A few nights ago Clive Bull mentioned a new British poll which supposedly reveals the ten “most hated aspects of the weekly shopping experience.” In other words, the ten most common things folks find annoying about grocery stores…
I don’t do any of the big-time household grocery shopping, I’d lose it before I reached the canned meat aisle, but it seems like I’m constantly being sent (or I go on my own) to pick up fill-in items. Constantly.
So, I know a few things about grocery stores, bucko, and I’m going to briefly give you my thoughts about each of the complaints on the list. Starting now:
#10 Store temperature I have a feeling this is about old people always being cold. You know what I’m talking about. You see them all bundled up in heavy wool, in the middle of August, while everybody else is walking around with only their reproductive organs behind cloth. I don’t know what’s going on, possibly something to do with a lack of platelets? Who the hell knows?
But I love really cold grocery stores. In fact, I’m disappointed if there isn’t at least a thirty degree drop from outside to in. Supermarkets, more than just about any other type of retail establishment, will give you that satisfying, bone-chilling blast of cold in the summer. It’s fantastic.
So, the seasoned citizens need to quit their bitching before they ruin it for everyone. Just buy your enormous can of store brand coffee and move along, sister. The Price is Right is about to come on.
#9 In-store marketing promotions Are they talking about buy-one-get-one-free? What’s wrong with that?
Oh sure, the “regular” price is almost certainly bullshit, but so what? It gives me a justification to buy TWO large sacks of chips, instead of just one. Those so-called In-Store Marketing Promotions have been providing me cover for a couple of decades now.
Sheesh. If you don’t want to participate, don’t. Nobody’s pressing a gun to your head, and growling, “Buy far too much sausage. Buy it!” I have never seen, or heard about that happening. Not once.
#8 Confusing layouts Confusing? It’s a grocery store, not a hall of mirrors. Let me try to help you out…
The section where there are big bins of corncobs still in the husk? That’s produce, and not office supplies. The place where you see a man or woman dressed in white, placing shrink-wrapped steaks and hamburger into a giant open-top cooler? That’s the meat department, and not the counter where you can rent a carpet shampooer.
I could go on and on.
I really hope these complaints get better as we continue up the list, because this stuff is pretty lame so far. …Yeah, and now watch me go into a Wegmans, get all confused because the deli has been moved, walk out some unknown fire door, and my skeleton is eventually recovered in a ravine ten miles away.
#7 Pay-for trollies I’m not completely sure I know what this means. I assume a trolley is a shopping cart? And you have to pay for their use in England, like luggage carts at an airport? Is that the deal?
OK, I wouldn’t care for that, either. In fact, I’m getting a little steamed, just thinking about it. We have a social contract with grocery stores, and in exchange for our business it’s expected that a rolling metal basket with a disease and feces-smeared handle be offered for use, free of charge. Among certain other amenities.
It’s always been that way, and we want it to continue. When you start playing around with the fundamentals, you’re asking for trouble, Jim. What’s next, charging for bags at checkout? It’s ludicrous.
#6 Lack of stock Yeah, this one hacks me off, as well. Since I’m usually in the store to pick up only a few items, it’s infuriating when they’re out of business on one of them.
I was once a stockboy, during a previous lifetime, and endured many vein-snapping red-faced diatribes by grocery managers, because the store ran out of some item I was “managing.” So, I think I’ve earned the right to complain; if I was held to such high standards, so must the current zitsters.
It could be argued that we’re all incredibly spoiled, that we don’t know the true meaning of “lack of stock.” People who lived through World War II, or who were raised in Soviet Russia, would likely roll their eyes at our terrible, terrible inconveniences.
“Oh, how awful for you,” they’d probably say. “They’re out of the specific brand of honey mustard dressing you like, and now you’ll have to choose from one of the other ten brands? It’s your own personal Auschwitz!”
Man, people like that are really tiresome, aren’t they?
#5 Paying for carrier bags You’ve got to be kidding me! Do they also charge for the receipt in England? Do they levy a receipt creation fee? I don’t remember paying for any bags while I was there, and I certainly didn’t “rent” a shopping cart.
I did, however, check out their toiletries. For some reason I’m fascinated by foreign toiletries, and cereals.
Paying for carrier bags is a valid complaint, I believe. It would very likely cause me to say some things I’d later regret. It looks like we’re finally getting into the good stuff.
#4 Unhelpful staff I never ask anyone in a grocery store for help. It’s a matter of pride. I’d rather spend an entire afternoon wandering around the place, looking for taco shells or whatever, than admit defeat.
So, I can’t really comment on this one. I have a feeling, however, that it’s valid. Most of the people I see working in supermarkets look like they don’t have the energy to swivel their heads on their necks, much less direct me to the “Hispanic” section.
Generally speaking, I’ve learned, when people are introduced into a situation, that’s when it all starts swirling down the ol’ crap catcher.
#3 Short expiration dates Um, perhaps I spoke too soon about finally getting to the good stuff? I NEVER look at expiration dates. Until, of course, I take a swig of milk and rainbow-vomit in the general direction of the sink. Then I might glance at it.
But not in stores. Do you? I mean, seriously.
Occasionally I see someone buried to the waist in the milk cooler, looking for a gallon way in the back with a more favorable use-by stamp. And I mock him unmercifully inside my head:
Bravo! Bravo!! Well-played, my good man. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison have nothing on your great accomplishments. You’ve unlocked the code for buying slightly fresher milk! You should call it the Douche Method!
Short expiration dates is the pet peeve of crazy people.
#2 Other customers Yes! This would go at the top of my list. In fact, I could undoubtedly break it out into sub-categories and create a Top 50.
Off the top of my head, here are some of my “other customer” complaints:
People who sashay around with Starbucks cups as fashion accessories, just breezing through the store like they don’t have a care in the world, with their colorful neck scarves just so, getting in my freaking way.
Husband and wife shopping teams. Why? That shit ain’t natural. Why do they both need to be there? It’s not a two-man operation. One needs to go home, and stop getting in my freaking way.
People with a whole gang of chocolate-smeared children, running around and screaming and being obnoxious. These are the ones who generally scream at their kids, from one end of the aisle to the other: “DUSTIN, YOU GET THAT JAR OF PICKLES OUT OF YOUR UNDERWEAR RIGHT NOW! WHAT? I DON’T CARE IF IT’S COLD! GET THE PICKLES OUT OF YOUR PANTS!! ARE YOU RETARDED OR SOMETHING??” These people get in my freaking way.
And people who stand in line for ten minutes, and act surprised when it’s time to pay. As if it had never occurred to them that they’d have to actually pay money for the items they put on the conveyor belt. They only begin looking for their checkbook, or whatever, when the cashier tells them the final total. And we all have to stand there waiting, with these idiots in our freaking way.
This category could be a whole other update in itself, and probably has been multiple times. But I’m sure you get my general opinion on the subject.
#1 Self-serve till machines What?! Self checkouts are one of the greatest inventions of my lifetime. They’re fast (but, of course, I understand the highly complex procedure), and I don’t have to make forced chit-chit with some cashier with a BB in the side of her nose, who’s only being friendly because the front-end manager is up her ass about it.
How could this be at the top of the list? Above “other customers?!” I sincerely don’t understand. If you don’t like the self-checkouts, don’t use them. It’s not a requirement, after all.
Personally though, I love them. In fact, I avoid stores that don’t offer self-checkout. And I ALWAYS use them. Without fail. Can any of you explain why so many people apparently “hate” them? I’m completely baffled.
Here’s the article Clive was talking about, and I’d like to get your opinions in the comments section. What are your “most hated aspects of the weekly shopping experience?” Tell us all about it, won’t you?
And I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.
Have a great day, my friends.
Lori in Cbus says
jtb–Now I really love you!! I am also from Washington state (Aberdeen area) and I miss it terribly..I’m thisclose to just moving back.. but not to Aberdeen hehe
Not Oprah says
Just got home from work and am catching up on comments. Glad to see you on here AWG, I missed you Angry buddy.
Ok let me break this down:
#10 Some times my dick shrivels up like a stack of dimes. A smaller stack actually, this is a good thing.
#9 The reason i eat the shit out of madame curies frozen dinners is because the good ones are 2 for 5.
#8 I will admit that if I’m looking for something I’m not used to looking for I will have to do an SAT/Yellow Pages type of cross reference sleuthing to find my item. Pine nuts come to mind.
And there is always that section in the middle where the groceries transition to toiletries and novelties (like furniture) back to snacks/ pop (yeah, I said pop) and frozen foods. Kind of a no mans land for shit they can’t quite categorize.
However I’ve never been so confused by a store that it irritated me. Except why isn’t coffee in the laxative aisle?
#7 At aldi you pay for carts. It’s a quarter, let it go.
#6 Unless it’s the day before thanksgiving and I’m looking for a thawed turkey I don’t see this being a problem. Unless the zombies have risen, then this still really isn’t a problem.
#5 I buy the reusable bags because I care for this piece of crap planet we inherited from Hitler and Henry Ford. Get over it.
#4 What do you expect? Help with your trig homework? They make 8 bucks an hour. Help them out by cracking them in the heel with a trolly.
#3 If it’s on the shelf it hasn’t expired and that’s just when they can’t sell it anymore. Relax, the doritos will still be as good in a week.
#2 Other customers only suck if they are on the motorized carts, are with their entire family, or both. I shop at midnight to avoid this shit. Oklahoma City learned of my plans and makes sure that the store is always stocked with people with short expiration dates.
#1 I’m a fan, unless I’m behind the dick who is self scanning coupons, welfare, and his entire weekly supply of pot pies, corn dogs, and squeezable mayo.
Also, Home Depot should not have self check out.
Hey American League, go fuck yourself.
I’ve had to leave a deposit on a grocery cart in New Jersey and other dodgy areas, so I guess it’s becoming more common.
One was handled by a field full of Mexicans, and one is a garnish.
I hate the old people/cripples that hunch over and lay on their buggies whilst they shuffle around.
And you women that stop in the middle of the aisle.
Get the fuck out of the way!
I also hate the stores replacing the normal brands with their store brands. Everything is store brands. Is it too much to ask for DelMonte and Chef Boyardee?
Walmart’s labels look like the old 80’s black & white generic grocery store types.
“Never, never bend over unless it’s your last fucking option in the world.”
I won’t but the girl I’m dating sure better!
t-storm: You’ll see me in the frozen food section….bent over…wearing FMP’s….blonde, boobs, and butt. Big tattoo across my upper back… and no one complains. HA
hot fuzz says
bikerchick, for those of us that fantasize in color, what color FMPs and …well I was going to ask what color dress/skirt but you never really said you were wearing anything besides the FMPs….
That’s it…I’m off to buy some frozen parsley.
hot fuzz: FMP = Fuck Me Pumps. Not really a skirt girl. Nice pair of tightass jeans do the trick.
t-storm: that’s what my boyfriend calls me! But I’m a nice girl too…pinky out and all.
hot fuzz says
yes yes yes but what COLOR FMPs …. please say red please say red please say red
Sorry, I’m interrupting you and T-storm…
not interupting, it’s an open forum.
i say wear them to the meet and greet and bring your slutty 30 something friends.
hot fuzz says
Thanks T-storm but I can’t wear my FMPs too much any more – it hurts my back… oh wait… you meant bikerchick….
hot fuzz: for you…red it is.
t-storm: I’ll round them up
good, i think i just got dumped today. Not really sure, but pretty sure.
While we’re on the subject….check out the beer glasses at the bottom of this page and the next page!
t-storm: you have my shoulder to cry on
Far from me to break up the foot fetish-ing here, but I was in Costco yesterday (in my sensible DFWMFlats) and I came to the painful realization that I am physically unable to maneuver their carts. They’re not only deep and wide (that’s what she said), but tall. As in chest high on me. I feel like Alice in Wonderland. I had to turn over cart-pushing duties to my husband, much to the amusement of a passerby. And things like that just sort of encourage me to buy the five pound bag of M&Ms and strap it on like a feedbag.
More on topic, I think The Oatmeal has a novel way of dealing with other grocery shoppers:
i think i’ll live, i’m pretty resilient.
hot fuzz says
I went to Costco with the wife and daughter a short while back. I had had a few brews and was feeling pretty damn good about myself. As far as presenting a good example to my daughter about behaving in public while buzzed…
1. I turned to a small toddler in the rumble seat of a buggie and in my best Hannibal Lecter voice said “well hello little one” made the sucking noise and smiled…. the mother suddenly had to go the other direction
2. I referred to all the people that worked there as Costconians and welcomed people to the Land of Costconia. Several times and quite loudly.
3 I asked a Costconian if I could get a rain check. And could I then get the item when it came in? and could I get it for the price advertised today? When it comes in? Yes I successfully demonstrated my knowledge of a rain check.
I’m 45. Haven’t seen the inside of a grocery store in over 16 years. May death find me ere I do so again….