"I'll be on my way as soon as the cashier hands me my receipt!". I'm leaning on the check-out stand scanning my card and smiling at the woman in back of me that has stepped into my space. You know the small shelf area where you swipe, approve the amount, sign, and wait until you receive the nod?
We visit the grocery store and local markets frequently.. This is one destination we can't avoid; unless of course, you have a personal shopper and chef. For the rest us, this involves finding a parking space, grabbing a cart, and navigating through the isles of dread.
As I shop my way through suburbia, I notice more of the "me society" at the markets. Here are a few recent experiences.
The suburban parking dilemma - it's not real estate
Atlanta is not pedestrian friendly; therefore, residents typically do NOT walk anywhere. People wait for a parking space while blocking traffic when a space is available just a few yards out.. Last week, I witnessed a man drive around the parking lot for 20 minutes to eliminate 50 ft.. It was raining, he was on the phone, and continued to circle. Finally, he made a dash for a prime space. Great real estate! Then, he took an additional three minutes to park the SUV because one hand was on the wheel and the other on the phone.
BE COURTEOUS, PARK WHERE AVAILABLE, WALK, GET OFF THE PHONE AND DRIVE!
So many carts, so little time
There are various carts for the shoppers' groceries and convenience.. There are hand-held baskets designed for the shopper picking up only a few items. There are full size carts, carts for the handicapped, etc. I often see overweight people using these carts and this confuses me. Being overweight is not a handicap. Being tired is not a handicap. Probably the worst designed shopping carts 'IMO' are the ones designed to entertain children. Moms, you should bring your children grocery shopping; however, bell ringing, light flashing, 12-foot fire engine designed carts just don't work. These are like driving a Hummer on a bridge designed for a red wagon.
I will say, for the children old enough to push a cart, the "shopper in training" is not that bad. They are small and provide children a sense of responsibility at the store. For the rest, probably a good idea to purchase your very own Whitmor Deluxe Utility Cart (Google Affiliate Ad).
BE POLITE, SELECT A CART FOR THE CONTENTS, AND DRIVE CAREFULLY!
The market employees
Almost home. Remember the old joke? Price check on Isle 3 for feminine hygiene products? This seems tame now. I visited a mega grocer last year around the holidays and one of the employees shouted, "Hey, Ramona! Look at this, a bottle of wine that costs $70.00! Can you believe it" repeating this several times until everyone in the store wanted to see who would purchase such an item. And, who is training the bag "boy" or "girl"? You know the one that fingers all of your food and then asks, "what's this for"? Or, "these look good".
PROVIDE FEEDBACK TO THE STORE MANAGER POLITELY, SUGGEST THEY MONITOR THE CHECK OUT LINES 1-2 TIMES PER WEEK.
There is a huge opportunity for the shopper, the grocer, and the employees to improve the grocery store experience. Until then, I need to stop ranting and go pick up something for dinner!