Can I help you to your car?

I had been looking forward to grocery shopping the whole day. My life isn’t boring, meaning I didn’t see a visit to the grocery store at my Friday night excitement…however I find the grocery store to be relaxing. Most of the time.

I used to work at a grocery store. In high school I was a “courtesy clerk” aka a bagger. I bagged groceries at Stock Market. And, not to brag or anything, but our store rocked. The front end manager was a stickler for the details, however our baggers could bag like no ones business. We were fast, efficient, and never squashed eggs or bread.

You could say “It’s only groceries” right now, but how else would you want YOUR groceries.

Another thing, did you grab the wrong cup-a-noodle? Did you forget your Chips Ahoy Chewy Cookies? No problem, we could run back and grab them for you in a heart beat. We knew the store like it was something we had to sneak into after curfew. We knew the sqeaks, sqeals, turns, and inch of the store.

Where did that go?

Tonight at the store, I turned around to get our ½ gallon of non-fat organic milk, and someone took my canvas bags. Some one snatched our 8 canvas bags out of my cart, while Iolani sat there, and turned to get milk. What is with people?

I didn’t see anyone do it, and when I noticed they were gone, no one said a thing. I was surrounded by people, and yet no one thought to say “Oh, hey…I don’t think those canvas bags belong to you” or even better “Hey lady, someone just stole your canvas bags”

And, you know if I saw someone stealing the canvas bags I would have scooped up Iolani with one hand, chased down the villian, and snatched my bags with the other hand. You know by now I am not above causing a scene to get my stuff back.

Again, I am not above causing a scene to get my stuff back. (There’s another story here, but I have to save it for later.)

Any way, so I get to the check out. I say to the clerk – someone lifted my canvas bags while I was in the check out aisle. Can you check to see if maybe someone turned them in. And, the checker stared at me and said “Oh, you are a mother now, you’ll find you forget everything, and leave everything behind”

My reply: “No, someone took the bags from my grocery cart as I was getting milk”

Her reply: “Sorry”

Sorry is not what I was looking for. I was looking for someone to go and check behind the counter at the service desk to see if MAYBE the conscious of the person who took my glorious collection of canvas bags got the best of them.

But, no we couldn’t even get that far.

It gets better.

When I was a bagger you wanted to help people get out to their car. It was a break from bagging, a chance to get outside away from the beeps, intercom, and the other sounds that comes with the grocery store. The baggers at the Vons on Glendale Boulevard always ask if you need help to your car.

However, at the Downtown Ralphs NEVER have I been asked if I need help to get my groceries to the car. I figure if I have spent over $50 in groceries, I could use a hand getting out to the car. Because it isn’t just getting to the car, it’s getting the groceries to the car. And, it’s not just getting the groceries to the car – it’s confirm the bagging job.

Which brings me to rant item #3 – my groceries were bagged like crap not to my liking. So here it is -

Hey, you know I know the economy sucks, and bagging groceries may not be your ultimate career choice, and you might even just be bagging groceries to make ends meet. I’ve been there…but these are not your groceries – these are my groceries. And, if that doesn’t help you take a little bit of pride in your work, consider these your groceries, and bag accordingly.

When I got to the car I was very miffed about the 1) loss of our canvas bags, 2) lack of response by the checker, 3) bagged groceries getting tossed into the cart, and 4) no one seemed interested in assisting me to the car.

Is the Ralphs just too busy for downtowners? We need a second store. Vons has an extensive line of Organic foods, and maybe the Vons on Glendale Boulevard can offer up their store manager to come show people how it’s done.

Say it with me people:

Can I help you to your car?


dawna said...

hey ginny- i'm with you! i rarely go to Ralphs at all, they aren't responsive. i've asked for them to stock several things..they patronize you by having you write it yourself in this big spiral notebook, which they probably never look at again. once, i asked, not for the first time, for fage greek yogurt, which other grocery stores carry, and when I went to write it in their book- the 2 people who'd written before me were asking for the SAME thing! do they carry it, a year later? no. the baggers don't appear to like it when you bring your own bags either, invariably, when i still shopped there, i'd put the bags on top on the groceries and they'd still start in plastic, and seem annoyed to take it out and use my bag. anyway, if you're driving and not waking to the store anyway- go to A-1 Warehouse market on Sunset- probably barely further for you than Ralphs, and it's an adventure vacation in shopping, all kinds of Asian produce you've never heard of, 100 kinds of noodles, and a tiny little food stall in the middle of the market that makes fantastic Vietnamese coffees! :^)

Alexandra said...

ginny, do you remember when the downtown ralphs opened in july '07? how thrilled we were to finally have a supermarket in the 'hood? i actually recall the store manager telling me how conscientious they planned to be, how closely they'd listen to our needs and our critiques. they very quickly began to take us for granted; they could and they can, as they have zero competition. i even get more help at the eagle rock fresh & easy when i'm in that part of town -- and that's self-service.

me, i'm a fan of trader joe's -- they don't have the complete selection of a ralphs or vons, but i invariably feel like a valued customer each time i shop there. they practically leap to my service ("are you finding what you need?" "did you want the tuna with salt or no salt?" "wait, i'll take a look in back...we might have gotten a shipment of the shredded mozzarella while i was out to lunch..."). and i can't remember a time i haven't been asked if i need help taking my groceries to the car. so, for my money, we need a TJ's down here. and i wouldn't mind a whole foods.

GInny-Marie Case said...

I agree - put a Trader Joes in the Historic Core...

shannon said...

i know there's not one close to you but that would never happen at pavilions. every single person who works there is required to ask if you need help finding something and they ALWAYS ask if you need help out to your car...even if you have like one item. it gets ridiculous sometimes but still...

browne molyneux said...

Oh I have a story about the dry cleaning. I have been trying to get my pants fixed (they have this bow at the end, which is ugly I wanted them to cut it off and add elastic, it sounds weird, but would work.) Anyhow they take my clothes, I come back a week later and they haven't fixed my pants. They say they weren't sure what I wanted. Ok, well then why no phone call? Ok I explain again!! And write it down, I'm assuming people can freakin read.

Three days later I call, no call back, three days after that they call. They call at 5pm, but I can't call right back because the hours end at 4pm, so why call me at 5pm?

I'm I ever able to get in touch with anyone, hell no.

To cut a long story short, they never fixed my pants, they never called, they pissed me off.

I miss Los Feliz. I miss my Albertsons!!! I miss my Trader Joes in Silver Lake, but not Nature Mart though, that place sucked.

Ok, I may sound like a whiny brat, but I don't care. People need to do their damn job.

Penelope Bullock said...

I have never been a fan of Ralph's, particularly the store downtown. I usually walk out more unhappy than when I entered, so I only go when it is absolutely needed.

I have been charged for items more expensive than listed. I have been chewed out by a parking attendant for my ticket being spit out of the parking machine. Worst of all, I have seen several expired food items throughout the store on numerous occasions.

This is a shame that all this happens because I would love to patronize a downtown business. Sadly I travel to TJ's to get what I believe is worth my time and resources.

At least we have our fair share of farmers markets. Thank goodness for that!