I have a story for you my children. You will find this hard to believe, but I assure you, every word is true.
Once upon a time grocery shopping was simple. You made a list of the items you wanted to buy. You would check the newspaper for ads that showed what was on sale, and added any of those you wanted to your list. You then went to the store and put those items in your shopping cart, along with any others you saw that you wanted.
And also, hold onto your hats, amazingly enough, there was plenty of room to push your cart through the store, there were no displays of items placed strategically about to keep you from from being able to get from one place to another, and glory be, TWO carts could pass each other in the aisle without one having to stop so as to allow the other to barely get by.
And there was a time when they had people to take the items out of your cart, add up the results and put them back in your cart! No, really. But the Weasels realized something. You have perfectly good customers standing right there, doing NOTHING, but hopefully getting their money ready. Why not put them to work! So step one, change the design of the checkout stands so the customer has to unload his/her own stuff! But wait, once the customer has unloaded his stuff, he/she is still hanging around doing NOTHING again, not pulling his/her own weight. Heck lets make the poor slobs check their own groceries and bag them themselves! Hoo, almost passed out with glee at that idea…. Oh, man, what’s next. Oo-o-o, what if the customer can be talked into unloading the trucks and stocking the shelves! So exited at the possibilities. “Spill on aisle 9! You there, shop later, clean that up!, and when you’re done, bring some carts back from the parking lot”. Employees? We ain’t got no employees! We don’t need no employees! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ employees! That is what customers are for!
If a sale item was not in stock, and please don’t call me a liar, the clerk would quickly write up a note that you could bring back later and get that item at the sale price. It would not be necessary to send two or three people around the store in a vain attempt to find out where the item was supposed to be to make certain you were not fibbing about the sale price, or send you to customer service to stand in line for an hour to get your “raincheck”, and then send another person to look.
Ah, but this was not good enough for the Weasels that live far away and decide how you should spend your money. It was decided that in order to get sale prices on many items, you needed to clip “coupons” out of the paper, this was to make it hard for anyone to read the comics on the other side. So then you would bring in the coupons, though most of the time you would find that you either forgot to bring them, or had them too long and they would not accept them. Of course there was always someone in front you that had not forgotten THEIR coupons. And of course they had a coupon for Every Single Item they were purchasing. That would be the same person that did not get out their check book (remember checks?) until all the items were checked and in bags and in their cart, and now had to rummage around their purse for a about 6 days to find it, and the ball point pen that did not work, so “does anybody have a pen that works?”. “Customer service, please bring a pen to checkstand 6”. And lo and behold sometime later a pen was brought. A magnificent pen, with an ostrich feather attached, which while it changed the weight and balance of the pen significantly and poked the user in the eye, when it was not going up their nose did at least sporadically work well enough to finally fill out the check.
So then the Weasels did away with the coupons. Hooray! No more coupons. Oh, wait a minute. You had to carry a special card, allowing the store to keep track of EVERY SINGLE ITEM you purchased, so they could know everything about you and figure out how to get you to buy the stuff they wanted you to. And if you forget your card, why no problem, just shout out your telephone number in front of countless strangers, perverts, derelicts and God knows who else might be listening.
Then lo and behold, there was the Return of the Coupon! Now you had to have the coupon AND the card, AND buy at least $10 worth of other stuff to use the coupon.
But wait, to show the Weasels had a heart after all they ran sales to help you improve your Math Skills. Pasta-Roni 3 for $2.37, tomato soup 5 for $3.79. Hooray, we got smarter. But just in case we had trouble with that, in itsy-bitsy print they would state the price per something or other so we could compare. But they would not use the same rules all the time, for example: olive oil number 1 $.79 per ounce, olive oil number 2 $13.45 per liter. Let’s see now, how many ounces in a liter…..
Oh, and how many Weasel schemes could they come up with? 10 for $10, but you didn’t have to actually buy 10, you could just buy for example 2, so why didn’t they just say they were buck a piece? Then there would be some items with a list price, a club price and if you buy 12 of them yet another price. And to top all that there was another sale type. Ok, let’s see if I can explain this, not sure I can: they would select for example 5 completely different items. Now if you bought EXACTLY 7 of those items, it could be any combination of those items you got them for The Super Special Price. HOWEVER if you bought 8 of them, then the first 7 would be at The Super Special Price and the 8th would be at the regular price!!!! Sigh.
But lest y0u think that the Weasels have run out of ideas, and if you felt there were not enough ways already of having your personal information collected, collated and used against you, there is a whole new level of joy awaiting!!!!!! If you have a Club Card, you can sign up on their website for a new program wherein the sales prices are located online, some of which are tailored “Just For U”, based on your previous purchases. So, after selecting the items, they will be “Loaded On Your Club Card” (don’t ask me how, probably osmosis or something). This delightful little convoluted mess is called (and isn’t this sweet):
Just For U
And den you shops and get the prices. And I assume, this is in addition to and not instead of, all the other ways they have of messing with you.
Now if you are from say, Ubanistan and don’t have a computer, or forgot to Load Up Your Card, they will have one you can use at the customer service desk. That sounds like fun, stand in line behind a bunch a people that don’t know how to use a computer while they load up their cards before you can do yours. Yeah, that sounds good.
And as for you Weasels in upper management at SAFEWAY. You very definitely better STAY OFF MY LAWN.