Rigid slackers at supermarket
August 10, 2011
To avoid the long lines at the new City Market in Aspen, I called first. I was told that Saturdays are busy until night.
At 9 p.m. I filled my basket and went into the mostly empty checkout area, where the traffic director said to go out of the main area and over to lane seven where they had a bagger. The line at lane seven was hardly moving. After waiting a few minutes I asked the checkout girl if I could go back to the main checkout area since there were three empty checkout counters there.
With a heavy accent she said, “You can come here.”
I said, “Do I have to? Must I?”
She repeated, “You can come here.”
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Tired of waiting, I went back to one of the empty checkout counters, where the employee said, “You must go to lane seven.”
I went back to lane seven, staffed by the slowest checkout person in history, and eventually asked to speak to a manager. Turns out the guy at one of the empty checkout counters was a manager! I asked him why I have to wait in line when there are three idle employees and he said, “We all have stuff to do.”
Really? My checkout gal in lane seven was engaged in an animated and apparently hilarious conversation in Russian with her girlfriend, who was standing with her at the register finishing a bag of chips and a soda. Working at a snail’s pace, she paused her deep conversation to tell me in English, “I am sorry. I am going as fast as I can,” and later, “rules are rules,” while the manager milled around and the other checkout people chatted. I expressed my anger to the manager, and he shrugged.
So, I get it. City Market in Aspen is now a convenience store. There are only two lanes for full carts. You’re not supposed to buy a load of food there – in fact you are penalized for it. Way to go, City Market!
Suddenly Clark’s prices seem less expensive, and the drive to El Jebel seems a lot shorter.