Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Whatever Happened to Customer Courtesy?

Okay...my back deck is now full of herbs. Why? Because I am on strike. I am on strike from
our local grocery store. I am now on strike from our local dollar store...and somehow this led to a porch-full of herbs? I'm still trying to figure out how that happened.

We live in a small town in hill-country Texas with one..yes one..grocery store. Over the past few years, I have watched the prices increase....ridiculously. "I'm investing in my community" I would tell myself..as I paid $5 for a box of cereal...or $3 for 6 dinner rolls.

I knew I was being screwed...but I wanted to believe that I was investing in the people of this small town.

So, two weeks ago, I am in the middle of cooking dinner when I realize I am missing..mushroom soup. That is all. "Can you pick up some Lucky Charms?" asks Austen....oh...and some dinner rolls? "Anything else?" I ask. "Stew meat would be nice" pipes in friend Sandy. We can make stew for dinner tommorow. I have $20 in my pocket. Surely, I think, $20 should buy 4 items.

I get to the store and start the tally in my head. 1 box of cereal, 1 pkg. of dinner rolls...I am already close to $10. This, I think, is insane. Then the voice...you are investing in your community. I pick up a package of stew meat...small package at that..over $7..I am now at $17 for 3 items. Now..if I could just find the mushroom soup. It figures..moved again.

Just then I hear a voice (a real one this time). May I help you ma'am? (remember..living in the South) I see a gentlemen stacking mushroom soup..and a sign that says...well..I can't read it. He's standing in front of it.The man asks again, "would you like a basket ma'am?" No, I tell him..I just want to see the sign.
I ask, "I'm sorry, does that sign really say $1.27 for a small can of mushroom soup?"

Then the huffing and puffing begins. "Well (says nice gentleman gone angry) if you don't like it, I can always raise the price!" "Excuse me?" I ask. (Is this guy for real?) "You heard me..(he responds) I can always raise the price."

Then it happened. My arm (with hand attached) was returning the stew meat. My feet walked to the cereal aisle and returned the cereal. "oh", I think. "It appears, I'm done shopping here."

I return the other items and decide to wait until I am in San Antonio.

Fast forward to last Friday..the day before our OM tournament. I run to our local dollar store (where I shop all the time!) to pick up 3 containers..I don't want to go into all the details..but essentially it ends with me asking the price of what was labeled $9 and rang up $15. I was having a hard time justifying paying almost $50 for plastic crates..so I said..dumbly.."really..are you sure? It was marked $9".


I then listened as the clerk ranted and raved about customers moving all their items. Truth is, the store had only been opened 10 minutes that morning..and I was trying to envision..anyone..moving this huge pile of crates from one shelf to another without being noticed. I thought it was funny. She did not. Led to lots of screaming on her part.

I walked out of that store also. So..in less than two weeks, I have resolved not to buy anything from two of the stores in a town that is only 10 blocks long. Yikes!

Truth is, I am all for supporting my community..even letting them gouge me a little..but not if they are going to be rude about it.

Fast forward to today...I have been informed by Cody's soccer trainer that he needs to eat like a real vegetarian (not a blanca-vore..in the term of my friend Carol)..or acquire carnivorous habits in order to continue training and not, well, pass out. In other words..eat healthier.

I decide to start cooking two entree's an evening..instead of the haphazard approach we have been taking. So over the weekend I bought lots of herb plants. Yes..plants. I figured I needed them to cook with..and it sure beat running to the "big city" to buy herbs. I didn't realize that to chop a cup of parsley we would be chopping two entire plants!

So what happens? Well..we are eating a lot of plants..right off of my back deck! Why? Because the manager of a grocery store felt the need to create a scene over mushroom soup.

Weekly menu:
Monday: taco's...bean and cheese/taco-meat
Tuesday: tabouleh and pierogies/ cheeseburger pie
Wednesday: spicy cabbage and potatoes/baked chicken breasts
Thursday: chile relleno (cheese), rice and beans
Friday: pizza again:)
Saturday: lasagna with green beans and french bread
Sunday: no idea


Sardine Mama said...

With two veggie kids in this household we have pretty much gone strictly veggie. You HAVE to make sure he gets enough protein. I am mostly getting my recipes from a certain website. Last week we had veggie crispy tacos (has tofu in it), vegetable dumplings (a veggie take on chicken and dumplings that was delicious), etc. I'm not going to make 2 entrees and the kids couldn't just eat sides. Anyway, let's swap menus for next week! Also - loved your posted sermon. I am reading a lot about the historical Jesus right now. Knowing his culture, the times, and the events that dominated his life helps put everything in perspective. I do not personally believe in the divinity of Jesus but to me, the more human he becomes in my mind, the more I admire him.

grillledcheesechic said...

Cody says "please send menu!". He is not so thrilled with our options..big surprise. The rest of us are fine with it. I was going to do vegetable dumplings but the recipe I have looks way too time-consuming. We were going through vegetarian magazine..and truthfully, this boy eats enough peanut butter,eggs and beans I'm not too concerned about his protein. But I do kind of monitor it.

grillledcheesechic said...

Hey..I wasn't ignoring your divinity comment. As you know, I have struggled with this a lot myself in the past. I don't really know what changed. I still struggle with the idea of him as a "Son of God"..I think it's semantics. We are limited in our language...and that was the language of the time. I.E. Ceasar was a "son of God" according to Roman custom, etc. I do believe he was divine..as in one(mind?spirit?)with God.