Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Supermarket shopping is awesome.

However, I have some suggestions for both the shopper, and the supermarket itself in order that things can go smoother and make it a much more pleasant experience!

Instead of letting customers free to any aisle they choose, why not force them through a choke hold snake pattern through the produce section; bringing the traffic flow to an absolute standstill?

Oh, I almost forgot! Place the Lotto shop by the entrance. Compulsive gamblers and desperate householders can get that out of the way early - then they know exactly how much cash is left over to squander on luxuries, like groceries!

A one in 4,000,000 chance of winning Powerball - well worth the $24 ticket!

Next, put the bargain sales bin between the produce and seafood sections, causing a further bottleneck so claustrophobic customers choking for oxygen can inhale the delicious aroma of decomposing marine life. Mmmmmm... I’ll be throwing some of that in, - thanks for the reminder!

Packaging, Deceptive Pricing and Marketing TIPS: well that warrants another full post at least, so I’ll get to that another day.

In New Zealand, we love our junk food but are the only the 3rd most obese nation in the developed world, but we CAN do better!
But we'd be more likely to be adding it to the trolley if we had ready access to aisle after aisle, wall upon wall of sugary carbonated drinks, potato chips, crackers, biscuits, confectionery and salty snack foods!

 Get some!
When we're weakened by starvation and plummeting blood sugar levels, we want to reward ourselves by flooding our kidneys with products high in sugar, fat and sodium levels - so make some room for them, huh? Put those at the front end of the supermarket, so we don't fill up our trolleys with baked beans, cereal and bread etc.

If you run out of soft drink, energy drink, and reconstituted fruit juice to fill those shelves with, why not throw in a few hundred bottles of filtered tap water?
Since your hours are 8am -10pm, instead of restocking the shelves at night, why not move those enormous movable staircases around during opening hours, and have staff throw giant boxes across to each other as the customer nervously and hurriedly swerves around between them, narrowly avoiding death by crushing? By blocking the merchandise, it prevents them from accessing it and putting it in their trolleys - thus saving the need to restock in the first place!

Finally, change the spelling of Pack and Save, to the more economical Pak N Save – so the customer knows damn well that the savings of all that extra lettering will be passed onto the consumer! 

Just because there are hundreds of other shoppers at the supermarket, remember YOU are the centre of the universe. YOU are the one staff and other shoppers are here to serve. These tips will get you through the experience:

Pak N Save has thousands of car parks. There is NO NEED walk an unnecessary extra 5 metres to the door when you can park right outside! Just keep the car idling by the first 3-4 rows burning fossil fuels until someone leaves. (TIP: don’t reverse to let them out, someone else might swipe your park!)

Feel free to give other customers unsolicited advice on their shopping. They love and appreciate hearing constructive criticism of how to best care for your child, and your whispered opinions about pesticides, globalisation, alien abductions etc.

Shopping lists are for poseurs. Just let the meticulously planned layout, eye-level stocked items, and shiny packaging help inform your decisions. People WAY smarter than you have decided what you want and where to find it, why not relax and go with the flow - what’s the hurry anyway?

For no reason whatsoever, every once in a while just stop with your trolley parked diagonally across the aisle and just stare blankly into space.

At the checkouts, remember 12 ITEMS OR LESS is merely a guide and can be interpreted as 12 FOOD GROUPS OR LESS – for example, bread, vegetables, meat , soft drink, stuff in cans, snack food, frozen items, toiletries (regardless of quantity) would be only 8 food groups. While you are holding up the queue – why not quickly nip back out to get the remaining 4!
Now, here is the part where you pay. Since you can’t remember which EFTPOS card or account has any money on it – systematically try every account from lowest balance to highest. No one else behind you is any particular hurry either. You can always write out a cheque, after all.

I know from experience that being a checkout operator is one of the most stressful jobs in the world; constantly under siege by wave after wave of pushing, shoving, grumpy customers, all the while watched like a hawk from a middle management employee on a power trip, and under the threat of being replaced by self serve checkouts. However this is no excuse to afford them any respect. They are here to SERVE you after all! 
When they politely smile, it’s because they like you, not because they are holding back tears - or the urge to fly across the checkout, pinning you to the ground by your neck and stoving in your head with a large can of Kalamata Olives.

Addendum: When there is a long weekend or other holiday, hold off all shopping until the last possible minute, and FILL those trolleys to the brim!

1 comment:

  1. This is timely - I just got back from yo ole' Foodtown, and it was bedlam.

    Heaven forbid that people go one day without buying coloured sugar water and corn chips.