Scene: Price Chopper Store #188 – Shaker Road – Loudonville

It was 8 AM and I was in a rush to get to work. In my hand was a bouquet of flowers that I figured wouldn’t take more than two minutes to select and purchase. I foolishly assumed that the market would have enough registers open to get those of us en route to work in and out within a reasonable time frame. Of course, as I eyed the registers, there were only two open, and no one was even at the express lane. Five or six workers scuttled about the customer service space near the registers, so I caught the eye of the oldest woman there and asked if the express line was open (since it was, after all, lit). She said no, it wasn’t at that moment. I hurried to the only other open register, where a woman stood waiting for a manager to stop by.

She was wrangling with coupons. Lots of coupons. One of which was ringing up incorrectly and not giving “triple points” or some other nonsense. The manager haplessly scanned and rescanned and nothing worked. At this point I was just as mad at the miserly coupon lady as I was at the incompetent scanners. But, remembering my own five year stint of retail, I took a deep breath and re-ordered priorities. Five minutes later and no resolution in sight, the woman who had initially refused to take me in the open express lane had been forced to open up, but by then there were too many people for me to fight past to get in that line. Finally it was my turn and I was in no mood for small talk.

When the cashier asked me how I was, I replied, “I’m going to be late.”

She sensed my tone but instead of letting it go she decided to challenge me. “Why is that?” she asked.

“Umm, because this transaction took a lot longer than expected,” I replied.

“Well, you’re in a grocery store,” she shot back with just the slightest edge to her voice.

Oh no.

No, no, no.

Your line is, “I’m sorry for the delay.”

Blaming poor, and slow, service on the fact that it’s a grocery store is like blaming a match for being flammable.

I think she caught my look, because before I could say anything else she complimented me on my vest. Twice.

I thanked her and left, but it left me with the same sour taste that Price Chopper has been leaving in my mouth since we moved here.

Andy has been waging a mini-war with this particular Price Chopper store for years, finally starting to call them out on their exorbitant prices and actively comparing (with photos) their items with those of Hannaford. Price Chopper is almost always more expensive. I’ve had my own issues with this location – a leaky roof that was dripping onto their own products got a shrug from a manager on-duty one night I was there, while their Starbucks idiocy ended up with the parent company sending me a bunch of free drink tickets, but I’ve given up fighting back in person. Far better to put it down for posterity here, until someone sees the post and service improves. Thus far, that’s proven a futile effort, but it’s better to get it off my chest that take it out on their staff, no matter how much they claimed to like my vest.

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