Hey wanna join the "Club"?

Club cards drive me crazy. And even worse are the employees pushing the "club" on me. Supermarkets are horrible at accepting the answer "no". I went to The Safeway* to pick up a few things I needed assuming that I'd be able to pop in and out quickly. How was I wrong to think such thinks? I was wrong to think that I could go into this store and buy anything without harassment.

The shopping part was easy. I went cart free because I brought my own sacks and managed to fill them with the few items I needed. It's so much easier to walk the store cart-free. I was able to weave in and out of the other moms with kids in tow. Ahh such relief to be kid free in the supermarket. I waited in line, the only line open for people with more than 10 items, and there were several people in front of me. I waited and waited. When I realized that the hold up was a lady arguing about a price I figured I'd be there a whole lot longer. She looked tough and the Manager was on her way over so I knew that this was going to get messy. I spotted the self check-out line and walked over there to begin the leaving process. My favorite part.

I selected the machine closest to the exit, emptied my sacks, the employee looking at me with concern, and proceeded to begin. I touched the screen to begin. The computer reminded me to scan my "club" card but I ignored it opting to start scanning. The employee asked me if I had my "Club card" and I told her "No, not with me." She gave me a quizzical look but turned her attention to another customer. Since I had my own sacks and this self check-out has a weight based bagging portion to the machine I set my items on the scale (as it's called) outside of any plastic sacks. Somehow this perplexed the lady. She asked me "Why aren't you bagging those groceries" I pointed to my sacks on the floor next to my feet and said "I have my own" and went back to my task. My motions must have confused the computer as it kept asking me in it's unfriendly womanly voice to rescan the last item, though clearly on the screen it was accounted for in the tally. This is one thing I dislike about this type of machine because if you are not paying attention you might just pay for a box of tissues 3 times. I felt like a child. I scanned an item and pointed to it when the computer and employee asked me to rescan. Anyhow this went on for about 15 minutes. I had about 20 things so you can see how this made me slightly irritated, well that and this lady and her constant interruptions, I was bordering insanity. Finally the unfriendly womanly computer asked for my club card and I tried to find the "don't have one" button to get out of the prompt and move on to the paying part. That's when the lady came over to ask me for my card again. I explained in great detail this time how I ALREADY have one, just not on my person, and the phone number it was signed up with is lost in my memory. I got the card in 1996. When I lived in Colorado. Back in college. And lady that just makes it very clear to you if you can do math that was 12 years ago. Further I have not shopped at The Safeway in over 5 years. Still she didn't get it. "Why?" kept coming up. I repeated "not on me" several more times. She went to her station tinkered around and I was magically allowed to swipe my card and be free from this prison.

I was glad to begin bagging. She brought over my receipt pointed to the $3.00 I "saved" thanks to her putting in the savior club card for losers like me. She told me to call the number and correct my phone number. I nodded, thanked her and hoped for her to go away. Then she began to "help" me bag my groceries. I nearly told her to back the heck up but allowed her to "help" me with my things. I nearly lost my mind when she bagged my things in plastic and put that INSIDE my cloth bags! But what really made me vexed was that she began to chastise me about the lack of my club card, not using a cart (because why would I go shopping in a supermarket without a cart), how did I ever get "all these things up here?", and why am I using these cloth bags. ARRRGGGHHH!!!

People, that was when I had almost violent thoughts about this woman.

I curtly said in reply "I prefer no cart when I get a few things I can clearly carry out of a store in two cloth bags, I am capable of carrying much heavier items for far longer than this small collection of groceries and I hate unnecessary plastic bags."

I have just reaffirmed why I do not like The Safeway and supermarkets in general. There has to be a better option out there. Shopping for the food I need should not be a stressful negative experience. And for the love of Pete please do not bag my groceries.

*This is how we referred to the store in college. There were 2 supermarkets in town, City Market where most people went because the produce and meat will not make you sick, and another, The Safeway. Think about the irony in its name. See. I hear you laughing.


Judith said…
Not one store carries all the products we like, so I've joined them all. If you need the specials at Safeway, Giant or Harris Teeter, and don't want to sign up for a new card (and trust me, it's much easier than updating your info--that is an exercise in patience) you can enter my cell number. And who knows? Maybe you'll get a few coupons you can use.
Yvonne said…
See that's it! Supermarkets assume that shoppers will have fidelity to their store. I suppose most do but smart (& frugal) people like you and me go to the places for the best prices for what we want. It's the price we pay to save some $$$.

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