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October 21, 2008

I Came For Groceries, Not a Job

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 11:08 am

Mokotów Is it just me, or are grocery stores like Kroger increasingly upping their efforts to get customers to do their work for them?

The Kroger by me recently bought out all of the Farmer Jack grocery stores in the area and promptly shut them down. This means that at any given time, you’ll always find huge lines and tons of people at the grocery store. It also means they’re almost always out of any type of diet soda or milk that doesn’t expire tomorrow.

On my last trip, I found myself stuck in line behind the usual 5 or 6 old ladies who insist on writing checks instead of upgrading to a check card. When it was finally my turn to start unloading my groceries on to the automated grocery smasher conveyor belt the cashier turned off her light and said “I’m going on break, you’ll have to get in another line.”

I told her that waiting in another line wasn’t acceptable, and asked her if she could please ring me up too. Ok, actually I said something along the lines of “no, either you ring me up now or I’m going to walk out with this cart full of Cheetos and Soda.

Begrudgingly, she decided to scan my items.

The other thing you’ll routinely won’t see at my Kroger store is baggers. Does anybody remember the days when there would be a person waiting at the end of the grocery smashing belt to put said smashed groceries into a bag for you? Yeah, they don’t do that anymore.

When the cashier was done bitching about having to work 5 hours straight without a lunch break (oh the tyranny!) she scowled at me: “are you going to bag those?”

“No Ma’am, I already have a job. I don’t want to work here too.” apparently isn’t the answer she was expecting, as I got nothing but dirty looks from her while she finished scanning my items and proceeded to bag them up.

I did, however, help her by lifting the big items (cat food, kitty litter, and case of beer) into my cart for her. I figured it was the least I could do.

Honestly though, why do grocery stores expect me to start doing their work for them? It’s bad enough that the cost of groceries is increasing at exponential rates far greater than gasoline, but now you want me to do your job too?

Am I the only one who thinks I should get a discount for using the U-Scan machines? Which, by the way, are really fun when you try to scan a 20lb bag of cat litter and it won’t let you proceed until it feels that 20lbs on the shelf that’s way too small to hold the cat litter. If you ever try that, you’ll need to wait for one of the cashiers to get back from break and enter in some secret code so the machine keeps working. Trying to use your foot to apply 20lbs of pressure will only get you weird looks from the people behind you who for some reason are only buying a case of beer and a can of tuna fish.

Let’s go back to the good old days of the 90s – when grocery stores actually had employees.

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