Tag Archives: bad customer service

Whole Foods…a Vortex to Acting Like 5 Year Olds.

I was thrilled when I moved here to discover a Whole Foods right around the corner from my house. Coming from Alaska, this was a brand new experience. I had heard stories about the LUXURY of shopping at a Whole Foods.

Vegetables are like diamonds encased in security sealed cases.

Cheese by the pound is on display by region.

Fresh meat all organically grown, petted daily and humanely put down for sale.

A salad bar worth drooling over.

Fresh this and wholesome that.

Vitamins, detox mixtures, tonics and fresh squeezed orange juice….oh my fucking my.

Seriously….people…this is heaven on earth.




Yeah, it’s heaven on earth if I want to be ignored by the staff, nearly run down by patrons and….on top of it all pay out the ass for a 4oz container of guacamole, of which I could make better at home.

What am I missing here?

I simply don’t get it. There are several things that slap me in the face when I go in there:

1. Their customer service SUCKS. Granted, they have good produce. Every time I dash in to pick up something, it always happens the produce guy has his little cart right in front of whatever item I need in the produce aisle:

Corn on the cob? Check.

Tomatos. Check.

Apples. Check.

Potatoes. Check.

Vegan salad dressing. Check.

Doesn’t matter, he is parked there and it never crosses his mind to MOVE THE FUCKING CART a foot to let me select my green beans, snow peas, broccoli or peppers. It annoys the hell out of me. I’m sorry. It’s common sense. You have a customer approaching, with a basket on her arm and obviously looking at the produce right in front of you.

Why yes, I would like some of those carrots with the green leafy tops still on….all five of them for $9.99. Could you excuse me?

So

I

Could

Just

Reach

The

Damn

Carrots?

Oh, no wait, I see the issue. You are too busy laughing it up with the guy who is stocking up the pineapples and grapes. Never mind. Don’t want to bother you. Let me climb over your cart. Who is the customer here?

Apparently the overhead they charge for the produce also includes a gym membership fee.

Who knew?

It annoys the shit out of me.

AND, the people who check you out never smile. Tonight, when I ran in to grab corn and tomatoes, the guy walked away from the counter without saying a word so he could go throw a paper out two rows away.

REALLY?

I always approach and say HELLO! HOW ARE YOU?! Nothing.

If you really hate your job so much that you can’t smile and greet your customers, such as Michael this evening at my local store, then you need to go work somewhere else. The lady at the corner hot dog stand has better customer service than these people. It never fails. Save the overhead and have self check out!

Wait! Do you think because people are paying $5.99 for a pack of gum….gives you the permission to ignore your customers and treat us like shoe leather? Oh wait, you thought we were the plastic shoe leather? Pleather? THAT explains so much then.

But should one of their friends come up to help bag, whoa! It’s all fun and games….my, how the tides turn. Did I just slide down the rabbit hole? Apparently you are just hard of hearing and you didn’t hear my greeting.

Maybe I should just start yelling at people.

Let’s move forward.

********* The Salad Bar *********

So the tremendous salad bar. They have a great selection of soups. If you enjoy soups.
I don’t.

The salad bar is a typical salad bar. A variety of leafy greens to select and toppings. Nicely done.

Then the opposite side is mixed salads, rice salads, weird shit and shit I wouldn’t eat as I don’t eat weird shit or limp shit, or shit I can’t pronounce.

I’m sorry but when you see zucchini and squash that has been sliced lengthwise and then grilled….placed under heat lamps….it’s not right. They’re limp. They’re gross. It’s veggie abuse. Same goes for the eggplant. It is a horror flick right there in the deli. I have to turn the other way as it makes my stomach turn. Kind of like smelling sour milk.

Imagine holding up a piece of limp grilled zucchini in your hand….it falls over. So sad. It was excited at one point, I’m certain of it. Who wants limp shit? Okay, maybe a starving Sasquatch.

But apparently someone out there is enjoying the limp shit. Desperate, hungry, rich people, that don’t know about crisp veggies. Imagine holding up a piece of limp grilled zucchini in your hand….it falls over. So sad. It was excited at one point, I’m certain of it.

The thing I hate about going around that damn salad / deli area are the people.

No

Sense

Of

Personal

Space.

Which brings me to another point of the experience at Whole Foods….

2. The regulars. Maybe it’s where I live. I think it’s a feeling of entitlement. I’ve started to wonder what’s happened to two things: personal space and common courtesy. It’s not like we’re on the NYC subway here….ass to coot-chy …. DAMN.

Bumping elbows, watches, shoulders, baskets, hips…..okay – BACK THE FUCK UP!

Unless you are planning on popping open a bottle of wine in aisle 9 and then taking me to dinner, you are way too close to me. Knock it off.

There is no reason for your shoes to be hitting my shoes – there is plenty of space to go around me. I am all of 5’2 on a good day and it’s not like I weigh in like a gorilla. I don’t even have a cart! There’s simply no reason to be up my ass, over my shoulder, climbing up my eyeballs to get around me.

Take a breath.

Take a step to the side.

Go around me.

SAY EXCUSE ME! It’s not difficult!

If I stop to look at something, you are going to have to adjust your plan and detour. Don’t roll your eyes and huff at me. I’m not your child and am certainly not your spouse. Life does not revolve around you, jackass. Get over it. I’m putting my basket down and looking at this colon detox powder for the next ten minutes or until you stop glaring at me. If you’re going to continue, I will pick up this anal itch cream and ask you if you’ve tried it.

Don’t tempt me.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah….life sucks….get in line with the rest of us. Waaaahhhhhh.

Oh my god….if you are going to shop in here, suck it up and act like an adult.

That’s what I don’t get. To shop in Whole Foods, you have to have money, yet all these people in here act like five year olds.

They’re playing chicken with their carts in the aisles.

I’m not moving….you are going to have to climb over me if you want to get that hot sauce, fucker.

They will run you down to get to the salad bar – and block it. MINE! IT’S ALL MINE!

Missy is going to be a defensive blocker for the vegan cheese display and then at the organic wine area.

Sorry, did you want to get in the front door? I’m cleaning my cart handle off with the sanitary wipe. Sorry.

Clint is on his phone shouting about his latest trade while trying to choose what bread to get sliced. PICK ONE!

For the love of all things holy – concentrate – get your shopping done and move out of the way for the rest of humanity.

******* The End Result *******

I’m done with Whole Foods.

We have found a fabulous farmer’s market up north we go to every weekend. We can fill up bags and bags of fresh produce for just dollars. It’s fantastic. Right from the farms. I can go to our little guy and get what we affectionately call…”Hooker Vaginas”….but we have to get there early as he sells out. We get a quart for $10 and then I usually get my own for $3 and enjoy it in the car on the way home. Eric sometimes gets one as well. It’s good for us yumminess.

I would rather drive 30 minutes and go to a Trader Joe’s than go through the non-sense we continue to experience at a Whole Foods. I don’t get it. It’s not worth it. They’re not making me feel like a valuable customer and I’m not going to support them as a business. It’s ridiculous. Yes, they may be easy and healthy, but there is lots to be said about good customer service and feeling welcomed into the establishment.

Thanks for letting me vent…..I feel lighter…..like dandelion fluff or glitter in a confetti cannon.

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Apparently You’re Broken

I have a complaint.

Why have I not heard about the fundraising effort to assist cashiers across America?  Di you know, they have all broken their arms.  Shocking news isn’t it?

You must be kidding me.  Seriously, you can’t lift the head of lettuce, chili pepper, bottle of shampoo and loaf of bread out of my basket?  The basket is on the conveyor belt.  It’s waist high!  No, you still can’t empty it?  What on earth is wrong with this customer service world?   It’s not like I’m carrying around 50 pounds of cement mix in my basket…..if I can carry it with one arm, you would think the cashiers would be able to lift each item out individually to ring them up.

WRONG.  It’s happened to me at Target and now at Whole Foods.

“Is this your basket?”

No, I’m standing here to ask you if you prefer your orange juice with or without pulp.

YES, it’s my basket.  Who else would it belong to?

“Oh well can you help me empty out the items?”

A look of disbelief crosses my face like a tumbleweed in a desert ghost town.

I start to empty out the items and she turns to start talking to the bagger guy.  Since the conveyor belt keeps moving forward I have to pile all of my items together.  This is ridiculous.  After I empty out my plethora of heavy items she turns to me and asks how I’m doing today.

The only reason I can figure why this has now become the norm (I’ve had this happen to me both at Target and today at Whole Foods) is someone has undoubtedly thrown their back out by lifting out a can of chickpeas or a 4-pack of toilette paper out of a basket sitting on the conveyor belt.

Cashiers don’t even have to enter numbers any longer except when multiple quantities or a produce item comes across their stand.  When I was a casher in high school, at the local grocery, we had to actually ring in items.  Imagine that.  Then I had to walk home without shoes, up hill and in the desert sun.

At Costco here in South Florida, they unload your cart for you.  THAT’S service.  Of course, their management probably figures after heaving that overladen cart around their football field of items you’re arms are fatigued and you need help.

My purchases are finally rung through and as I’m preparing to swipe my card for payment (cashiers don’t even have to do that any more shocking) the cashier points to the basket and says, “Can you put this on the floor for me?”

Gobsmacked.

Are you kidding me?  Seriously?  Are your arms painted onto your torso?  What happened to customer service?  Here, move over and let me ring up and bag my own groceries.  Oh wait, I can already do that.  In fact, I did just that earlier today at Ikea.

What is it exactly that we’re paying cashiers to do these days anyway?  Drag items across a scanner that rings up the item.  Wow.  Difficult.

Imagine the qualifications for the job:  able to keep right arm bent at elbow for hours while dragging items across scanning device and shoving item with left hand to the bagger for packaging.  Smiling and pleasant chatting is not required or expected.  Prefer individuals with sour personality and frown hanging down to their knee caps.  If you can sweat sheer exhaustion and boredom, you’re hired!

Few cashiers are pleasant.  Most are annoyed you are standing in front of them.  Very rarely do they even greet you or ask if you found everything.  They’re too busy discussing with their coworkers when their next smoke break is and if they can borrow a cigarette.  TRUE, happened last week at Target.  If one should actually thank you for shopping at their place of employment, pigs would fly.  Actually monkeys would probably shoot out of my butt if good customer service was normal at retail stores.

Even the girl at Barnes and Noble was annoyed today.  When you are angry at the world, try not to take it out on me.  If being nice to customers isn’t your thing, may I suggest a job change.  You probably want to stay away from people so I would look into office cleaning in the evenings, back-room stock person or counting beans in a basement somewhere.  Maybe you could pass as a sultry 900 number operator, there you could wear a headset and not even have to use your arms at all.  There’s a bonus!

Seriously, I think owners and managers alike should do their own version of Undercover Boss and experience first hand just how rude their front line staff can be to customers.  It isn’t even rude as it’s down right anti-customer service.

I’m thinking of starting a rating system.  If you provide great customer service, I will thank you and give you a high five.  Actually, we have stopped managers in stores and restaurants to compliment a particular employee.  Maybe I’ll just start telling the anti-service cashiers, I hope their day gets better……let them ponder that one.

 

AN ADDENDUM:

I would also like to comment at this time that The Public should learn some manners as well.  The woman in front of me at Whole Foods today…..her son, maybe 8 years old, nearly ran me down as he was obviously hopped up on sugar and decided to run back into the aisles like a fox chasing a hare.  No excuse me.  No I’m sorry.  No pardon me.  NOTHING.  Even the man behind me raised his eyebrows and shook his head.

I don’t care WHAT country you are from people.  It’s never okay not to be nice.  Running down a stranger is not acceptable, unless they have a mafia hit on them.

 

Lounge Lizard Queen

For a big night on the town, here in Juneau, Alaska…we planned to have a nice dinner out and then head over to the show. When I told my mom a few weeks ago the Femme Fatales were back in town, she jumped for joy and said, “let’s get tickets!”

If you aren’t familiar with the Femme Fatales, it’s a draq queen show. The proceeds go to the local AIDS program. I love draq queens! They’re fearless, have a sense of humor and are slightly intimidating at the same time. Good for them! They also have great theme music.

Mom said she wanted to go to Zootopia for dinner. (Again, the name has been changed to protect the guilty.) I had checked, earlier in the week their Saturday dinner hours. The sign on the door said Sat: 4:00 – 10:00PM. Perfect!

Side note, I can count on one hand how many times I have dined at Zootopia. It’s too expensive and the service is slow. If the food is stellar, I don’t mind expensive but when the service is slow and the food unmemorable….that’s a double whammy. I’m paying your wages and you can’t manage to get my food out while it’s still hot? I’m not paying for rubber lamb – it’s not rocket science! I know this because, yes, I have been a waitress in a previous life, thank you.

But….Mother, insisted she had been here recently and had great food, service and a pleasant experience.

We wanted to arrive at the drag show early to get good seats, so we planned to eat about 4:30.

I want to be close enough to the drag queens that I don’t have to strain my neck but far enough away they can’t grind on me. Close enough they can put their head in my chest if they lean back, but far enough way they can’t sit on me.

Second row, second seat works perfectly for this! My better half, Eric, came with us and he, for obvious reasons, got the aisle seat.

The three of us walk up to Zootopia and open the front door. Nobody else is inside the restaurant. An older guy hesitantly walks up to us and gives us a perplexed look as to what we’re doing there.

He asks if we’re there to eat.
Ah yes. This is a restaurant right? Or is it a front for a gambling lounge and we haven’t provided the password yet?

He advises us they don’t open until 5:00, but if we’d like to sit and have a drink then by the time we’re finished we could order.

For clarification, my mom says, “so we can order dinner?”
The guy confirms and shows us to a table.

Okay, when we walked into the place and my gut turned on the “this is a mistake. Warning! Warning! Warning strobe light” we should have turned around and left. It would have saved us time.

But no.

We sat down.

At a table that came complete with dirty table cloths.

I’m not talking crumbs either. Full on oily stains and crusted over white shit that looked like dried up phlegm.

Well okay, let’s go ahead and see what happens. The young waitress comes over, completely dressed in black, like all hip wait staff are these days. She puts down, what I assume are menus, on our table and proceeds to pour three waters. I ask if she has a wine list we could look at….mistake number one.

Uppity waitress looks at me and says, as she’s pouring another glass of water:

“I can only do one thing at a time with one arm. The menu is right there.” And she starts to pass out the food menus.

Wow, really? We all exchange glances. I very graciously thank her for the menus…..all of them.

She departs the table and Mom says to me….the wine is expensive. I tell her most are by the bottle. We’re talking $40 and upwards. We continue to look through the wine menus and the angry, self-righteous waitress comes back to take our drink order.

I advise her we’re going to need another minute. She advises us that:
“If you want to order salads and spreads we can do that for you.”

Eric verifies what she just said and we did hear her properly:

Correct: we can’t order dinner until 5:00, but if we wanted to order salads and spreads off the menu, then the chef could do that. She said, “anything fresh like gnocchi is going to take until after 5:00.”

And before I could get it out of my mouth the surly waitress says, “He needs to change the time on the door.”

Well duh. Really? Now there’s a smart idea.

Eric, putting on his “getting ready to throw down” New Yorker attitude politely advises her we have somewhere to be at 5:30pm.

Hold on tight cause here we go….

Waitress: Oh? Where’s that?

Eric: The Baranof. For a show.

Waitress: What show?

Self: The Femme Fatales

Mother: Well, is there somewhere else open?

Self: The Gold Room at the Baranof.

I honestly think this waitress thought we were making stuff up so they’d be forced to feed us. Seriously? We have other options in this town. Watch us as we get up and leave…..

Needless to say, I won’t be back and will advise my nearest and dearest to do the same. Good customer service can make a world of difference. I suggest they start by putting their actual business hours on the front door.

So we left, ate at the Baranof and watched the draq queens walk by to the show room.

The show was a lot of fun – of course. I knew one queen….which was exciting. It was his first show. He performed to Madonna’s Vogue. See, good music!

My mother knew one queen as well. We’ll call him Roxie. He was the one responsible for getting this show started 15 years ago as a local fundraiser. I saw him perform 15 years ago and he was stunning. Gorgeous, couldn’t believe it was a man, stunning.

15 years, drugs and alcohol have aged Roxie into what I can only describe as an iguana in drag. Frightening. Gives whole new meaning to the term, “lounge lizard.”

I knew this queen was Roxie because the bartender greeted him as I was getting a refill at the bar. Immediately I sat down next to Mom, in the show room and told her who I just saw in the bar….

Hold on, the train is leaving the station and we’re gonna wreck.

One of the first performers of the evening…Roxie.

Teased, teased, teased, honey blonde long, ratted up wig. Long, tan dress with a slit up to the forbidden fruited area and beyond. Super cute leopard print high heels.

I’m thinking, whatever happens, don’t make eye contact. Scary. Imagine, Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones, dressed up in drag.

After the Roxie performance, he continued to wander through the audience….showing off his legs and black underwear. Was that supposed to be a turn on? If so, I missed the switch.

Finally we arrive to the end of the show. All the performers are up on stage. Roxie leaves behind his seated leg kicks and crotch exposure routine and joins the group up on stage. She nearly nearly falls off into the laps of the front row. Luckily the queen behind her grabbed her by the waist and reeled her in like a fish.

We’re picking up speed and about to crash. Ladies and gentlemen, please put on your oxygen masks and assume the crash position. If you have a crash helmet, I suggest you put it on immediately.

The show concludes with a fabulous rendition of “We Are Family.” Everyone leaves on high spirits. Except for Roxie.

On our way out, Roxie is seated in the bar area. Mom wants to get a picture with him. It’s my suggestion we’re just happy with a snap from a distance. Kind of like, “don’t poke the lions” at the zoo. No, she insists.

Well Roxie, although unable to keep his eyes open any longer, or his skirt pulled together, eyes Mom and realizes he knows her. This isn’t going to be pretty.

I get my camera and try to get it focused on the two of them. He keeps wiggling in his lounge seat, trying to find a good picture position for us. Mom puts her arm around him and pulls the trigger.

Roxie screams:

“DON’T TOUCH THE HAIR!
YOU FUCKIN’ BITCH!
NO PHOTOS!”

Mom jumps about three feet and lands on me. I immediately turn us around and the three of us are bolting out the hotel doors.

Eric’s asking, “What did you do? Touch the wig?”

Apparently she nudged the wig when she put her arm around Roxie.

Damn, nearly gave us all a heart attack. Kind of like when you are walking through your house and your family member leaps out from behind the door, scaring the shit out of you…when you least expect it.

I nearly soiled myself.