By Judi Curry (aka the Widder Curry)
As the “mother” of my household – put the emphasis wherever you think it should be – I do all of the grocery shopping. My feet are not anchored in cement, and I shop at a variety of stores – Costco; Barons; Stumps; Vons; Ralph’s, etc. I like various things at different stores. (I used to shop at Sprouts until they fired an employee I liked.)
My main shopping store is Ralph’s, for a variety of reasons: I use their pharmacy and all my prescriptions are on file there; the items that I purchase are lower there than at other stores; they have the variety of items that I frequently look for. I seldom buy my produce there because I think they are over-priced, under-ripe, and outdated. I shop there at least once a week; sometimes twice.
Today, when I did a relatively large shopping trip, I noticed that the checkout area had a new configuration. An annoying one.
Gone are the long assembly-like belts that take the food to the end of the counter, to be bagged and placed in the cart. No, they have removed the belts and have substituted a nightmarish revolving rack with plastic bags hanging from hooks that allows the checker to put frozen food in one bad; flip it a little and put other like items in another sack, etc. And then the checker has to walk around to put the item in my cart.
It is so easy for him to miss something – as he did for the lady in front of me, and he went tearing out of the store to give her the bag he missed. There is virtually no place to count out your money, or write a check. It is claustrophobic, besides being unfriendly.
The woman behind me said “it’s just like WalMart and I don’t like it.” I don’t shop at WalMart. Never will until they begin to treat their employees better, but if this new invention is a copy of one at WalMart, I may never shop at Ralph’s again either.
Further, I absolutely refuse to use the self-check lanes. They are paying their help to check me out; bag my groceries; and, if necessary help me out to my car. When they lower the price of those using the self-check lanes, THEN, and only then, will I use them. They are banking on my using their self-check lanes, saving money by not employing others, and charging me the same thing for me doing their work. No thank you.
How many employees have they let go since they have put in the self-check lanes? I will continue my boycott until the stores are fair to their employees. And if it means going to a different store, I have many to choose from.