix for the kids (we’re still saving money because we’re not supporting Pizza Hut). It was pretty late, so I made the decision to stop by the dreaded ‘low price’ discount super store (not mentioning names here, but it rhymes with Call Fart).
I’ve been in the habit of supporting actual grocers (you know, those places where you can’t buy a bicycle, ammunition, and smiley face underwear) where I’m treated like an individual.
As I walked through the store, I noticed couples arguing- EVERYWHERE! Almost every man had a scowl on his face and the corresponding woman was in a high pitched voice while wagging her fingers. Those that weren’t fighting looked sad.. like funeral sad. Well, I’m in this new ‘be nice’ mood, trying to become the perky woman that my husband so desires, instead submitting to my muddle through, gothic without the hair dye attitude. (Side note: I think it’s helping me to feel better while I’m fully awake, but I tire much more quickly. It takes way too much energy to be perky.)
Why was everyone mad or sad? I’m not sure, but I’m going to attribute it partly to the group of parents that thinks it’s okay to scream at their children in public, thus causing said children to screech uncontrollably, which reverberates off of the walls of a metal building, causing an increase in ibuprofen sales (another marketing technique?). I’m also going to attribute the other part to the subconscious sense of impending bankruptcy, because we all know that the risk increases when you hit that checkout lane.
At most grocery stores I’ve been in, when you can’t locate an item, you can locate an employee to help you find it. I spent 20 minutes scouring for someone, only to come up empty handed. I did eventually find a meat guy, but he was too busy griping to another customer about a new policy that requires him to wear a white coat, so I couldn’t get a word in (or pick up the product I so desperately needed that was behind him).
After a good 45 minutes, I headed to the checkout line. How they have developed a model that actually sucks time and money, I’ll never know. I was only the 3rd person in line (of which they had 2 of 15 open). I spent another 30 minutes there. When I finally got up to the register, I watched the prices like a hawk. The package of hamburger patties (my husbands favorite- ICK), rang up at a much lower price. This should cause one to jump for joy.. if you didn’t WANT a more expensive package. See, the package was only $1 cheaper, but consisted of Ground Beef instead of Ground Chuck. You save a fortune by buying Ground Chuck (like my unnecessary capitalizing?) because you don’t lose half of it when cooking. However, it was in the wrong spot- which I didn’t catch. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want the couple behind me to wait any longer. Since I wasn’t eating it, it wasn’t as big of a deal.
The cashier never spoke, didn’t even acknowledge that I was there- but remember, I’m trying to be perky, so I was super gracious to her. My phone did ring once, I answered it and quickly explained that I was in the checkout line and would return the call when I left the store. During that 2 seconds, the cashier started huffing because I was falling behind on putting my OWN bags in the cart (another pet peeve- how am I supposed to watch prices if I’m doing their job? Sounds like another marketing ploy to suck some more cash out of my pocket).
After I swiped my card and completed the transaction, I loudly told her to have a great evening and thanked her for her service. To which I received a reply of…. a blank stare. No sound, no smile, no smirk, no nothing. Did I mention that another pet peeve is speaking without acknowledgement? If I were to walk up to any person in the store and say hello, chances are I would be met with a response. How are paid employees any different?
Not to worry… all was fine when the door greeter wished me a wonderful evening as I exited the store- NOT! This irked me even more, because they feel the need to hire a ‘greeter’ at a very low wage to offset the rudeness of the rest of their employees? I guess it’s a lot cheaper than finding a way to make the rest of your employees happy.. by, oh, I don’t know… maybe benefits, higher wages, consistent schedules, and creating happier customers, thus causing a waterfall effect?
I left the store feeling like crap.. and it wasn’t because I paid full price. It was because I unwittingly handed over money to support a company who so obviously does not support their customers. I think I’ll stick with the friendlier stores, regardless of the cost or location.
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