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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A peach by any other name, or "A Perfect Example of New Orleans Service"

Last night I had to give in and go grocery shopping or we'd be eating spaghetti with raspberry jam for breakfast. I hate making groceries at any time, but I really didn't want to go when I should be memorizing how many grams of codeine are allowed in a 100 ml bottle of schedule III cough syrup (BORE-dom. My test is tomorrow though, so by Friday I should have forgotten everything I crammed up in my brain-attic). I decided to run down to Winn-Dixie, which was a bad idea on two accounts: for one thing, that involved changing into close-toed shoes because that store is notoriously dirty. For another, I have bad feelings for the Winn Dixie because I had my wallet stolen there two years ago (on New Year's Eve, too!). Basically it's a really creepy place but I go there because we don't have any other grocery uptown.
So I dragged myself through the aisles, listlessly throwing things in my cart (Haagen Dazs was on sale, so much for losing weight), then lined up and one of the TWO open registers. My cashier was kind of crabby. So was I at this point - I was in line for 20 minutes just to get to the check out belt! As Ms. Cashier started checking, she got to a bag of peaches that she couldn't ring up. She asked if they were nectarines, and I said no, they were peaches. She asked what kind of peaches. I said regular peaches but they are the ones on sale for $1.29 a pound this week. She gave a little shrug, hit a few keys - and rang my peaches up as nectarines for $2.99/lb! I said, "Excuse me, those are peaches, not nectarines," and she shrugged and said, "Well I can't find the code for peaches. I've done all I can do." Um, really? Have you? Your job is to ring my groceries up and you aren't even doing the bare minimum! You just asked me if those were nectarines and I told you no, crabby lady! I had to ask her to call a manager to look up the correct code for the peaches, which she did, but she huffed a huge sigh and rolled her eyes. Am I asking too much to have my groceries rung up correctly? Apparently so, in New Orleans. I love this city but every service industry acts like they are doing you a huge favor - no concept of keeping customers happy by your excellent service. The sad thing is it works just fine because in a pinch I'll be right back at Winn Dixie, guarding my wallet with my life.

By the way the peaches were excellent, almost worth the trouble...but the Haagen Dazs was better.


  1. I live right by Winn Dixie, I understand your frustration! Just wanted to suggest going to Rouses on Tchoup. It is a much more pleasant experience. I usually never have to wait in line, and it's a much nicer store!

  2. Yeah I know I love my Rouses. Honestly I don't know why I went to WD last night. It's closer for me to go to the Rouses in Midcity compard to Tchoup but either one is kind of far; there's always Roberts on Claiborne too which has the best french bread ever, but the grocery selection is so small I can only go to pick up one or two things. Wherever I go it's a drive. Didn't Jay Batt say he was getting us a grocery store Uptown??

  3. BTW have you ever noticed that the cashiers have this code they call over the loudspeaker at WD: "Five-oh-Fo!"
    I remember after Katrina just standing in line and hearing "504" over the loudspeaker over and over!

  4. I am enjoying browsing your blog--and customer service is often less than perfect here in Maine, as well.

  5. ;-)
    Maine has its own breed of manners! I'm from CT originally.