Hannaford Express

November 2, 2007

(Here’s the DIRECT DOWNLOAD to the MP3 file of this Podcast)

(Here is the transcript to Bowl of Cheese Podcast 29)

Last night, before going to play poker in Manchester, NH I stopped at a Hannaford grocery store. The receipt says the proper name is Hannaford Food and Drug, but I think it should be Hannaford doesn’t know how to properly train any of its staff, food, snacks and drug store.

I’m not still bitter 14 hours after the fact, I’m just puzzled. When did the group IQ of store employees drop into the short-bus zone? I know you probably don’t need a degree and maybe not even a GED to pack groceries or drag boxes, cans and bags over a laser price reader, but c’mon people—what about a shred of common sense?

Here’s the stage…

Heading to poker, needed snacks, filled a cart with about seven items, yada yada yada.

It’s not relevant, but of course the cart had cheese in it (a tasty Montery Jack) and to supplement that was a nice loaf of French bread, some proscuitto, a bag of Whoppers candy (50% off people), a marshmallow pumpkin (also on sale), and some rice crackers (I am healthy).

What’s your first thought? That’s right…I need a drink. Not THAT type of drink, but it was going to be tough choking down the bread and rice crackers without some fluid.

So I drove up to a 12-items or less lane, smiled at the girl at the register who was dragging bags and cans across the scanner for another customer, and I parked the cart in line behind the other customer.

Here’s where I made my mistake. Instead of saying to the girl, “I’ll be right back, please start ringing up my order when you finish with this gentleman” I mumbled, “need a drink” and I dashed off to the juice aisle.

PowerAde in hand I headed back to the register. I’d been gone a grand total of 80 seconds. It was just enough time for the girl to finish ringing up the other customer, shake her blonde hair to and fro, figure out that he might need a bag, fill that bag, giggle and then turn to look at my cart.

At that point, in a flash of brilliance, the GIRL managing the register staff (I say girl because she was probably in the same grade as blondie) probably said, “You don’t have any customers, why don’t you go on break?”

I returned to my cart and looked quizzically at the blonde girl as she was walking away from the register. Then I said LOUDLY, “Are you kidding me? What are you doing?”

She shrugged at me and continued to walk. She also mumbled that the register was closed. I could see that by the fact the light had been turned off and a happy little ‘next register please’ sign was now standing at the end of the conveyor belt.

Additional ranting served only to pollute the air with noise because nobody seemed to think it was odd that a register would close with people standing in line at it.

Even my friend Kristian just shrugged when I said I was going to talk to the manager—which indicated to me that he thought it would probably do as much good as my shouting had done, so I walked out.

But now, after a night of tossing and turning and dreaming of a world in which register girls are shackled to their posts for all eternity, I figured I’d share this little tale with you.

The next time you’re at the supermarket, do your own evaluation as to how close that store comes to being SUPER. I’m pretty sure you’ll look for the shortest line right out the door.

More to come…