Let's hear your grocery store rant

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Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Larry Greenly » Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:29 am

To the tune of Spam, Spam, Spam: Rant, rant, rant, rant....

Let's hear a rant about grocery stores from those who like to blow off steam and RANT!

Yesterday I picked up a plantain priced at 39 cents each. I keep a close eye on prices as they're being rung up (mistakes are never in my favor).
The young guy was trying to be the world's speediest cashier, but my plantain was priced at $1.69.

When I pointed out the incorrect price, he said they were $1.29 per pound. I told him there was no way my plantain weighed over a pound and, besides, they were only 39 cents apiece. Then he said it was only 3/8 of a pound. I responded by pointing out that even if he used his per pound rate of $1.29, it still wouldn't come out to $1.69--and they were still 39 cents apiece.

At any rate the line behind me was piling up and I was in a hurry, so I told him what he could do with the plantain. Why is it they never believe the shopper?

That incident aside, my biggest gripe against supermarkets concerns all the displays they put in the aisles, making it impossible for two shoppers to pass each other. I've even seen 40-oz glass jars of apple sauce stacked 5 or 6 cases high angled out into the aisle. Wonder if that would be dangerous if a visually impaired person knocked it over?

So, what's your major grocery store gripe? (And my abject apologies if you're a speedy cashier who rings up wrong prices.)
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Ian Sutton » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:39 pm

Supermarkets are for those that have perfected the random movements of the zombie shuffle. They've become truly depressing places over the years. We're trying to limit the trips to once a month or so (and then going to the quality of Waitrose), getting everything else from specialists in the field e.g.
- Butchers
- Deli's
- Greengrocers
- Coffee shop
- Farm shops
- Bakeries
(basically people who give a damn about the food and the people that grow it).

and guess what? It's tastier.

Better still, we've grown quite a bit of our own stuff this year and that's even better!

Joy :D

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I'm really satisfied with the markets I shop in, Raley's and Safeway >

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:33 pm

Raley's did go through a period where the cashier seems to be going at lightening speed. I finally asked the store manager about it and he told me they had asked the cashiers to speed it up. I told him that I was going to stop shopping there unless they let the cashiers go at their own speed. For one thing, it made me nervous, they were also making mistakes, and had no time for a smile, or how are you? It wasn't long before they stopped the madness.

Raley's recently moved product, and now they have product where it makes no sense at all. Items that come in many sizes, such as washing machine detergent are in there different places. I sent a letter to the head office and also complained to store management. They don't care as the purpose of this was to get people moving all around the store. I still go in with my list and stick to it, unless, of course, I find something I just have to have.

Aisles are wide; store employees are helpful and always greet me. They help me out with groceries when I need it, order things I want, do special cuts of roasts, order special seafood, etc.
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby ScottD » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:55 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:That incident aside, my biggest gripe against supermarkets concerns all the displays they put in the aisles, making it impossible for two shoppers to pass each other.


I shop at Meijer mostly, a regional giant in our area, and while they're pretty good about inter-aisle displays, they've started putting whole skids of product right in front of the eggs, milk, dairy coolers and giant crates of processed American cheeselike food in front of the cheese cooler. These are invariably two of the busiest cooler sections in the whole store, regardless of when you're there, and it's a giant cluster :evil:

Our local grocery is a SuperValu and everyone knows everyone else and for a small town grocery store they carry some pretty upscale products (thanks primarily to the tourist trade and pretty sophisticated townsfolk) and are developing a VERY good micro-brew section. But their prices compared to the above mentioned Meijer are crazy.
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:06 pm

Our town has only two grocers, both chains, and both terrible. I don't mean "terrible" in a corporate-chain sense; of the stores in these chains, these are the worst I've been in. Want arugula? None here, go drive 40 miles. Want snap peas? $5.99/lb, and they're soggy and over the hill. Basil? We got it in little vacuum-formed plastic trays the size of a pack of cigarettes for $3.99 a pop. To make up for it, the lines are extra-slow (Raley's included).

I'm living in an agricultural paradise (the farm stands are my lifeline), yet our local stores can't get decent produce at a decent price?
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Gary Barlettano » Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:01 pm

Stuart Yaniger wrote:I'm living in an agricultural paradise (the farm stands are my lifeline), yet our local stores can't get decent produce at a decent price?


Same complaint my second ex-wife had and now she's moved back to New Jersey. Do you know her? Would you like to know her?

In any event, if you're passing down Contra Costa County way, then make a stop in Lunardi's in Walnut Creek which is in the Palos Verdes Mall, essentially at the end of Geary off of I680.

Or you could try the Concord Produce Market. (At least, I think that's what it's called.) This is on the corner of Monument and Detroit near Costco in Concord. Again, this is just a hop, skip and a jump away from I680.

These places have pretty decent produce, outdoing our local TJ's.

Now, about that introduction ...
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:38 pm

Sorry, I already have a scary ex-wife.

If it weren't for the horrific delays getting over the bridge, I'd just shop down your way routinely. Unfortunately, because of the time commitment, I can only do it every once in a while.

Have you been to Larry's in Fairfield?
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Gary Barlettano » Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:41 pm

Stuart Yaniger wrote:Sorry, I already have a scary ex-wife.

If it weren't for the horrific delays getting over the bridge, I'd just shop down your way routinely. Unfortunately, because of the time commitment, I can only do it every once in a while.

Have you been to Larry's in Fairfield?


I have two! And, no, never been to Larry's. The only time I head over to Fairfield is when I need a gratis, early morning Jelly Belly and Budweiser fix. That's a result of having two ...
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Wed Oct 04, 2006 6:03 pm

Do it. You'll thank me.

And next tomato season, while you're up there, Parker Farms is astonishing.

I'll check out your reccos, many thanks!
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby wrcstl » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:51 pm

[quote="Gary Barlettano"]Same complaint my second ex-wife had and now she's moved back to New Jersey. Do you know her? Would you like to know her?
quote]

What does she look like, how many miles, has she been rode hard? Sorry, just couldn't resist it. :lol:

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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:06 pm

What does she look like, how many miles, has she been rode hard?


I can't disappoint John T. by not dragging this down further.

There was a wonderful story about William Howard Taft. Before he was President, he had done a stint in the Philippines where he became quite sick. A cable was sent by his boss, Elihu Root, inquiring as to his condition. Taft responded, "Fine. I just went for a 25 mile horseback ride." Root cabled back, "How is the horse?"
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:41 am

Two rants:

One involves our local Raley's. There's something about its design that makes you feel like you're in a long line no matter how many people are in front of you. I think it's because there's very little room between the checkout stands and the ends of the aisles. It's really annoying, to the point that we only go there on off hours.

The second involves the Safeway stores here. Apparently, the checkout people are all required to call you by name whenever possible. So if I go and pay with my ATM card, I inevitably end up with some checker looking at the receipt and saying, "Thank you very much, Mr. Fil....uh.....Fili.....uh......Figil....uh...."

I only go there now when I have cash.


Mike

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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby John Tomasso » Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:17 am

Stuart Yaniger wrote:
I can't disappoint John T. by not dragging this down further.



You can never go too low for my tastes.

Back on topic, I'm the anti-supermarket guy. I hate the chains, and I'm fortunate to have three pretty good independent grocers within ten minutes, not to mention a few farmstands, and farmers markets on various days of the week.

Back in the day, there were just two independents, and no chains here where I live. Then, an Albertson's came to town, and everyone predicted the indie's demise. To the contrary, the competition spurred them to improve their stores, and they are stronger than ever. They have meat departments with real butchers and attractively displayed produce. And as a bonus, they even feature terrific wine departments, something Albertson's can't match.

So all in all, I can't complain.
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Carl Eppig » Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:44 am

I think that part, I said part, of the problem is the local culture. This rubs off on employees and managers. In this area, and by this area I don't even mean all of New Hampshire, people for the most part are friendly almost to a fault. When things do go wrong they take it in good humor.

We go to the supermarket once or twice a week, and hit the kinds of places Ian talked about the rest of the time. Whether the store is big or small, most folks are quite easy to deal with.

We recently went through a drill where to get sinus pills you have to take a slip from the aisle shelf and take it to the pharmacy where you get your pills, fill out a log sheet with name, rank, and serial number, and pay separately from your other groceries. In most places this would pure unadulterated hasstle, but here we make it fun. I ask where the mug shot and fingerprinting is done, and the clerk responds with something light and friendly. The local culture does make a difference.
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Redwinger » Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:04 am

Here's my rant although it has more to do with the customer than the store itself.
Invariably, I'm in line behind the person with an order large enough to feed the Prussian Army contingent in New Jersey. She (yes, most of the time it is a woman), stands there mezmerized and immobile for a full 10 minutes or so while the cashier is scanning the order. Finally the cashier finishes and say that will be $4,765.29. The customer finally awakes from their coma-like trance with a look of "Oh, I gotta pay? A frantic search through the purse (which incidently is the size of the suitcase my great-great grandfather carried when he emigrated to the US in 1873) for the checkbook lasts an additional 3 minutes followed by a search for a pen. The check is finally written at the speed of a retarded first grader. Folks, this is the 21st century, lose the checkbook and get a debit/credit card.
There I feel better already.
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby ChefCarey » Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:26 pm

Dwelling as I do in what might well be called the culinary axilla of the USA, I lament the passing of anything good around here. For the first two restaurants I opened here I bought my meat from a relatively small neighborhood grocery. It was the *only* place in Memphis that had prime beef. John Gray & Son.

I bought veal porterhouses. Prime ribeyes. He ground whole briskets for burgers for me. Actually let me use the meat saw to cut some of my own steaks. It was a sad day when he closed several years ago - due to lack of interest.

If the Viet Hoa market closes - just about 6 blocks from me, I may have to leave Memphis. It's a lifeline. They have tanks with live lobster, Dungeness crabs, catfish, eels, tilapia, oysters, eastern and Japanese, mussels, clams, snails, and a vast array of whole, fresh fish. The frozen food section is even better stocked. Organic chickens and ducks with the heads and feet still on. A dozen varieties of bahn tran.

Otherwise, the supermarkets are mostly full of mass-marketed crap. Oh, but lots of tortillas, jalapenos and beans for our south of the border workforce.

Hey, for once I'm not ranting - much.
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby RichardAtkinson » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:00 pm

My rant...No matter which line I get in?...Its always the slowest. With lines that were 3 times as long as mine zipping past me while the person in front of me opens her purse and pulls out the largest wad of coupons you've ever seen.

It never fails....I hate coupons.

Richard
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Carl K » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:48 am

My rant is young cashiers who have no idea what several items in the produce section are. Indeed, I've basically stopped buying fresh produce anywhere but the farmer's market and Publix (the only decent chain store in town any more, even Harris Teeter can't match them on most items). The last time I went somewhere else, they had to send someone back to find out what three items I had were (and they weren't exactly exotic items either). The only reason it wasn't five times was that by the time the young High School age cashier got to the fresh fennel and the leeks she had decided to just listen to me when I tried to tell her what something was. I swear, it was almost like she couldn't believe that I wasn't trying to take advantage of her idiocy by claiming items she didn't recognise were cheaper items than what they really were!
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Larry Greenly » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:09 am

That's happened to me, too: arguing that it's a jicama, not a potato. Or arguing with the cashier, then the store manager, that I had a head of napa cabbage, not a head of romaine lettuce. I took the manager back to the produce section to show him the difference. He tried to stop me at the romaine lettuce display, but I continued on to the napa cabbage and held up one.

"Oh."
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Andrew Shults » Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:17 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:That's happened to me, too: arguing that it's a jicama, not a potato. Or arguing with the cashier, then the store manager, that I had a head of napa cabbage, not a head of romaine lettuce. I took the manager back to the produce section to show him the difference. He tried to stop me at the romaine lettuce display, but I continued on to the napa cabbage and held up one.

"Oh."


Don't get me started about this kind of "the customer is always wrong" attitude. I especially hate the runaround when I point out that an advertized sale did not scan properly. :evil:
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Larry Greenly » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:42 pm

[Don't get me started about this kind of "the customer is always wrong" attitude. I especially hate the runaround when I point out that an advertized sale did not scan properly. :evil:[/quote]

There are many variations on that theme.

The last few weeks I've been trudging to my doctor weekly to find some combination of meds that will lower my sky-high bp before I pop a cork. (And some meds drag me down so far I feel like I'm on LSD without the pictures.)

Every time a physician's assistant or nurse takes my blood pressure, they release the pressure in the sphygmomanometer too rapidly, which leads to an artificially low diastolic reading. I questioned the nurse's reading of 70, so she read it again for another reading of 70. (It was 30 points too low.)

Then next week a tech read my bp. I never saw a needle go down so fast. I explained how she was reading it wrong, but was totally ignored. What the f*** should I know was her attitude. After all, I'm only a patient. Her reading was 20 points too low. The doctor almost had a heart attack himself when he took my bp.

My complaints must have resonated somehow. The office now has an electronic version that does bp reading automatically and a slightly sullen tech. But the electronic reading agreed with the doc's manual reading.
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:47 pm

The combo of Diovan and Norvasc worked for my exceptionally stubborn hypertension. There seems to be a synergy between them.
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Larry Greenly » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:54 pm

Stuart Yaniger wrote:The combo of Diovan and Norvasc worked for my exceptionally stubborn hypertension. There seems to be a synergy between them.


Only two? :roll: I've tried lots of meds over the years, including experimental ones in clinical research tests.

I'm on lisinopril, terazosin, and now labetalol (which I'm hoping is the magic bullet). It's bringing down my bp without making me a zombie. I was seriously considering starting a support group for zombies. I know how bad they feel.
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Re: Let's hear your grocery store rant

Postby Niki (Dayton OH) » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:01 pm

I've told this story before, on the old FLDG, but it's good enough to repeat. My previous boss, a somewhat reticent and shy man, was at the grocery buying fennel. The checkout clerk didn't recognize it, and didn't accept his statement that it was fennel, so she hollered across the room to another person, who hollered back that the vegetable in question was "Anus". My boss said, that's pronounced "Anise", at which point the clerk hollered out "How much is this anus on aisle 7?" My boss just walked out, leaving the fennel behind....
Cheers,

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