Friday 14 September 2007

The Grocery Nazis

To protect the innocent, Ajax has removed the identifying suburb... however, if you are a clever clogs, you may just work it out.

I've been to see the grocery Nazis again.

I have to go at least once a week before we run out of Hi-Ratio Doggy Chow and Sugar Coated Fruit Loops. If this happens, I get continuous hate-glares from the children and the dog (or is it vice-versa?) until the shortage is rectified.

I do not like the grocery Nazis, I do not like going into their mega-mall super-marts, and I sure as hell do not enjoy dealing with their staff. These employees come in two flavours: the brain-dead no-hopers who couldn't’t get a job anywhere else for $8.15 an hour, and the greasy, narrow-tied little ferrets with pimples and large name badges, who have all been sent to the F--k You School of Management in Wollongong, before being appointed to their trainee management positions, running the In-Store Greasy Food Promotions Department or the Humiliate Old Ladies Who Haven’t Got Change Department.

Does it have to be like this? Of course it doesn’t. Why, not so long ago, all our daily shopping requirements were met by kindly, grey-haired grocers in long green aprons, who chuckled softly as they filled bags of sugar, or sliced a few rashers of home-cured bacon. Our fresh bread came from jolly, rotund bakers with twinkling eyes and floury noses. The milkman tipped his hat at early risers and the vegetable man called around daily with bright green cabbages and shiny red apples. Yeah, right.

OK, the grocer was probably buying dodgy bacon off the back of a lorry, the baker was adulterating his flour, the milkman was adulterating every housewife in the neighbourhood and the veggie man was a little too fond of his delivery boy. I’m not saying it was a perfect world, but at least we didn’t have to deal with a 25,000 square metre hyper shopping-mall with a car park the size of Portugal, just to buy a bottle of milk.

The service encountered at these consumer coliseums would be laughable, if I could bring myself to laugh, rather than developing an intense desire to rip out with my bare hands the freshly-beating heart of the next Assistant Manager who tells me they do not have any Hi-Ratio Doggy Chow, never have had it, and in fact, have never even heard of it.

Listen you cretin, you had an entire display stand of it last week. I’ve been buying it here for the last three years. The goddam dog is addicted to the crap. Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of it. Now, where is it?

Well, sir, I suppose if there isn’t any on the shelf, then we don’t have any.
I guessed that much, Wonder Boy. Why don’t you have it?
We don’t get much call for it.

A three year habit? That doesn’t count as much call for it? You could check at the service desk, sir.

The service desk, of course, is managed by the individual with the highest scores in her graduating class for Snotty Remarks, Ignoring Customers, Eye-Rolling to Heaven and Discussing Last Night’s Root on the telephone with Stephanie in the purchasing department.

I’m looking for Hi-Ratio Doggy Chow. You had it last week. Well, if it’s not on the shelf...
Don’t even bother to complete the sentence.
There’s no need to be rude, sir.
I’m not rude, I’m just saving time. When will you have it? Have what, sir?
High Ratio Goddamn Doggy Chow, that’s what!

I’m not sure we’ve ever carried that brand. We wouldn’t get much call for it.
What about heart?
Freshly beating heart, have you got one of them? Try the delicatessen.

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