I had the pleasure of going shopping for groceries today. The lucky venue was Waldbaum's of East Meadow.
The chore began with a visit into the small smelly sticky-floored cubicle known as the 'bottle return' area. Funny how we return bottles to help the environment and get back our five cents while BP is taking care of things for us in the Gulf.
But I digress, so back to the store.
As far as I can tell the four machines in that room from Hell have never been in working order at the same time. The only reason the store even offers the service is because in New York we have a deposit law and people must either return cans and bottles or lose the nickel per item that was taken upon original purchase.
What a surprise when I entered purgatory and found four people on line ahead of me. You know the old phrase, 'it's the quality not the quantity?' Not when you're waiting behind people in this room! A quick perusal of the wet and slimy black plastic garbage bags these people were toting offered an estimate of just under one thousand bottles to be returned.
So naturally when the first guy was halfway through his ritual the machine stopped working!
Fifteen minutes of kicking and banging and running to the customer service desk for help later I decided I needed air. I went into the store and deposited my empties on the floor in front of that oxy-moronically name desk only to be told that someone is going to fix the machine and I have to go back and wait!
"Lady, there are two broken machines and the entire population's worth of Dubuque waiting to put there bottles in!"
"Jes, I know dat but you hab to wait there becuz I'm busy."
You see I was not yet a customer! I was merely a returner and stores don't want any of them.
I controlled myself and found a manager walking the floor and related my tale of woe. I further suggested that I might never step foot into the place again unless he took the empties from me and gave me a credit with which to shop for my needed junk.
"Or not. I can just as easily drive down the road and shop at Pathmark!"
What do you know? He took care of me. But first he had to check with three other people to see if they knew the machines were, as usual not working properly. He then went into the room itself to make sure that they were telling the truth. And only after returning and undergoing the necessary CPR from the visit did he take care of me.
The shopping part went easily and quickly and now I had the final pleasure of waiting on line to pay. Unfortunately when you shop during the day you feel as though the others in the store may pass away at any moment! In fact a few of the shoppers appeared to have already done so but did not get the memo.
But finally I hit the register and found myself behind the only other under 90 person there.
This lady must have gone shopping alphabetically because on the conveyor belt to the cashier was the following:
A can of beets - A can of beans - bread and a six pack of bottled beer (not necessarily in that order.)
But the fun had not started because there seems to be a new law in the area. This obviously at least 30 something woman (I am being kind) was asked for proof!
And when she said she didn't have it with her they removed the beer!!
When she begged that she left it home and really really didn't want to have to go home and get it the manager, a different one asked her if she drove to the store.
"And you don't have your driver's license?"
At this point she started laughing and said just keep the beer.
They eventually let her have the item, hey money is money but the cashier explained to me that you must be FORTY to buy beer in Waldbaum's and if she didn't proof the lady she would be fired.
FORTY??? FOR BEER???
The final insult came when I the cashier told me she wouldn't have bothered me if I had bought the beer.
I suggested she visit the bottle return room and take deep breaths. Okay I didn't but I wanted to!
Peg Bracken may hate to cook - But I'm going her one step further - I hate to shop!