Tuesday, March 06, 2007

the supermarket will be the death of me

the supermarket down the street from my house is trying to kill me.
no clear pattern has emmerged, but to date, this supermarket has tried the following:
1. to run me over with several cars
2. to give me a stroke
3. to run me over with shopping carts
4. to suck my brain into a black hole of non-function

i don't know what it is about this particular supermarket, but something bad happens EVERY SINGLE TIME i shop there.


it started about two years ago, not too long after the store opened. it was about 3:30 am, and i was driving to my parent's house after work, because i was staying with them for the holidays. as i neared the supermarket--which is literally a mile down the street from my parent's house--i decided to swing in and pick up a few things i needed for a dish i was taking to a holiday party the next day. the store is open 24 hours, so i figured, why not? it seemed a lot easier than getting up extra early the next day so i could go to the store, during the holidays, fight through the masses for the 4 things i needed, and then go back home to shower, beautify, prepare food and blah blah blah, whatever.

you get the point.
probably a little too well, after all that rambling.

the trip ended up NOT SAVING ME ANY TIME AT ALL, because the supermarket--while sporting a huge 'open 24 hours' neon sign in its window--didn't have any lanes open. only the u-scan area was open, but there was no cashier manning the lane. which is bad, because we all know that every other item you scan at the u-scan freezes the maching and tells you please wait for cashier assistance so they can make sure that you haven't snuck anything into your bag.
so, all four of the u-scan scan thing-things were occupied by customers who were awaiting 'cashier assistance,' and i became the 8th person in a line which was not only not moving, but also seemed to have no hope of moving anytime in the near future.

there was a guy stocking soup cans nearby, and another guy sweeping right by us with one of those hallway-wide brooms, but they just ignored us.
for twenty-three minutes.

finally a girl came out of somewhere and explained that she is entitled to a break every whatever amount of time, and that it wasn't her fault that the company didn't schedule anyone else to be there.

and, really? she had a point. i'd like to think that if my employer was blatantly not giving a crap about my rights, i would stand up for myself, too.
but it didn't stop me from being pissed off at the store itself.
i mean, if you can't handle being open for 24 hours, then just don't do it, right?


i've had an icky feeling about the u-scan ever since it made its appearance.
like, it's just another example of technology rendering us completely silent.
sure, we still communicate--i have many friends in the blogosphere whose voices i may never hear in the audible sense.
but it makes me worry a little about the state of humanity, that we can't even be bothered with the simple verbal correspondance required in a grocery transaction.
but, whatever.


if that seemed like a bunch of nonsense, let me give you a more concrete explanation of my u-scan hatred.

last week i stopped at said supermarket of doom, and i had to use the u-scan because they only had one 'real' lane open. even though it was 3pm on a thursday. i mean, we all know that no one wants to buy groceries at such a time--other than the 70 million people who were in the store--so why open any lanes?

it is fun to take an entire cart-full of groceries through the u-scan, so let the people do it themselves, right?

anyway, i only had 4 things, so it wouldn't have been a big deal if it weren't for the 5 people in front of me who had full carts.
but blah blah whatever, i waited my turn, and began to scan my 4 measly things.
it went like this:

thing one:
machine: beep.
computerized voice: please place the item in the bag.

i place the item in the bag.
i repeat the exciting process 2x.

thing four:
machine: beep.
compuerized voice: please wait for cashier assistance.

i look up (past the other 3 u-scan stations, as i'm at the last one) toward the cashier.

cashier, LOUDLY: what was the last thing you put in your bag?

me, glad it wasn't vagisil or something: umm, worchestershire sauce.

cashier, still loudly, but now with more attitude: don't lie to me!

me: um, ok. i'm not lying.

cashier: well how many items are in your bag then?

me, very aware of the four hundred million people who are now looking at me like i'm a criminal: there's 3, and then there's this last one that you haven't let me scan yet.

cashier: i seen you put 4 items in there.

~interlude: i must mention here that it took every single bit of strength i could summon to not correct this ugly bitch's grammar. because people who misuse that word do not deserve to live.~

me: there are only 3 things in here. please come over and have a look, if you think there's a problem.

cashier: i ain't coming over there. if you feel like you need to steal, go ahead. but you'll get your's.

my u-scan then unfroze, and i paid. i wheeled my cart to the door, sure that some security type person was going to tackle me on the way out, but no one did. i guess that lady was just a bitch. with piss-poor language skills.


two weeks ago, (before the humiliating trip described above) i went grocery shopping at the same store, and i left my groceries in my cart.

for a long time.
as in, my groceries were in the cart, in the store, but i WASN'T there, because i left without them.

while i was paying for my groceries--i think it was about $40--i noticed that i didn't have my wallet with me. so, i had enough random cash floating around--bartending job, and all--but i had other errands to run which were going to require i.d. and debit card and the rest of my cash, all of which were in my wallet, at home.
the only thing i can think is that, as i pushed my cart out of the store, i was re-thinking my errand plans, to accommodate the fact that i was going to have to go home before i did anything else.

i went home, and got my wallet.
i went to the party supply store to buy mardi gras beads for the bar.
i went to target for...i don't remember what for. but it's right next to the party supply store, and i can't be that close to target without going in. i mean, there's ALWAYS something that you NEED at target, right?

anyhow, i was getting back into my car, which was by then a fair distance from home and the grocery store when i realized that there were no grocery bags in my car.
of course, at first i thought that someone had stolen my groceries...
but my ipod and my itrip were still propped proudly (stupidly) on the dashboard.

why would someone steal my groceries, but not my ipod?

it was about that time that it occurred to me that i had left my groceries in the cart, in the foyer of the supermarket, exactly 73 seconds after i paid for them.*

because i am an idiot.


today i went to the grocery store again.
i know.
i should know better.
but, seriously, it's the only (geographically) convenient supermarket around!
and it also has the cheapest groceries.

anyway, the point is, i was grocery shopping.

and there's this other bad thing about this particular store which i haven't mentioned yet: there is really not enought room to navigate out of one aisle and into the next, because they didn't leave enough room between the registers and the actual aisles. and, of course, that's complicated by the fact that there is only ever one register open at a time...so it's ALWAYS CONGESTED AS HELL.

i was coming out of one lane, trying to turn into the next, and a man was standing in my way.
he was just inside the aisle, standing next to a cart that his wife was manning.
together, they were taking up the entire (poorly engineered, not-wide-enough) aisle.
he looked at me, smiled, and then turned his back to me and started text messaging someone on his phone.

i stood there staring at him for a second.
his wife was in a label-reading trance, so she had no clue what was going on.
but, he?
he totally could have stepped to the side, as text messaging doesn't require being near any particular brand of cereal. at least not with my service.

after standing for a minute or two, i sighed VERY LOUDLY and moved on to the next aisle.

i was later rewarded when the man ran over my toes with his cart in the magazine/candy aisle.


that supermarket has it out for me.
i swear.

*yes, they were still there when i went back for them. but that doesn't really make up for the embarrassment of walking into the supermarket and admitting that you are so dumb that you forgot you had purchased groceries 73 seconds after the purchase took place. i mean, i might as well have walked up to the customer service counter and asked 'did anyone SEEN me leave my groceries here earlier?'


Blogger Everything Aimee said...

U Scan is the most evil invention ever. The only bonus I've noticed is the occasional, accidental, bonus free item that I left on the bottom of the cart. I think its happened twice and I got home before I noticed it. More often than not, I have a horrible time with no bonus.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous PWT said...

EVERY TIME we go to the store Nick goes through the USCAN. He says its faster, but inevitably at one point or another that annoying woman screeches, 'please place item in the bag!'. At which time he then proceeds to curse at the machine. Honestly.

10:31 AM  
Blogger whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Ok so I'm a freak. I love U-Scan. I think it is much faster to use when you are buying only a few items. If I have a cart full of stuff I'll use a cashier.

Next time you go to that cursed store maybe you should take a crucifix or a lucky rabbits foot or something.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

we don't have u-scan here.

when i was there i thought it was the coolest thing ever (actually second, no third, behind ben and jerry's and victoria's secret). and drive-thru atms, cos we are hella lazy.

11:51 PM  
Blogger Mad Scientist said...

Ah, you're no idiot. And Ass Hat maybe, but not an idiot.


11:12 AM  
Anonymous PWT said...

I am LOVING the new pic. Very chic, Tiffany. :-D

1:39 PM  
Blogger zorak163 said...

Would this evil, evil store happen to start with the letter M? Because that store is one of the most cursed places on earth.

I'm a fan of the U-Scan, though. I'd rather deal with it than have the entire transaction go through one of their "cashiers." What's really bad is that since my move I have to go to one of the M locations (I won't dignify it by calling it by it's full name) if I want to buy more than what I can find at a gas station. Sometimes I actually drive thirty minutes away to shop at a different grocery store...

10:50 PM  
Blogger CSL said...

I have NEVER used that U-Scan system without encoutnering a problem. I hate it. But your grocery store sounds surreally bad. Once I was checking out and the cashier held up my scallops and said, "What are these? I explained and she said, "Ewww, I wouldn't eat them!" I just said, "Good thing you weren't invited." You have to let it wash over you sometimes.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Mikala said...

I don't like U-Scan either. First off, it takes jobs away from people and secondly, it's just a flat out pain in my arse! And, I'm sorry, but I feel like I'm being yelled at and watched like I'm a criminal...I just wait in line and suffer.

And, I would have come unglued if someone drove their cart over my toes! I don't care if it was a 6'4", 400 lb man, he'd definitely hear about it. Then again, I'm the girl that J used to hate going anywhere with because I was so vocal about things going on around me.

3:22 PM  

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