Saturday, July 25, 2009

Where's the Manager??

Most of you who read regularly know that I am an avid coupon clipper/deal seeker kind of mom. We have been working on our "stockpile" for some time now. I think we are finally to a point where I can slow up and not have to grocery shop (except perishables like milk and eggs) for about a month now.

I regularly shop several different stores to get the best bargains and interact with other moms to share coupons, find deals and so forth.

Today we hit Harris Teeter and when we came home I went to Wal-mart and to Kroger. Now, as much as I don't really care for Wal-mart (too big, doesn't double coupons, prices not really lower than other stores), tonight I would have chosen them over Kroger as the most "customer friendly". So, be forewarned, this is going to be a Kroger bashing post. If you don't want to read it, skip right on over it and I won't be offended at all.

I went to Kroger with some very specific deals in mind. I had my coupons ready and went late so I wouldn't have crowds.

This week's special deal at Kroger is buy 10 of a variety of products and get $5.00 off your order (basically, $.50 off each item). If you combine it with manufacturer's coupons, it can turn out to be some really good deals. For example: Chex Mix for $.49, Kraft cheese $.49 a bag or a block, Kleenex tissue, $.49 a box. And so the list goes. I got three "deals" ($15) due to me at check out.

When I got ready to check out, the only lit up rows were self check out. What??? I asked the kid -- yes, kid -- working if self-checkout was my only option (I've got a cart full here) and he says, "Yep. After 10:00 that's pretty much all you get." Hmmmm.... ok. So, I start the self-check out process. About half-way through I had to start sitting bags on the FLOOR to make room to bag the other things. Every time you take a bag off the counter, you have to have a manual override from the "associate". Well, there were three associates working self-checkout. Actually, working might be a strong word for what they were doing. One was talking to a girl. I know all about her, including who she dates, where she went for ice cream and with whom, where her boyfriend no longer works, where she used to work (Kroger), blah, blah, blah. Another associate was scratching off his lottery tickets -- which, by the way, I don't think he was old enough to even buy. The third associate was alternating checking his phone's text messaging and entering overrides for me to check out.

And then there were the coupons. Oh my... about every third one required manual override so I would have to wait, let him "do his thing" and then try to enter more. He never one time looked at my coupons or verified anything. I could have been poking through who knows what kinds of coupons.

Finally, I turned, a bit frustrated, I suppose and said to the three, "Don't you find it funny that you all are getting paid to be working and I'm the one paying for the groceries and yet I'm doing all the work?" I got two replies that summed it up. One boy said, "Well, I don't get paid much." Oh. Well then. The second boy said, "Well, eventually everyone's going to have to do all their checking out anyway." Oh. Ok. That makes this all better.

And then I schlepped it out to the car and loaded it in and looked at my receipt -- which I thought was a little high considering the deals I got and the amount of coupons I had. Imagine my FRUSTRATION (read: anger) when I noticed I did NOT get the $15 credit for purchasing the items required to get it. I called (didn't feel like going back in -- I just wanted to go home) and asked for the manager. Well does anyone care to guess what answer I got??? "All the managers have gone home. We close in 5 minutes." Oh. Alright. "Ok, I'll just call back tomorrow." Click.

Is it just me or do you not think that a MANAGER should be on duty until after a store (of the size of Kroger) is CLOSED? Who takes the money? Who locks up? Who does all the "manager" type stuff? What happens if someone gets hurt while there is no manager there? *sigh*

And, with all that having been said, I suppose I won't shop at this particular Kroger again. There are others that are much more well run than this one.

And tomorrow, I will find a manager and get my $15 back. I know it doesn't sound like much, but as hard as I word to clip those coupons and find those deals, $15 is a lot of money. It is, by the way, the amount I paid for $58 worth of groceries earlier in the week at Harris Teeter.


Julie and Dean said...

I would have been SO mad! You have so much more contral than I. You know what I would have done? I would have left the groceries right there on the self check out aisle and WALKED OUT so the non-working, slacking "workers" had to put everything back on the shelves.
Confession: I actually did do that once because the check out person was rude to my son.

Lori said...

UGH. Not only would I find the store manager (the big one, not the shift one) of that particular Kroger, I'd get in touch with their corporate office as well and let them know...heck, just cut and paste your blog post. Based on experience as a complainer (yes, me, can you believe it?) you will probably get a 'heartfelt' apology, for which you could pay a dime a dozen for, but with that, you probably will get some "sorry" coupons or credits. I do that ALL the time (I put myself through undergraduate AND graduate school working SEVERAL customer service jobs AT ONE TIME while a full time student and I ALWAYS focused on customer service, no reason for others not to!) and get lots of coupons and freebies...BabiesRUs is my latest conquest!

Tomorrow, I'd open a can of whoop-a**...if you know what I mean.

Mom to 2 Angels said...

How frustrating! Which Kroger was it? I am going through my Sunday paper ads right now!

Corinne said...

What ever happened to the value of work or service? I find it sad that this country have lost much of that genuine service to others in work place.How frustrating to say the least!One of the things I feel really strong about is to teach my children the value of genuine work and service so they will not be like those workers you encountered!Go give them an ear full!