Two Weird Grocery Trips

Double Rainbow
Double Rainbow

I’ve had the weirdest “luck” or lack thereof lately at one grocery store very close to where I live. Everyone who works there has always been kind, polite, friendly and helpful to me. I actually enjoy walking through the aisles. “So what happened?” you may wonder.

I like to use my own cloth bags to save plastic and help the environment. But to use my own bags at the regular check out lane I have to bag my own groceries. This is to protect the employees from handling a person’s bags, who could pass Covid to them possibly(?). I do not mind doing it myself but it is awkward to say the least. So I try to use the Self Check-out area’s scanners and “registers.”

So after bagging my groceries in the self-check-out section I pressed the coupon button, which summoned an employee to scan my coupons. I paid my bill and I left with the full cart to put the groceries in my car. After I unpacked the last thing I lifted my purse from the seat of the cart I found eye drops that I had failed to scan! Since the store assisstant had scanned the coupons including the one for the eyedrops and the scanner accepted it I knew what I needed to do. I was concerned that someone might think I had stolen the $15 eyedrops and got the $5 credit with the coupon applied to my groceries.

So I quickly took the drops back in the store with the receipt and explained what had happened while apologizing. The manager wasn’t surprised and said, “It has happened before.” (I found it quite a unique experience myself since I had never had that happen before.) I was thankful they didn’t think I had tried to steal something! In retrospect I should not have been worried since the assistant had run the coupons through. That was Weird #1 experience.

The other day I bought a lot of groceries and including a gallon of distilled water. I scanned its bar code and placed it in one of my cloth bags, already opened on the scale. Two things happened that drove me nuts! I tried to arrange my purchases in my opened bags on the scales, carefully taking in account what needed a cold item bag; a bag with light things so nothing got squished; and what was light that I could put in the big bag I bought, the computer told me repeatedly,”Place item in the bag,” as I juggled the bags trying to check which one was appropriate for each item.

During these repeated commands I was telling the stupid computer, “I am, I am!” I tried harder to get the variously filled and shaped bags situated on the narrow areas with the narrow scales; while the unbalanced, variously sized, full bags were falling over!

The button lit up on the screen telling me help had been called to assist me, not just once, but several times during these juggling acts; plus everyone around could hear the computer telling me to put the object on the scales! I was embarassed and stressed trying so hard to get things in their proper places d upright.

It’s a wonder people didn’t think I was trying to steal something by putting things in my cart without paying for it! Thankfully the sweet assistant, who looked like she was not yet 19 years-old, was very gracious and reset the button each time with the kindest, patient attitude! I thanked her profusely!

After ringing up a few things I noticed the plastic scale surface was wet under the jug of distilled water. I switched bags in case the jug’s bottom surface was wet, assuming it had been wet before I placed the bag there. After checking everything out I placed many of the bought items in the cart, I saw the jug of distilled water was sitting in a puddle of water, which hadn’t been there before.

I also noticed what looked like a white “web” coming from the jug and spouting out two feet at least! I looked closer and there was a tiny fount of water coming from a pin sized hole in the water jug! The tiny stream of water was so thin, that it looked like a white thread! The sweet, thoughtful employee brought some tape to cover the pinhole from which the water was quickly spouting. (I knew that wouldn’t work, and it didn’t.) So I put my finger over it and felt like the legendary Dutch boy who put his finger in the hole in a dike near Amsterdam and saved his village below.

The sweet, young lady then covered the spout with her finger and took off with the jug to drain it. After a few minutes I asked if someone from the nearby help desk could bring me some paper towels to clean up the water. (As a nurse I was taught to wipe up spills in the patient’s rooms and hallways, to prevent someone else from slipping and falling.) So I am always aware of safety rules and notify people or wipe up spills myself.

So I stayed to redirect other customers around the puddle until someone brought me paper towels. A customer service lady brought a whole roll of paper towels and helped me wipe up the water. The young assistant came back and as I rolled the cart around the corner of the self help section, I asked if she had brought me another jug of distilled water, since I had been busy guarding the spill. She apologized and took off to get another one for me.

I must commend this young lady. She was never impatient nor accusatory about the “Needs Assistance” light going off so many times. She was extremely sweet and helpful. It was obvious I was the first customer she ever had with a water jug with a hole in it! But we all had to start out somewhere and learn our way up.

I won’t stop going to this store. They have always been a pleasant place to shop, with friendly and kind assistants.


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