Saturday, January 4, 2014

Lessons From A (former)Grocery Clerk

Ahhhhhhhh it feels good be free from terrible, brainless, grumpy customers and to now be able to say the things that would have previously gotten me fired. I worked 2.5+ years in the grocery business and I have compiled a list of basically everything that you should not do, or stop doing. Everyone of you has broken one of these rules so takes notes and learn a thing or two.

Let's start with THE MUFUCKIN DESIGNATED CART AREA in the store. This has to be the simplest idea of a shopping establishment. You take carts from this area and you put them back IN this area or IN a cart rack outside. There is nothing else to it. You put the carts back in 1 of these 2 areas, not 10 feet from it, not in aisle 7 full of eggs and ice cream, and especially not in the middle of the parking lot.

Don't come in on Friday night (or whenever the sale week ends) and expect the store to have 6 pallets of every sale item. Grocery stores try to cut it close at the end of the week so they don't get stuck with 5,000 cans of shitty soup. Come in before then or shut up.

A follow up on that point is most grocery stores will offer rain checks (basically an extended coupon) to compensate for being out of an item. This is something they are not required to do but because it might make the almighty, perfect customer happy, it is offered. With that being said, don't bring that rain check in the day after the sale and expect the store to have that product in stock. So wait a few days, then come in so the store can tell you they still don't have it.

The average grocery store has 45,000 items in it, if you can't find that special bacon flavored dressing that you have to have, just go some where else. You would be amazed at how much shit goes out of date because one asshole had to have this special item so they could buy 1 bottle/can and never purchase it again. Just buy the 'Tastes Like Butter' instead of the 'I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.'

This is more of a complaint than anything but that goddamn organic section sucks. You wanna pay $6.00 for a gallon of milk, nobody is going to stop you.

When you realize that you don't need or want that 6th bag of chips, put it back where you got (especially if it's 2 feet away) , or at least give it to a worker to take care of. This goes particularly for dairy/frozen/meat items. You should know this but I will tell you anyways, when bacon sits, unrefrigerated, on a shelf next to the paper plates, it is going to spoil and end up in the dumpster.

Most commonly asked question in a grocery store is "do you have anymore in the baaaaack?" 98% of the time the answer is no. What do you think is back there, another grocery store? The main things kept in the back are the current week and next week's sale items, nothing else. I would tell you to stop asking but we both know that is not going to happen.

You may not know this but a quite a few items in a grocery store are distributed and stocked entirely by vendors. Chips, cookies, crackers, pop, granola bars just to name a few. So when you ask about one of these items and you don't get the response you want, just deal with it because the store doesn't control it and chances are that the 18 year old employee you asked doesn't give a shit anyways.

If you are over 50, you get a pass on this one but under it, you get the c'mon man face. When asking where an item is, look at the signs above the aisles before hand and spare yourself the embarrassment. I don't know if that many people can't read or if they are just plain lazy. Yea, probably both.

A constructive piece of information is that you should never pay full price for things like pop, chips, toilet paper, or cereal. If you live in an area that has a couple of different stores, one of them will always have these items on sale. Don't worry about being loyal to a store, shop around and be loyal to your money.

This one is pretty simple, don't ask departments questions about other departments and expect to get a spot on, intuitive answer. Sure it might work once but do you work and know everything about the 6 different departments at your job? Didn't think so.

Women, never send your husband in with a list without informing him of what is on it. I can't tell you how many times I heard the response, "my wife just gave me the list and told me to get the stuff on it." This task has nothing to do with sports so men are not likely to care or put effort into it.

Finally, if the checkout area is busy and there is nobody to bag your precious groceries, step up to the plate and do it yourself. Don't stand there with your thumb up your butt because if you're out buying your own groceries, you're probably not important enough to be above this.

I understand that grocery stores (and other stores) are there to service the people but goddamn, you don't have to act like a clown every time you leave the house. Follow just a couple of these suggestions and make the world a better place.

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