Like everyone I have to shop for groceries and I suspect I’m like most people I simply don’t enjoy it. I particularly don’t enjoy rude or even indifferent shop assistants.
Today I gave one a small lesson on customer service.
I shop at Aldi. For quite some time though I haven’t been happy with it’s customer service. Mind you I’m not totally happy with Safeways or Coles customer service either and as we only have three supermarkets in town I’m pretty stuck with where I shop.
I’m in Aldi. The shop is reasonably busy and by the time I get to the checkouts there are at least 10 people in line at one and they all had full trolleys. The other checkout has one elderly gentleman who is in the process of paying for what he has purchased.
So what did I do you may ask?
I went to the checkout with the elderly gentleman and started to unload my groceries. There was a register closed sign on the grocery belt but I did think that the Young Man (herein known as Dopey) would have noticed the long line on the other register and put my groceries through anyway.
Dopey: “I’m Closed”
Me: “Sorry you are now open. There is a big line up at the other register and more people are heading this way so looks like you will be busy for a bit.”
Dopey: “I have to close, she (the checkout girl on the other register) told me I have to close.”
Me: “Well I can fix that for you.”
Me: “Yoo hoo”, waving my hand at the girl on the other register, “This young man is now opening as there is a line up and more people are coming to pay for their groceries.”
Girl who looked at me and probably thought I wasn’t a woman to be trifled with, with a smile said: “No problems.”
I turned back to Dopey “Gosh looks like you might be here for a while.”
Less than five minutes later I was out at the car packing groceries.
Does it make me a bitch I wonder? Well probably but having someone tell me that he was closed (without bothering to see how busy the other line was) really got to me.
So in hindsight do I regret what I did? NO!!!! Honestly I’m all for shopping locally but in return I expect fabulous customer service, to be greeted with a smile and made to feel welcome. In return I’m more than happy to spend my hard earned dollars there. There are a great many stores in my town where I get this kind of service. The ones I don’t – I simply don’t shop there.
I think the supermarkets have forgotten that part of the whole customer service mantra. I believe that the supermarkets simply expect us to shop at their stores. They are working on the theory that we can’t buy those everyday items such as sugar, tea, flour, butter etc anywhere else. I have news for them. We can.
Just about anything can be bought online these days. Yes you will pay for postage/freight but that bit of money a person may spend more than makes up for the time spent standing in long checkout lines waiting for an indifferent person to serve you. Shopping can be done at any time day or night and it’s easy to compare prices, brands etc. Now while I’ll will admit you have to be more organised, especially if you are grocery shopping on line, I think it could have real advantages. No more adding extra things to the shopping trolley just because. Knowing exactly how much you are spending and being able to juggle your shopping list so it fits your budget are real pluses in my view. Of course there are down sides – but hey there are down sides in grocery shopping in the supermarket too.
I would love to see a return of those little corner grocery shops where you were treated as a valuable client and got a sit down while the grocer collected up your groceries – but those days are gone unfortunately. Today it’s all about money and less about dealing with people.
So will I continue to shop at supermarkets? I don’t have loads of choice although I will admit I’m going to start looking online more to see what else I can find. There is also a wholesalers in town that sells to the public so it might be time to checkout more bulk buys in flour and sugar – even if it costs me slightly more. I am starting to plant up the vegie garden tomorrow. Garlic was purchased today and sweet corn seed and onion seedlings where planted on Saturday. I am keeping an eye out for some cheap fencing as I want to section off parts of our garden and get some sheep for meat and I think more poultry will also be the order of the day. If anyone knows where I can buy meat chickens in Victoria please let me know.
Ohh another quick rant. I could not buy Australian garlic in the supermarkets today. I wanted just a bulb so I can plant the individual cloves and all I could buy was Mexican or Chinese Garlic. Don’t we grow garlic anymore or is it only sold as Minced Garlic because that was all I could find that was Australian?
End of grump and now happy I have got that off my chest.