Sunday, April 6, 2014

No, It's Not A Chore And Yes, I'm Delusional.

Today I found out that I've been deluding myself for years.

That's probably not a surprise statement to some of you who are convinced that I am slightly delusional. Just add that to the long list of mild psychiatric disorders that I like to claim. Mild enough so that some people don't notice and mild enough so I haven't been locked away yet. And mild enough so I haven't felt the urge to buy any cats lately.


The tip-off that I've been delusional was going in to the brand new Coles supermarket at our local shopping centre. And the thing I've been delusional about is thinking that grocery shopping is a chore. Apparently it's no longer meant to be a chore. It's meant to be an experience, according to the employee at the entrance who told us to enjoy ours. 

I've been doing it all wrong for decades now. Every Thursday I grab a trolley. The trolley-grabbing is like the start gun and the aim of the race is to get around every aisle and complete my list in the shortest time possible and without knocking over any pensioners. Because knocking over pensioners really slows you down. Especially if their body somehow becomes tangled up in your trolley and you can't dislodge it. It's like deploying one of those parachutes on a dragster.


Grocery shopping had been considered a chore since the dawn of time, or at least the advent of supermarkets and supermarket trolleys. But some genius (who I'm convinced never does their own grocery shopping) has decided that we need to enjoy our grocery shopping experience more. We need to saunter down each of the aisles at a bridal walk speed, taking in each and every offering on display and weighing up the merits of white bread vs wholemeal vs wholegrain. Or maybe bread rolls would be a better option?

And if you happen to be faced with a decision conundrum, well now you can spend time pondering it over a cup of freshly made, barrista-poured coffee. With a muffin for only $4:00. In the little coffee nook with the mood lighting. Yes, I'm being serious!!

We were met in almost every aisle by a smiling assistant who enquired about our day. Or whether we needed any assistance finding a product. Thanks, but my day so far has been disappointing, having just seen possibly the worst movie ever (Noah, if anyone's interested). And no, I don't need assistance unless you'd like to run interference for me so I can get out of here quicker.

I'm not used to shop assistants who smile and offer help. I much prefer the ones that sneer and treat you with disdain. At least I know that they're sincere. But this 'niceness' seems to have become an epidemic - I'd noticed on Thursday that the staff at the Woolworths around the corner had lifted their game, terrified that they'll lose what they'd previously taken for granted - their customers.

All that sweet insincerity just got on my one last nerve left intact after the two and a half hour travesty that was Noah, but the tension was broken when we passed a hearing aid shop on the way out. A woman was out front spruiking for free hearing tests. I asked Iven if he was interested. His response? 'Interested in what?' He hadn't heard what she was saying. I'm thinking that she was heading for a very slow day if her target market isn't getting her message.

15 comments:

  1. those stores with so many sub-things going on are great if you have time. not so great when you just want to get in and get out with your groceries!

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  2. I already thought that we would get along well - now I know for sure we would!!! I'm like you - get in, get what you need as quickly as possible and get out!!! Grocery shopping is not "an experience." I like to give myself a target time and try to buy 3 weeks of groceries and get checked out under the time - more fun when it's a challenge!!
    Sorry that Noah wasn't good - part of why I rarely go to the theater - I hate wasting 2+ hours on a bad movie!!

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  3. Ugh, I hate grocery shopping too. And thanks for the tip on Noah, I was wondering and now I know not to waste my money! Which will leave a bit more for shopping. Yay.

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  4. I hate grocery shopping! In fact, we are investigating the online option currently. I think it won't be long before we go that route.

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  5. I think those "smiling assistants" know how much we all despise the grocery store so by default they make themselves much more irritating to stand there - smiling. Of course, whenever I can't find something in the store I need, that smile can't ever be found. Know where tomato paste in a tube is? It's NOT with the canned tomatoes, I can tell you that (my son wanted it for a camping trip).

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  6. We need to return to the days of old! Grocery shopping is a chore and I agree, having overly nice employees slowing the whole process down is not appreciated. Do you think we're showing our age with this opinion?!

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  7. I do all the grocery shopping because my wonderful wife simply can't deal with it. She lacks the patience for less focused shoppers. I just make sure I get up REALLY early to avoid everybody.

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  8. You will probably like this then: http://www.dinneralovestory.com/the-dolly-awards/ "Most Revolutionary Shopping Tip if You Are Crazy Enough to Care: Packing by Category" (midway down). I'm a big fan of grocery efficiency. Oddly enough, when I travel to other countries, I like poking slowly around their grocery stores to see what's different and unusual, and playing the bemused-tourist card.

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  9. Grocery shopping used to be my escape - I'd leave the boys with Beer Geek and go have an hour or so to myself as I wandered the aisles LOL. (Not a fan of the cheery, in your way, employees though…)

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  10. LOL it has nothing to do with giving us a shopping experience: it's all about throwing more food we don't need in our trolley :) We are getting more shops of this too.

    It's funny that although I love cooking (like you love to bake) I don't like grocery shopping either. To me it's a chore and always will be.

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  11. Hmpf. Nice try. But I'm not going to fall for that one. Doing grocery shopping is a chore. Not doubt about it.

    Love the guy running around : )

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  12. I hate to even admit this here, Char, but I love to go grocery shopping. I live a block away from Whole Foods and 2 blocks from Trader Joe's, so I go shopping several times a week because I walk and can only carry a couple of bags. I know this adds to my "demented" qualities, but I really enjoy it. Sad, but true :)

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  13. I HATE grocery shopping. With a passion. In fact I texted my mother on Saturday to say that when she came to Hervey Bay on Sunday to visit she had to force me to go grocery shopping. (And we did go!) You'd never think I was 46!

    One of my girlfriends LOVES grocery shopping. Insane!!!

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  14. Not my favourite thing either. Especially paying for it!

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