I’m fairly certain that the Melrose Kroger – the one right there at the corner of Franklin Pike and the road to hell – will force me to stab someone some day. Why I continue to go in there is a mystery to even me, as I have never left without muttering, in various volumes, highly-critical words about its parking lot, the service, the selection, or the customers. Why do I hate this place so much? Let me explain.
1. The parking lot sucks. It’s tiny, it serves as a parking lot for many other businesses other than the stab-worthy Kroger, and I believe that it sucks out people’s brain cells as soon as they enter the property. I don’t mind walking a little bit, but I DO mind when some idiotic woman on her cell phone attempts to back out her Chevrolet Landslide and almost runs over me AND $75 worth of groceries. If you’re asking yourself if I showed more concern over my own well-being or my half-price frozen pizzas, you should know better. Insurance pays for broken appendages, and I didn’t get the DiGiorno add-on to my policy (the deductible is outrageous) and I’ll be run over in a Kroger parking lot before I give up those expensive bad boys to anyone not holding a shotgun. And the bystander that commented, “That woman bout just run over you” only made the situation that much better.
2. The selection is less-than-stellar, to say the least. I ask you – who doesn’t have pita chips?? I searched for a good 5 minutes yesterday, in uncomfortable shoes no less, and no chips. Of course, searching for these bits of tastiness would be a lot easier if they didn’t have people stocking things in every.single.aisle. It’s like they see that a lunch rush might be coming and they think to themselves, “Hmmm. Better go restock those tomatoes. And the milk. And anything else that stupid girl who comes in here and talks to herself constantly might need to get. Ooh – she’s heading towards the salad bar. Let’s restock THAT!” I’m fairly sure it’s a conspiracy. A yet-unfounded conspiracy, but it exists.
3. Through no fault of the establishment, the customers are nauseating. Oh my, the customers. Today’s example: A rather “round” lady (I’m not judging! I’m not perfect. But I also don’t wear skintight, pink sweat pants with “Playmate” emblazoned on my ass.) screaming into her cell phone, “Do you want Coke? I said COKE! Oh, you want Sprite? I can’t hear you. NO. I’M IN KROGERS!” (and yes, she said KrogerS. Plural.) How can I relive this so vividly? Because I could hear every word from the cake mix aisle while she was in the beverage aisle - five aisles down. Then there was the “You can tell I haven’t showered in 3 weeks because simply walking by the celery makes it turn brown” dude who apparently wanted to buy everything that was on my list (how can someone who smells that bad need peanut butter, milk, AND olive oil at the same time I do?) And who on earth could forget entire family blocking the cereal aisle who apparently couldn’t move for anyone because they couldn’t decide between Cap’n Crunch and Froot Loops (a hint? They’re both crap. Go get some wilted celery.) I can even tolerate the hipsters that flock to this pit of despair because in comparison, they are actually the less annoying evil. Maybe the parking lot sucks up people’s manners along with their intelligence, but whatever it is, the Melrose Kroger either attracts society’s detritus or it turns people that way. Either way, I’m steering clear.
4. Finally, let’s talk about the checkout process. This piece of the headache-inducing puzzle is the icing on the crap cake. I tend to utilize the self-checkout because 1. I’m probably going back to work. Since it’s 114 degrees outside, I put my cold products in one bag and stuff that can stay in the car in another. 2. No matter how many of my handy-dandy reusable bags I bring with me, I somehow manage to bring home one of those stupid, brown plastic bags that will get stuck in my little dispenser on the wall until the day that a Twinkie grows mold. So, to alleviate the blinding pain these encounters bring, I just bag the groceries myself. But the self-checkout at the Melrose Kroger has a brand-new kind of blinding pain. Because it NEVER WORKS. Ever. Almost every time I hit “pay now” the stupid Colleen (that’s the name I’ve given the voice at the self-checkout. I don’t know any Colleens, but I don’t like the name, so that’s the moniker I’m sticking with) says, “Cashier has been notified to assist you.” Why I need the cashier’s assistance is beyond me, as I’m fairly certain I can swipe a credit card and sign a stupid electronic pad, but the fact that the cashier never acknowledges the fact that I “need assistance” is the nail in the Grocery Store from Hell coffin. I always have to track her down (yes, it’s the same woman every time) and the reason she’s not paying any attention? Because she’s busy talking to co-workers. Or standing there with a blank stare on her face. Or doing anything other than her actual job. If this was a one-time occurrence, I could stomach it. Since it’s happened twice this week alone, it’s quite the un-stomachable dilemma as I’ve determined that she hates her job, hates interacting with anyone who doesn’t work with her, and apparently hates me. Whatever. I don’t give a flying rat’s dirty parts if you like me – I just need you to punch whatever button it is that will enable me to actually pay for my groceries. And when I have to track you down, pull you out of what seemed to be a very interesting conversation about garden hoses, and then watch you give me a disdainful look for politely asking you to do your job, that’s when I get a wee bit pissed off. I’m not asking for a ticker tape parade – I just want to be able to check out in less than 45 minutes.
Whew! I don’t know about you, but I feel much better. So much better in fact that next week I’ll need a couple of items, think to myself, “I could just go grab those on my lunch break,” and tell myself that going to the Melrose Kroger can’t be THAT bad again. But then I’m going to read this. And I’ll drive to Brentwood if I have to – the Melrose Kroger can suck it. They can suck it long. And they can suck it hard.