Friday, February 19, 2010

Conversation at the grocery store

My local Albertson's is doing what they call a "reset" -- that is, shuffling pretty much everything in the store around to a New! Improved! location. To give you an idea just how fucked up the place is right now, they've got all the greeting cards lined up on pallets in the middle of the frozen foods section.

I went in a while ago to buy a few things, and couldn't find half the stuff I was looking for. Not being inclined to go on a scavenger hunt just to buy groceries, I just collected the shit I could find and made my way to the register. There I had the following conversation with the checker:

Checker: "Thank you for shopping Albertson's. Did you find everything you were looking for?"

Me: "Well, as a matter of fact, no, I didn't. I've only got about half of what I came in for."

C: "I'm sorry. Can I get someone to help you find things?"

M: "Only if they're going to put it back where it was."

C: "..."

M: "Look, I know y'all are doing this because some pinhead marketing drone at corporate told you to, figuring people would buy more on impulse when they see stuff they hadn't noticed before. That probably even works on some folks. For the rest of us, shuffling stuff around like you are just aggravates us, and makes us go someplace where we can find what we're looking for."

C: "Well it also reminds people of things that they meant to buy, but forgot until they see it on the shelves."

M: "Good for them... but I'm still annoyed that I couldn't find what I was after -- so I'll be going to Wal*Mart from here 'cause I know where stuff is there."

C: "I hear that Wal*Mart is going to be redecorating, too -- a lot of stores are, now."

M: "Maybe so -- but I'll bet that when they're done, the stuff will still be in the same places; they don't rearrange things just for the hell of it like Albertson's does."

C: "..."

By that point, she'd rung up my (single) bag of stuff; I paid for it and left. For Wal*Mart, where I easily found the rest of the groceries I was after.

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