When I was taking English Composition in college one of the writing patterns we explored was compare and contrast. Well I just had a real life example of compare and contrast, and I simply must share it! So here today I am going to compare/contrast the Farmer’s Markets vs. the huge mega-corporate supermarkets or HMCS as I will refer to them from this point on.
Yesterday, I made a trip to the local HMCS but with great reluctance. I used to enjoy spending an hour or so in the local supermarket but that was when the people that worked there actually liked their jobs. To me the supermarkets are a cold and impersonal place designed to do one thing, take your money and shove you out the door with the least expense possible. Don’t believe me, ask their accountants. So without further ado about my dislike of the megastores, here is my short compare/contrast essay. I always save the best for last so I’ll write about the local HMCS first.
When I first walk in the door of the HMCS, I am greeted at the door by some poor old guy who couldn’t quite cut the mustard as a Wal-Mart ( oh my God, Wal-Mart is actually in the spell-check dictionary) greeter. Come to think about it, why did all these stores need to copy Wal-Mart anyhow, couldn’t they come up with something original, like a squad of cheerleaders at the door or maybe a circus clown who gives animal balloons to children and pretty girls. With all do respect though, Wal-Mart has awesome greeters. My HMCS greeter mumbled something which could have been,
“Welcome to HMCS” or maybe it was
“Hi, I hate standing at the door here but it is the only job I can do to supplement my measly Social-Security checks and I really need this job so mrmmmmmbkle c cooooooommmmmumble mumble.” He really did seem like a sweet guy though, just a poor pawn in the game of profits.
After getting past the shy greeter and a bunch of lawn furniture clogging up the bakery section (which begs the question: Just why is there lawn furniture in the bread aisle and what marketing genius thought this up?) I mosey on into the produce section and check my list. I need onions, green bell peppers, fruit, and a tomato. Looking through the bin of wilted bell peppers I finally find one that looks edible thinking to myself does anyone ever rotate this stock or has some accountant given them the OK to extend the shelf life to hit the maximum profit equilibrium point; the tomatoes don’t look much better. I buy some bananas and apples but pass on any of the other bland-tasting hybridized fruits which always look so delicious with their fresh coat of wax; I repeat, look delicious.
I quickly make my way through the rest of the store realizing that I need a few more items. I encounter a half dozen or so store employees but only muster up one shy smile and not one single “can I help you Sir.” It seems that in their quest to monopolize the grocery industry the HMCS’s have forgotten the words, “Customer service and quality.” and what they mean. I can’t blame the employees though, I know what its like to be a number in the realm of the profiteers wondering each day if you’ll be able to live up to the expectations of the accountants or if your number will be up! I am aware of how hard it is to be passionate about your job when there is no room for the appreciation of your efforts in the belly of the corporate beast and no security in those efforts. The employees of the HMCS’s might as well be robots.
Speaking of robots, don’t miss my next posting regarding my hostile encounter with the self checkout machine, God I hate those things. -to be continued-