Friday, June 24, 2011

Reduced to rudeness

I think road rage probably begins in the grocery store.
After three and a half decades of grocery shopping, I would like to retire from this chore. Since that isn't likely to happen, I do try to avoid peak shopping hours so that the store won't be as crowded with frantic shoppers trying to get what they need as inexpensively (ha!) and quickly as possible.
Once upon a time we had a choice of grocery chains in this part of Michigan. Great Scott, A&P, Chatham, Farmer Jack and Kroger were all big names. One by one they began dropping off. Chatham and Great Scott disappeared a few decades ago. Farmer Jack bought out A&P and modernized some of the old locations and built new stores. Then they disappeared, some sites being bought by Kroger.
Kroger is the only large chain store remaining in SE Michigan. We do have Meijer stores (MI based, also in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky) but they are like Walmart Superstores, meaning they are huge and not convenient for a quick grocery shopping trip. Kroger stores are like Walgreen drugstores around here. Is this comforting or depressing? Remember corner drugstores and mom and pop groceries?
But I digress. My issue this morning was that Kroger was full of outsourced people stocking shelves and doing inventory. Many shoppers did not realize that the maroon shirts worn by the inventory people (there must have been at least 20 working at 10:00 am) were not Kroger employees. As the store has been recently reorganized, shoppers were asking where items were now located. Some of the inventory people politely explained that they didn't work for Kroger and didn't know where the items were stocked. Others must have been asked too many times and were pretty blunt about saying they didn't know where maraschino cherries are. (Baking supply aisle now, not by ice cream cones and chocolate syrup)
And then there was the man stocking snacks. He dropped a bag of chips and I teasingly said "aha! That's how the crumbs get into those bags" but he didn't have a sense of humor. Not only my voice but the smile on my face should have been indication that I was kidding. Oh well, maybe he was having a bad day.
As luck would have it, I ran into him and his supply cart (huge thing, not a shopping cart) three more times. The first two times I backed up out of his way because of my sense that he was having a lousy day. On the third encounter, when his cart was blocking the entrance to an aisle, I decided his bad day wasn't justification for inconveniencing anyone else. I moved his cart clear away from the aisle entrance as he glared at me. I glared right back. As my cart clipped one of the cartons on his cart, I reached out to steady it but dropped my hand once I saw it wasn't going to fall off.

Normally I wouldn't behave like this, and yes, I know it is a small thing to confess to anyway. It bothered me that he couldn't acknowledge shoppers like me who had backed out of his way. No "thanks" or even a nod of the head. I had noticed the looks of other shoppers who thought both he and some of the inventory people were rude. The assistant store manager was near the check-out and I mentioned this to her. I don't know what Kroger can do about it, but with many shoppers thinking everyone in the store is Kroger personnel, it reflects poorly on them.

I thought I was over this until I reached the 4 way stop at the intersection close to my house. The woman across from me had reached the intersection first but wasn't moving. She didn't have a turn signal on. I began to turn right and she decided to turn left in front of me. Still no blinker going, but her mouth and hand were busy on her $%#& cell phone.
I handled this maturely. I ran her off the road, tied her wrists together with a Kroger bag and shoved a bag of potato chip crumbs in her mouth. 
See? I told you road rage begins in the grocery store.


Chatty Crone said...

This was so cute and unfortunately true!

The other thing I noticed at our Kroger - they are getting rid of all the selection and are putting in their own labels - er!

No one seems too friendly in the stores anymore!

Jaclyn Hicks said...

Oh Knitty,

This is so very true!!! Thankfully, my husband has no problem running to the store for a few things (it's his chore!!), and since I make a lot from scratch, usually, the list is a few items long.

I wish I could lend him to you, for some assistance!! Take care.

Kelli said...

There's just no excuse for behaving that way toward customers. I think you showed great restraint. I would have been tempted to 'accidentally' bump into his big ol', aggravating cart! ;)

Rudee said...

LMAO! Your tale of woe rings true, which is why I avoid Kroger, and Meijer like the plague. I may pay more, but I like to shop at Holiday Market in Royal Oak, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Westborn. If I'm on the east side, I get what I want from smaller markets like Biondo's and Randazzos.

I had no idea Kroger was outsourcing stock personnel. I'm not surprised.