Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On my immediate surroundings, as I wait for the shuttle


-It's the only reliable, one-stop source for (almost) everything I buy. I want a big bag of bulk rolled oats, and a splurge on plumcots. They come through.

-It isn't more expensive. People want it to be, because it's so insufferable (see "Hate" below) that it seems it ought to be, and maybe it is in some parts of the country (Chicago?), but in most of my experience, it's not. It was cheaper than the nearby Gristedes in New York, and is about the same as Wegmans here. (An employee at WF here once remarked to me that Wegmans is so expensive, which was, I think, overkill.) One gets the impression that it's more expensive because the kind of items that tend to cost a lot (produce, meat, fish) look so much more appealing here, so you end up leaving with more. And I suppose the per-pound stuff is expensive for what it is, but it looks no more appealing than any other salad bar, which is to say it ranges from nauseating to that which could be prepared in two seconds for a tenth of the price, so I avoid it.


-Every single thing that isn't food is pure, unadulterated rich-hippie obnoxiousness. Cosmetics, skin creams, paper goods, and placebo-or-worse supplements, all packaged in such a way as to make you think you've done your good deed for the day/week by making that selection. This takes up a huge amount of (in this case) the middle of the store, such that if you want ice cream or bread (and why wouldn't you?), you have to wade through a sea of it. Given the number of "Smile, You're On Camera" signs in that section, and the prominence of lotions that won't slowly kill your baby like what's sold at CVS, it would seem that the very purpose of it is to give bored SAHMs with a case of kleptomania something to do. I, at least, have yet to find a purpose of it, and the shuttle drops us off for two full hours, so believe me, I've tried. A bunch of extra-non-toxic nail polish in colors that are always just slightly off.

-Because the presumed customer is a sanctimonious beeyotch fresh from a hard day lounging at the self-refurbishment spa, people who work here fall into two categories: obsequious/chipper in that way that so confounds people who aren't American and seething-class-warrior. Once again, today I got on line for the latter. In a brilliant move that saves the company labor costs while giving the customer the illusion of labor solidarity, they've effectively phased out baggers, so if you bring your own bags, you bag as the cashier rings you up. Because I'm not from a country where it's always been thus, I'm slow at this, and have trouble coordinating the bagging and the checking of prices on the little screen. So. Today, I made the grave mistake of mentioning that I'd used four bags, as I had not seen the "BYOB" discount ring up. Turns out the cashier had entered it already. I apologized, thanked her, apologized, thanked her, and so on. Then, when she handed me my receipt, she angrily insisted on pointing to where the bag discount was indicated. "I believe you," I assured her, but to no avail, further evidence that the bag refund at WF is more trouble than it's worth.

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