Folding, spindeling, and mutilating lauguage for fun since Aug, 2004
Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Dear Local Rainbow Foods Manager:


This may come as a shock to you, but I come to your store to buy groceries and various other sundry items that I need.


I choose your store over the others in the area because it is the closest and most convenient to get to most of the time.


I’m usually on my way to or from doing something else, and have a full day.  I’m very focused on getting into your store, getting the stuff I need and getting out.  Therefore I DO NOT choose your store based on the following amenities that you so thoughtfully provide:


1)      Staff who make eye-contact and say “Good Morning (afternoon/evening), how are you doing?  Are you finding everything you need?  Is there anything I can help you with?”  (Editor’s note:  If I wanted that kind of service I’d go to Kowalski’s and pay twice as much for everything to get it.)  If someone is talking to me, I feel I should stop, shut off my MP3 player and listen to them and respond politely.  I’m happy to do this in any circumstance where the person addressing me actually wants to talk to me…not when they are forced into it to keep their crappy underpaid job and don’t want to be in the conversation anymore than I do.

2)      A constantly changing inventory of rapidly introduced-and-fazed-out items that is constantly being re-arraigned in what is ostensibly more efficient patterns.  It is extremely efficient in wasting my time.  I don’t like spending half an hour searching for a product you don’t carry anymore. (BTW, your extremely helpful and friendly staff don’t know either.  Maybe you could spend your training budget on telling them where you’ve moved things to, instead of teaching them how to fake interest in how a complete stranger’s day is going)

3)      Itty bitty teeny tiny containers of baking powder.  Anyone who bakes anything needs a decent-sized container of baking powder.  People who don’t bake don’t need any.  You are on notice mister, because I WILL drive the extra couple miles to the nearest CUB FOODS that stocks the larger containers.

4)      The nice young man from the local group home who very cheerfully and helpfully (and S-L-O-W-L-Y) puts each item I purchase in its own plastic bag…and then asks me if I have a puppy.  And then tells me he likes puppies, and wishes he could have one. (OK, the puppy thing is hyperbole.  I don't remember the actual conversation, but it was clearly not an adult conversation)  Hey, I’m all for providing jobs for people that need them… but if this guy needs a job to support himself, there is something wrong with our society.  He’s stuck in a permanent childhood.  There are laws against making seven-year-olds work.  They should apply to this poor guy as well.  He seemed very nice, and I’m sure he enjoys his job, and I feel like a complete bitch for feeling inconvenienced by him but really, I think he’d get just as much of a kick out of a checkers game or a field trip to the zoo…and I actually LIKE bagging my own groceries.  If I didn’t, I could go to Kowalski’s and pay extra for bright-eyed, quick-witted college-bound high school student to do it completely wrong.

5)      Stoopid effing games that require time, energy and effort to save a small amount of money and require you to send stuff in through the mail.  I mean it.  If you want to save me money, lower your prices, but you don’t even have to do that.  You’re competitive enough.  You’re fine, really.  I mean, you could do a better job of pulling expired products off your shelves…but a game I don’t need.  I have a great time playing games with family and friends in the privacy and comfort of my own home with a tall, frosty Colorado Bulldog in one hand and a bowl of pretzels in the other.


     Look, I know Cub is kicking your ass, and you’re kind of in the grasping-at-straws phase of trying to stay in business…but they’ve GOT the blinded-by-the-shiney-new-store crowd.  They’ve landed all the gimmick-prone people with their I *heart* my Cub bumper stickers and whatever else brain-dead crap they’re pulling.  You’re not going to get them with a stupid game, or by re-arrainging an old store.  Just relax.  People who live near you who just want to get their groceries will keep coming if you just give them the stuff they want at a fair price, and keep the store clean and nicely lit.  Treat your employees well so they genuinely smile.  Give them adequate breaks and consistent schedules so that they can maintain an alert and cheerful demeanor.  Pay them a reasonable living wage so they aren’t stressed out and tense at work worrying about home-life and we’ll be just fine.

Tuesday, 10 January 2006 10:53:35 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [3] | #
Tuesday, 10 January 2006 21:35:34 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Hmmm... sounds like the Rainbow near us...

But that one is so far gone, we rarely go there. The Cub, that is closer to us, actuayll carries the items it has on sale. The Rainbow just doesn't seem to get it.

Things seem to have gone downhill in a big way since Roundy's bought the Rainbow chain.
Friday, 13 January 2006 17:10:13 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
It sounds like you need to move to Germany! No frills! No smiles! They are indifferent to you and you're free to be indifferent to them. Of course, there it's kinda difficult to get any help...they look at you weird for asking, as if you're expecting way too much of them. I remember a cashier asking me if everything had been OK, or something to that effect, and when I actually answered with real information, she didn't have a response for me. *shrugs* BTW, German cashiers get to sit in nice office chairs.

I understand your annoyance with the fake smiles and stuff. At least you're polite about it, though. I've had to be that fake smile and it's amazing how many people treat you like one of the store fixtures. You say hello and they just ignore you and stare at the register screen.
Friday, 13 January 2006 22:29:12 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)

Well, It's not ther fault, it's the bad management, and taking it out on them is just plain not right.

Besides, I've been there too. Burger King, Hardees, Amoco, Pannekoeken, The Patte Hall cafeteria...

It's no fun being the one who has to act polite while the person you have to be polite to looks at you like you are something they just scraped off the bottom of their shoe.

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