Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Why are We in this Handbasket?

And where are we going?

To hell, I tell you, straight to.

Let's trot out an old standard of a stable civilization: customer service.

I would like to state up front that none of what I say applies to Jane, she is the most awesome example of what a good employee should strive to be. That will make sense to those who know of whom I speak.

I have been shopping at the BiLo near my house for many years now. And I have seen it sliding downhill for the last year. Most notably is that hideous lobster tank that you can smell as soon as you enter the store. Smells worse than pluff mud in the sewer. Yum. Really puts me in the mood for food shopping.

Today I had not one, but two employees who were doing inventory not only leave their carts blocking the end of the aisles, but they didn't move them as I approached. Twice, I had to leave my cart, go to their cart, wheel it out of the way, go back to my cart. One, a female who was extremely busy flir-uh-talking to a male visitor, did toss me one of the most insincere "sorry"'s I've ever heard. I left her cart about four feet out in the main aisle. The second, a male, had the good sense to feel a little sorry and actually finished moving his cart after I'd begun.

Who comes first? The employee? The customer?

Perhaps this should be on the employment application.

Okay. So I make through the minefield of aisle blocking employees, manage to buy meat without gagging on the filthy aquarium smell and get to the register. And the girl running it might as well as have been dead. Really. I didn't know human beings were capable of moving so slowly and still have discernible heartbeats. I started bagging my own groceries after three other employees walked by on their way out the front door (where, when I left, I walked through their cloud of smoke) because if I'd let Morticia finish ringing up and bagging, my food would have been spoiled.

Now, I've complained about this before. But will someone please teach these young people what the f**k vegetables are? Really. Morticia holds up a bunch of celery.

"Whaddis?" she inquires.

"Celery," I reply.

She then stares, sweat beads popping out on her forehead, at the fruit/veggie code wheel of fortune. And spins it. And spins it. And spins it. And spins it. And spins it.

"Don't start with 's'?"

"No, dear, it begins with the letter 'c'."

And earlier this morning, I went by The GDC Home Furnishing Store, whatever it is called, on Sam Ritt. Now I know I don't look like some rich stuck up bitty who will drop a grand on some POS "distressed" kitchen table and I know I once positioned all their stuffed sheep in acts of fornication in the mattress room, but that was no reason for not one of the five employees I passed to greet me. No hello. No good morning. No "can I help you". Not even a damned good bye, have a nice day on my way out.

So I went somewhere else to buy what I needed. And got a good discount because the manager there loves and adores me. (Okay, so she's my mother, but she doesn't have to give me a discount!)

I'm not going anywhere else today unless it involves fine food and better wine!

Thor sez: Excuse me? You dare complain about service when we received salmon twice in a row?


pogren said...

Greetings from Indiana where the service isn't any better...sometimes. I did write a letter to my favorite store and copied it to the food editor at the local paper....both rec's lots of attention AND things really did change. I have noticed that when they get a new "crop" of employees (beginning and end of summer) it takes a while for them to get in the swing of things....But you are absolutely right in many of the places I shop store employees look at me like "How dare you come in here and bother me". It is very interesting to go into Abercrombe with my grandchildren only to be ignored until it comes time to pay....(they are 9 and 11) then my check book can get waitied on!! I love your style and insights....keep it up!!Pam, South Bend

Margo said...

Your cats are as spoiled as my children.

I'd say you need to find a new grocery store. I think the stinky lobster tank in itself would be enough to send me packing!

joan said...

Shall I print out your entry and mail it to them? :)