Friday, November 5, 2010

Helping Hands Vs The Snapping of My Control

Awhile ago I had been shopping at our local grocery store.  They have a service called Helping Hands.  An employee will take your shopping cart of groceries and bring them out for you and help load your car.  I had never taken advantage of this service even when I do my grocery shopping with the girls because shopping with kids is just life to me and part of our normal routine.

Is it difficult sometimes? Oh, yeah even if I do everything right like take snacks and toys to entertain them or go when it is nowhere near nap time. In fact I always park next to the cart return to make loading and unloading the groceries and kids easier. Getting out of there fast is sometimes necessary. 

One day when I was checking out, I happened to have an older woman checking me out.  She mentioned the Helping Hands program. I didn't need any help I assured her.  She persisted and even waved the young man over to take my groceries while I took the girls to the car.  Even when he came over, I explained that I didn't need any aid but I thanked them both anyway.  Neither of them listened explaining that they were there there to help and I had my hands full.  Away he walked with my groceries.

When I pulled up and got out of the car to help him load my groceries he told me to get back into my car and that he would do it for me. I didn't but I thought he was really nice to offer and thanked him profusely for all of his help.

This is why I am a customer for life at Wegman's and how you can tell these people love their store and their jobs.  It is easy to see why the company is one of Fortune's 100 Best Companies to work for.  From the teens who work there to the older women and men, everyone is pleasant and well trained.  Even on those days where the girls are not so patient or are cranky they try to make them laugh or give them stickers when we are in line. 

Then there is That Other Store. Early last week I had stopped there to get a few groceries before I left to visit my friends who had just lost their dad/father-in-law.  It was supposed to be just a quick trip for a few sale items that I needed. I had the girls with me and Em and Madison were not in real good moods.  Madison had a meltdown in line and it was easier to just continue checking out then to just leave a cart sitting there.  I tried to soothe her but she was having none of it.  She was having a temper tantrum fit for a one year old. 

From aside of me I heard a person say in a nasty voice, "Uuugghhhhh. I can't hear to listen to a screaming baby.  There is nothing worse."  This remark along with the nasty glare being sent my way was from the cashier next to me.  I was so close to loosing it - so very, very close. Obviously this person, who was rather young, did not have children.  Then another woman looked at me and remarked about how "yes, there is nothing worse" as she shook her head.  I literally saw red.  If I hadn't forced myself to take a deep breath and CALM DOWN I probably would have lashed out.  Me-who never freaks out or rants or raves came THIS CLOSE to verbally taking down someone.

A week later, I still can't bring myself to go into that store.  In many ways it was a small thing.  People have a right to their opinions good or bad but I hated that the cashiers made remarks like that.  I have seen them make remarks to other customers about various things over the years whether annoyance over them forgetting something or something as simple as a customer not using the credit card swiper properly. I have seen an employee in the meat department refuse to cut a portion of meat the way a customer wanted.  I think this was my limit.

I would rather shop at a store where there are happier, friendlier people especially when I can guarantee that I will be out again (probably soon) shopping with the girls and one of them will not be particularly happy.  Finding someone to watch the girls while I run out for a few groceries is just not possible most days especially if my husband is away on business.  I can only deal with so many unhappy people at a time.  There is a big difference in dealing with an unhappy three year old and an unhappy adult.  Of course that is my opinion as a mom.

I am not the type to rant and rave but this just hit a nerve maybe because I used to work retail in college and I never treated people like this. Maybe it just made me angry as a mom who felt criticized by someone who hasn't walked in her shoes.  I don't know.

Would you choose to shop where some good deals are and risk having an experience like this again?


blueviolet said...

I can't believe she said that! How utterly rude. That first store is a winner!

Joy said...

I love Wegman's. I normally shop there but sometimes the other store has some really good sales and it makes it worth my while to go there but I don't think it is worth the hassle.

Mindy said...

I totally agree that it is worth it to reward a store that is comfortable to shop in, easy to maneuver, kid-friendly, and has great customer service. I sometimes shop at the big chain simply b/c my choices are limited, but I've had some of the same negative experiences. Honestly, I've found that Aldi, with it's quarter for your cart and no frills experience, has the friendliest cashiers and seems to inspire people to slow down and be courteous.

Flying Giggles and Lollipops said...

We do not have Wegmans here, but if we did, I would definitely go there! Taking the kids shopping is a task in itself and sometimes meltdowns happen. It is already difficult enough dealing with meltdowns and taking care of business to quickly get out, but when you add strangers (and employees) comments and glares into the mix, it is completely frustrating. I would definitely avoid that store, even if it means missing out on deals.

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