Friday, August 8, 2014

Please Don't Pack for Me!!!

We interrupt the holiday blogging for a complaint.......

When I lived in Scotland, many of my friends were American.  They often moaned about how in Scotland very few of the grocery stores pack your groceries for you.  The groceries are checked through by the clerk and then the customer packs them.  I liked going to Superstore in Canada, so I have been packing my own groceries for years.  It is a bit cumbersome watching the children while packing the groceries, but I never really had any issue.

Here in Texas the stores all pack for you.  Some even advertise about their packing speed.  The problem is - it's a generally rubbish job, whether fast or slow.

I generally bring my own bags and some of my bags are insulated to keep food cool on the drive home.  It is rare that these bags are actually packed with cool foods, despite me telling the bagging clerk each time.  Today, my cool bag was packed with boxes of crackers....while my deli meat and dairy items were put into a regular plastic bag.  The clerks put delicate fruits and vegetables under heavy items and don't pack flight items like greeting cards in "flat" spots.

And today I also experienced my biggest pet peeve - forgotten items!  On a handful of occasions, I have driven home only to notice that one or more of my items is nowhere in my bags.  I check the receipt and see that I have paid for it, then evaluate whether it is worth my time to call up the store and arrange to pick up the item.  Today it was - a coffee carafe that I really liked.  I called into the store and they found the item, then I had to return to the store to pick it up.  

What happened when I returned to the store to pick up the item really irritates me.  I walked into the store to pick the item up with 2 boys in tow.  As I walked in, there was a massive display of one of my favourite things - and it was a very good price.  Despite being annoyed with the store, I grabbed a bunch and went to pay for it.  I went through the checkout and paid $40.  Then I headed to customer service to pick up my carafe.  Not only had they not set it aside at customer service with my name on it like they said they would, the lady at the customer service counter gave me loads of attitude.  She said she had no idea where the item was and asked who exactly told me that it would be set aside - I had no idea, and why is it my responsibility to keep track of their customer service?  We finally found the carafe in the return items bin and I was on my way.

I'm annoyed with myself - why did I buy more items from a store that I'm irritated with in the first place?  (I know why - good price - but it is still annoying.)

Forgotten items have been a frequent problem at Walmart where there is a turning bagging system with 3 sides and 6 bagging slots.  More than once I have left the checkout area with a bag left on the turner.   Now I carefully check the turner before leaving the bagging area - to the annoyance of many clerks.

There is little time advantage to the clerk packing up the groceries - I often have to wait for my order to be packed while the cashier scans through the next customer.  The clerk-packing system and the customer-packing system both move slowly when a customer has a large order.  I don't like to grocery shop every day and I'm feeding a family so I generally have a large order.

Overall I was better off packing my own purchase.  Occasionally the groceries are well packed in an efficient time frame but overall the service is poor and I can do a much better job myself.

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