26 August 2010

The B.A. Stands For Bad Attitude

I am ready to admit that the B.A. after my name does not necessarily mean Bachelor of Arts, rather it could readily mean Bad Attitude!  Yes, I will own up to it here and now, I am a short-fused, contentious, curmudgeonly old S.O.B. who is fairly easy to rile.  Nonsense does it most often, but people trying to rip me off is guaranteed to make my dander soar like a hungry raptor in search of prey.  Put the two together and I am a sight to behold, and be sure to cover the ears of the children.

Here's what has my dudgeon boiling right now.  Stay with me here and see if my peevishness is not well based.

I go to our neighborhood Brookshire's and being the taciturn lout that I am, I just prefer to enter the store, remain silent and anonymous, and do my business and get out without being chatted up...but no!  By the time I've gotten through the door and wiped down the cart handles at least three clerks, baggers, managers, or assistant managers have shouted out, for all to hear, inquiries as to my well being..."How are you today Sir?"

I'm tempted on these occasions to tell them about my aching back, the things going on with my wife's health and the horrific affliction of a hives-like rash I'm afflicted with periodically as a residual effect of either the chemo or radiation for my cancer treatment.  How am I?  Don't ask!

And by the time I make it to produce and around the corner past the meat department at least three more store employees have greeted me with cheery "hello, how are yous" and I want to shout, "Just the same as I was when I walked in the damned door and was first assaulted with your misplaced interest as to my well-being".

Now understand, I went to Brookshire's as a conscious decision because I really was in no humor for Wal-Mart.  That tedium is best undertaken early in the morning while still half asleep.  Had I gone to Wal-Mart in this humor, there would have been headlines.

Sure, I get it; some suit in Brooshire's home-office had a brain spasm and held a few dozen meetings and drilled every one in the stores on being "friendly" and "customer aware".  High motives indeed. But, put into practice, the redundancy plays out like a skit put on by lunatics.

Then I get to the pharmacy and find out I have to show my I.D. and sign three documents to merely pick up a prescription...a "controlled substance" you see, and all overseen by a pimply-faced 18-year old clerk!  Just answer me this will you?  How many 70-year old drug addicts go to the trouble of having a physician call in a prescription on a Medicare Part D plan and stand in line at Brookshires to get it. 

As I check out (yet another bubbly inquiry as to my health) and am ready to leave the store, I am forced, over a pretty strong protest, to allow one of the store employees to push my cart and load my car.  Never mind that I'm 6'1", 190lbs and fairly rugged and this employee is a wizened, partially crippled with osteoporosis, old woman at least my age or more.  Brookshires will try to tell you it's more of their "friendly customer service" but I think it's just a means to keep their shopping carts from wandering off.  For God's sake, find her something meaningful to do in the office instead of schlepping heavy carts and loading cars!

If Brookshire's were serious about customer service instead of just imposing their ill-advised solicitous groveling on people for the sake of appearances they would figure out a way to sell produce that does not turn rotten with a day or two of leaving the store, or 60-cent a pound bananas, or $2.00 a pound oranges.  A few less "greeters" and "cart pushers' and they could trim their overhead enough to provide real customer satisfaction.

They make a big deal out of how "Christian" they are, even to the extent of ballyhooing their closures on Easter in celebration of their "Savior".  That's fine, but tell me when gouging for every last penny and selling sub-standard products became a Christian virtue.

How am I?  Aren't you glad you asked?

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