the power of ick in giant and other tales of grocery shopping

I shop at the Giant on Boot Road in West Chester.  The store is large and for the most part clean.  There are some issues here and there like the d’oh of it all when you find typos in signage throughout the store – usually that means the typos are in ALL Giant stores (like the one in the food court, see thumbnail at right just below.)

Some of the other issues involves attitude having to do with some of the people who work in the store. Most of the people are nice, but every now and again you find the people who need an attitude adjustment.  I find that some of the most frequent offenders are the staff members at Giant who run the cashiers and checkout for lack of a better description.  The supervisory or managerial staff that hover up front. The overseers of the front – and a lot of them act like a mean prison warden would in a made for TV movie.

Yesterday afternoon I was reminded of those people again, because for some reason they feel the need to throw their weight around in front of customers.  I had just finished paying for my order, and wished my cashier a Happy Thanksgiving if I did not see her again before the holiday.  She is one of my favorite cashiers and I think is very sweet and always helpful.

As I was wheeling my cart past the check out aisle next to the one I was leaving, one of the baggers who is developmentally challenged said to me that Thanksgiving wasn’t until next week.  So I smiled and explained to him I was wishing her a happy turkey day early in case I did not see her again.  He smiled, and seemed to like that idea.

Unfortunately my brief conversation with the bagger might have drawn attention to him because next thing I know, one of these supervisor types swooped down and did not ask him nicely or gently or in my mind even professionally to go out to the parking lot and retrieve carts, she barked at him to do this in a very nasty fashion.  Just because someone is emotionally or developmentally challenged it doesn’t mean you have to be harsh and mean while addressing them.  Especially in front of customers. Every customer (including myself) looked away in obvious discomfort.  And this is the second time since November 5th I have seen this behavior out of supervisory staff in this store in the same part of the store.

On November 5th when I was grocery shopping in the same store, this cute girl of high school age came and opened up another checkout aisle and took me from my aisle to wait on me.  This girl was so cute. And friendly and efficient too.  Well apparently in her zeal to provide actual customer service she must not have told the warden of the front of the store that day.

This cashier manager (see blurry photo below at left ) must not have closed out the drawer from the last cashier there or something and took this young girl to task in front of customers, myself included.  She yelled at and berated this young girl. 

Again, customers looked away and moved away because they were uncomfortable.  And the nice young girl being berated looked like she wanted the floor to swallow her up.  Neighboring cashiers shook their heads in disgust.  I spoke up and asked this supervisor or manager if that was her management style.  I further commented that I found it utterly unprofessional and just mean to do that to an employee in front of customers.  Truthfully, the store was not so busy that she couldn’t have simply asked that girl to finish up with me and come see her afterwards. I think this front of store warden was shocked I challenged her.  I did not care.  I did not know that young girl, but she did not deserve that treatment any more than the bagger yesterday.

This is behavior Giant that needs to be corrected.  If these are people who can’t manage other people and are in supervisory roles this needs to be revisited by corporate and proper managerial training applied.  As a customer why do I want to spend my money in a store where being a supervisor or manager is being a public bully?

Now another issue.  The one that actually inspired me to blog about Giant and can be seen in  the photo at top.

Yesterday I was doing some pre-Thanksgiving shopping.  I was in need of a  specific size canning jar for cranberry sauce as I make my own.  What I found next to the canning products skeeved me out.  Poison.  As in poisonous bug spray (Raid) and even worse: mouse and rat bait and traps.  NONE of this should be anywhere near products that have anything to do with food. Ick.

I have seen this before in ACME.  When I saw this in ACME a few years ago, corporate management actually agreed with me at the time and moved aisles around so that this poisonous stuff was next to cleaning products and away from food or anything that has to do with food.

Sorry but I think it is gross.  Sorry to pick on Boot Road Giant, but it is the grocery store I visit the most.

Here’s hoping they take a look at these issues, although I am not hopeful since when I bought the issue of publicly bullying employees in a supervisory position to Giant’s attention on November 5th they did not respond.

I would also like to know when they are going to get in the jugs of maple syrup again too.  It is not cost-effective to buy the smaller glass bottles. I really wish there was a Trader Joe’s out here some days.  Gateway and Ardmore are just far enough away to make it inconvenient.

4 thoughts on “the power of ick in giant and other tales of grocery shopping

  1. Gosh Girl, I enjoy your style. I was in a Marshall’s Department store once and complained to the management about a large display or Persian rugs. They smelled overwhelmingly of moth balls. I asked the young cashier about 60 feet away if it bothered her and she said she was told not to complain. Nothing was done for about a week. I simply called OSHA. I got a nice reply from OSHA and stated the matter was handled quickly. New rugs were displayed that didn’t smell.

    So maybe you need to report to local health agency. There has to be a law about displaying food and poison together. like here http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/007/chapter46/s46.1041.html

    Hope you find your maple Syrup.

  2. Thanks for speaking up about the Manager’s behavior. Most wouldn’t consider it. We all make mistakes and perhaps it was just a mistake on the Manager’s part but if it isn’t pointed out, the behavior will continue.

  3. Not sure which situation is more disturbing – the food near the poison or the self-important bullying manager? Both are unfortunate!

    I can’t imagine that would fly over at Wegman’s! I’ve been going to Wegman’s for YEARS (Cherry Hill, NJ, and now Malvern & KOP), and I just can’t imagine bullying and poor product placement would be tolerated. Seriously, perhaps the aforementioned Giant Manager should consider early retirement? Yelling at an emotionally/developmentally challenged employee? Hideous! And really, this is the example she chooses to set for a high-school kid that’s trying to earn extra money? Poor kid….guess she’s learning early that some managers can be tough and the “real world” can sometimes be cruel. Character building for sure.

    Hopefully you’ll get a response from Giant! I’ll be doing my weekly shopping tomorrow at Wegman’s….I’m crossing my fingers that the Raid isn’t next to the food 🙂

  4. To address some of your concerns, I am commenting. I am an employee of giant (not revealing anymore than that for obvious reason). I generally think my place of employment is a wonderful workplace. However your experience about the front end wardens do actually occur more often than this. The people you are talking about are known as “checkout coaches”. They are hourly shift managers responsible for associates in the front of the store. Most of them are nice to deal with while some abuse the power. Front end associates are either cashiers of some sort or service associates (baggers). A SA is responsible for bagging, keeping the cart corals empty, hourly floor janitorial inspections, etc. they do the most work of the front end associates and get the least amount of respect from the few “pick favrotes” checkout coaches. Unless trained, Service associates are not allowed to run registers even if store traffic demands it. This is made worse by the fact that checkout coaches give feedback that determines who gets what training. So favoritism biases the scale in favor of the people who abuse their power instead of associates who do. And yes opening on a register without a till count being done first is against company policy.

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