Yes, kittens, I realize that "hate" is a tres strong word. However, I must use it to describe the dread that I feel whenever I go shopping at this wretched establishment.
Why do I still go to the A and Piss Off, you ask, if I loathe it so much? Easy. It's within walking distance of my house, and it takes me less than a minute to get there if I drive. Tonight I was way too lazy to go across town to drive to the Stop and Shop, or even the Aldi that's just a little further down the road from my house, so I went to my last choice supermarket. The A and Piss Off (that's the A&P for those of you who refer to it by its official name) is good only for last minute items--if that. For example, if I run out of chocolate chips while baking, that's where I go.
So, anyhoo, let's begin the list:
1. Parking's a bitch.
We'll start off with actually getting there. There is ample parking day and night at the A and Piss Off, but drivers are so incredibly rude about driving muy rapidamente through the lot, and especially when it comes to stealing your space--particularly if it's one of those "park to leave" spaces you can just drive through. That, and no one ever puts their cart in the little overhang once they're done shopping, so there are carts scattered all over the place. And as you're pulling in, you have to dodge the carts that are about to run into your car, potentially denting the hood. (I have one lovely dent on the front passenger's side because of this).
2. Wicked bad produce.
Unless it comes in a clamshell container with a "best used by" date stamped on the front, I rarely buy fresh fruits and vegetables at the A and Piss Off. I once went shopping for large baking potatoes, and nearly their entire selection was green. Um, hello, I thought green potatoes were poisonous?!?!?! Even when I buy packaged greens, I have to look very carefully; I once had to go through three or four containers of such packages before I could find one that did not have rotting lettuce.
3. Fruit flies in the baked goods cabinet.
One morning, shortly after I first moved to the area, I was running late for work, and really didn't have time to wait in line at Dunkin Donuts for a meal, so I stopped at the A and Piss Off to pick up a muffin. I walked to the bakery, opened the muffin cabinet, and was about to make my selection, when I spotted about ten or fifteen fruit flies hovering over what I thought would be my chocolate chip muffin.
I decided Dunkin Donuts was worth being late that day.
4. Expired merchandise.
I have friends who live in the area who have purchased expired merchandise, but they didn't realize it until they got home. In some cases, it was a few weeks, in others, we're talking months. Needless to say, I always double check the expiration date on every item I purchase.
5. They tend to get rid of my favorite products very quickly.
I occasionally buy the single-serve Blue Bunny ice cream packets. It saves me from buying a gallon, and at least I get to have a taste of the real thing. Tonight I bought two, because they were on sale. And then I found out why, once I checked the fine print: "While quantities last." They did this with my favorite brand of yogurt, as well as some cleaning and hair care supplies I use.
6. They seem to always have Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets in stock--and not much else.
A good grocery store, in my opinion, should always have plenty of stock on hand of items they anticipate will sell quickly, such as chicken breasts. Well, it seems like the specific brand of chicken breasts that are on sale every week are always sold out by the time the store closes Sunday night. And then they're not available for the rest of the week.
7. Prices are ridiculously expensive.
Tonight I purchased a box of Nilla Wafers for a mini cheesecake recipe that I plan on baking for a party. (Recipe to come, hopefully). Said box of Nilla Wafers was $4.37. WHAT?!?! And then as I was driving home, I realized that I forgot to buy cupcake wrappers for said mini cheesecakes, and I refused to return to the A and Piss Off, so I went to Walgreen's instead. As I strolled through the grocery aisle, I noticed that a box of Nilla Wafers, same size and all, was more than a dollar CHEAPER than at the supermarket. I was pissed.
8. Rude, apathetic customer service.
This evening my cashier was a young man in high school who did NOT greet me when he scanned my valued customer card, did NOT tell me my total, and did NOT say a word to me when he gave me my receipt and instant coupons. Don't tell me that wasn't rude. And the girl who was supposed to have bagged my groceries wasn't any better; she just twirled her long blonde hair as my purchases traveled down the conveyor belt. And it was the cashier who ended up putting my groceries in my little travel bag.
There have been times before when the cashier would text message her friends between scanning my purchases, waiting for my debit card to go through, and finally handing me my receipt. Where was this girl's manager, so I could report her? And even if I DID report her, would my complaint have been taken seriously?
Employee turnover is EXTREMELY high at the A and Piss Off. I wonder how many of them are fired, as opposed to quitting. I don't blame them if they quit; it just seems like the type of place where morale is wicked low.
9. The automated checkout lines aren't any better, either.
I always bring a bag or two when I go grocery shopping. The automated lines at the A and Piss Off don't recognize when I place my bag down in the bagging area. The computer always says, "Please wait for an attendant." And I wait...and wait...and wait, usually because the automated cashier attendant is the ONLY competent employee in the entire frakkin' store and she goes to help the other cashiers. And then she shows up, fixes my problem...and it happens again. And then I have to rescan my groceries. It takes me longer in the automated checkout lane than it does with some sixteen-year-old texting between purchases. I thought automation was supposed to HELP me go through the line FASTER!!
10. It's the dirtiest supermarket I've ever been in.
I have never seen anyone sweep or wax the floors, or dust the shelves, at the A and Piss Off. I have, however, seen such things at the Stop and Shop and Price Rite. Even if you don't see anyone clean the store, when you go to those places, you can tell people take care of it. I don't think I've ever seen a clean floor at the A and Piss Off, ever.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You see, directly across the street from the A and Piss Off, a brand spanking-new Price Chopper is being built. If you've never been to a Price Chopper, trust me, kittens, it is supermarket nirvana. Very clean store, a WIDE selection of products, freshly baked goods that were BAKED ON THE PREMISES, and AWESOME prices. It's supposed to open sometime this summer. I can't frakkin' wait. I hope they put the A and Piss Off out of business. I really do.
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