Tag Archives: Grocery store

When Good Intentions Go Wrong

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Photo by Lynn Kelley. Click HERE to check out her blog!

While standing in the checkout line at the grocery store with a full cart, a woman showed up carrying a carton of milk, a tube of toothpaste, and a screaming infant.

I remembered what it was like when my son used to freak out like that. His shrieking used to make me feel jittery and self-conscious. I wasn’t in any hurry that day, and I wanted to help. “Would you like to go ahead of me?” I asked.

“Why?” the young mother accused. “Is his crying bothering you?”

“No, I just figured you have two dinky items and I have a whole cart,” I said. “You can jump ahead of me…”

“Screw you!” She frowned. “I’ll find another line.”

As she stormed off, I was bewildered. I had just wanted to help. And yet there I was, feeling strangely guilty.

Sitting in my car with the food meant to nourish my family, to fill them up, I felt completely emptied out and kind of nauseous.

I turned on the radio in my car to find NPR was running some kind of old interview with Maya Angelou. She spoke for a few minutes before she said:

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And that was all I needed.

I would not let what had happened in the grocery store ruin my day.

My intention had been to be helpful.

I had no hidden agenda.

I don’t know what was going on with that poor young mother, I only wanted her to let me help her in some small way. But maybe she felt she needed to do it all. Maybe she’d heard the same messages that I’d heard during my life. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps. Be strong. Figure it out. Maybe admitting she was struggling that day felt like failure. Maybe she felt like she sucked eggs as a mother because she didn’t know how to soothe her infant.

All I know is that one woman’s rejection is not going to stop me from trying to connect with other people.

I’m a connector: reaching out is what I do.

{For the record, you totally want to get in line behind me at the grocery store.  And if I offer you “headsies,” there are no strings attached.}

Do you have a quote that has inspires you? Please share it here!

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So About That Sign

Wegmans Food Markets

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday at 7 am, I posted a blog about a sign in my local grocery store that has been driving me bonkers for years.

By late morning, I received an email from a representative from Consumer Affairs.

While the rest of us were chattering about the sign and its grammar, one of my loyal readers — a former Wegmans’ employee — made a call, and the sign was promptly removed.

Last night at 8:25 pm, another loyal reader sent me this picture — along with an apology about the quality. She explained she was operating in stealth mode. 😀

The new & improved sign!

I felt I had to let everyone know the happy ending to this very big news story.

Mary Joan from Consumer Affairs wrote:

Bob Farr was more than happy to take down that offensive sign. And I have to tell you that reading your blog . . .  and the subsequent comments from your readers was quite enjoyable.  You made my morning!

Further proof that Wegmans positively rocks: Here is a company that received a little constructive criticism, and instead of getting defensive (typical) or just brushing it off and ignoring it (also typical), they got proactive, making this English teacher, blogger, and loyal customer soooooo happy.

So the new sign is up.

All grammatical errors have been corrected.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everything in the world could be fixed so quickly?

I’m feeling empowered. Positively zippy.

So what should I take on today? I’m taking ideas.

Wegmans’ Grammar

 

English: A Wegman's store in Manalapan, NJ.

English: A Wegman’s store in Manalapan, NJ. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is almost nothing wrong with Wegmans. It is the world’s best store. Indeed, people visit from across the globe to see how things are set up. They bring cameras and snap pictures of our amazing store, which is set up to look and feel like an outdoor market in Paris.

In the produce section, the fruit is heaped in baskets and barrels. There is usually someone cooking and serving something simple yet delicious — like sautéed shiitake mushrooms with shallots and basting oil — (and all the ingredients just happen to be right there for you to pick up for dinner that night). The marketing people are amazingly brilliant.

Wegmans also has a deli, a bakery, a fish shop, a meat market, a cheese department, a tea bar, a coffee bar, a place to buy sushi or salad or pizza or subs, and they have this one entrée and two sides deal for $6 that cannot be beat. There is a pharmacy and a café. They have an organic food section, a kosher food section, a lactose-free section. They cater. The store sparkles. The public bathrooms at Wegmans showcase nicer tiles than some private homes I’ve visited. The soap dispenser is always full. They have towels and air dryers.

If you buy a jar of tuna and get home and see it is dented, they will take it back. If you buy a pound of meat and think it smells a little bit funny, they will take it back. If your kid is hungry, you can let him nibble an apple or a cookie, and no one hassles you. Alec Baldwin’s mother loves Wegmans so much, he did some schtick about it on Letterman, and he landed himself a few pre-holiday commercials discussing Wegmans’ awesomeness. Frankly, Baldwin’s commercials are awful, but anyone who has ever been in a Wegmans understands; there really is nothing like it.

That said, the following sign has been tacked up in my local Wegmans for years! I don’t think anyone notices it except me, but it drives me bonkers. Given their attention to detail, I can’t believe the sign has lasted this long. I figured, surely, someone would notice it. After all, it’s right next to the water fountain.

For those of you who appreciate spelling and grammar, as well as the art of letter writing, see how many errors you find.

What has become of me?

And should I say something to Bob?