I am currently embroiled in a game of cat and mouse with the local supermarket manager! For some reason, ever since I have been a small boy, trips to the supermarket have been a major adventure for me. I have decided to borrow some of these actual adventures in one of my latest books, where the Harry and Paul characters, find themselves caught in numerous supermarket adventures while on a routine shopping mission. It will be included in a book slated for release later this year titled,” The Miracle Tree.” Aside from the inspiration, the game I am embroiled in, according to my wife is futile, a product of my bizarre mind, and useless. My wife sighs when I tell her that these evil plans conjured up by our local supermarket are all part of a huge conspiracy to tear more hard earned dollars from my wallet. No matter how many articles I show her on the internet to back up my theories, she is convinced that I am just a nut case! She tells me that ordinary people just shop and that they do not have any of these troubles. In an effort to drum up some sympathy for my plight, let me explain to my dear readers, my dire shopping experiences.
It all started when I walked into Brand X supermarket (in my books it is always the fictional Foodworld!) one Saturday morning to pick up a few things. I had my head down and I was not actually paying any attention as I steered myself to pickup a box of my favorite Big Bob’s Sugar Fizzly Whizzly cereal. I walked mindlessly through the aisles and when I reached my final destination, I looked up and stared at row upon row of pasta boxes! Puzzled, I spun around and around, and looked at my watch. Since it was way too early for me to be half in the bag, I spun backwards and forwards looking for my cereal. As I stood there spinning around like a top, a young man stocking the shelves spotted me.
“Ya lookin for the cereal mistah?”
“Yea, yea, yea, my Big Bob’s Sugar Fizzly Whizzly?”
“Yea, they changed the whole store around last night. The cereal is now in aisle twenty two next to the ketchup. The Big Bob’s cereal is an impulse item and it maybe on an end cap! These big bosses have messed the whole joint up, by making people walk a certain way to force them to buy more stuff. Bunch of jerks, now no one can find anything!”
I thanked him and thought to myself, WHAT! THEY CHANGED THE WHOLE STORE AROUND! This was an outrage! I have been coming here for years and years. Impulse item! No way would I fall for that old trick of buying items staged on end caps and over priced! I am way too smart and cheap for that. I still sleep with the first nickel I ever earned under my pillow! I was fired up and stomped my way back to the front of the store to let my complaint be heard! I then realized that in the main aisle were hundreds of other shoppers spinning around like tops. They also could not find a thing. In a sordid and vain defense, the store had placed rows of managers there in the main aisle with placards in their hands to assist the customers in their confused quests. As I approached the store manager, who I had known for years, (and had his smiling picture on the wall above the customer service counter), I could hear him barking out instructions, “Yes indeed, soda is now in aisle three, bread is in aisle four, etc. etc.” He then received an earful from the old gal he was helping for his role in the new covert arrangement! I waited my turn!
“How can I help you sir?” The smiling, evil re-arranger asked me.
“Listen here pal, what is the meaning of this mess? You really think by listening to a bunch of genius’ in your Brand X corporate headquarters playing with plan-o-grams on a computer that you can force me to buy more stuff!”
“Well sir, that is not really…”
“Never mind! Let me tell you pal, I am a shopping guru! I will now walk a different way to foil your evil plan! I know the drill; milk, meat, bread, eggs, beer, potato chips, all the essential items to sustain life on Earth in the back of the store, so that you walk through a myriad of displays to buy more stuff you do not need! Impulse items proudly shining at you along the way to say buy me! Buy me! Well it will not work with me! I am on to you and this type of marketing scheme!”
“I am sorry sir, you can call our Brand X headquarters customer service hotline and voice your complaint. I just have to follow the orders from my superiors.” The manager handed me a card with the customer service contact information stamped on it! I took the card and walked off in a huff. This is the last time I shop at this dump, let me tell you! I am going over to Brand Z down the street. Since I was here anyway, I did pick up the Big Bob’s Sugar Fizzly Whizzly cereal that was on an end cap just as the young man had told me. After all, the sign on the display states that it is on sale. No sense in wasting a trip!
When I arrived home, I called the number on the card. Of course, I received an automation voice on the other end, guiding me happily along.
“Thank you for calling Brand X supermarkets, where the quality, value, price, and rearranging of the stores is our way of saying thank you to you our valued shoppers. Press one for general information, press two for store locations, press three if you lost your whiz bang Brand X shopper’s value card, press four if you are confused, press six to hear this menu over, press seven to speak with a customer service representative or press five to complain about a store rearrangement!” Ah ha! More evil tricks…. put the number five out of order! I pushed the number five and waited.
“Due to a blizzard here in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, the customer service headquarters of the store rearrangement center is closed. Please leave a message after the beep!”
What! The final straw! Off to Brand Z from now on and game on for Brand X! I slammed down the phone in disgust.
I pulled out the receipt from my trip to Brand X from my wallet to file it away, and looked down at the total. WHAT! My Big Bob’s Sugar Fizzly Whizzly cereal was $4.99! I ran to my cupboard and grabbed my box of supermarket receipts. There it was from a week or so ago, the same cereal for $2.79! Oh no! I was so worked up over the store rearrangement; I fell into the clueless dreamer category and did not pay attention to the actual price!
I had been snookered by the end cap make believe it is on sale scheme!
You know, I think my wife is right. Ordinary people do not usually have these troubles.
Cheerio for now!