Things I HATE About Shopping at Meijer and Most Other Grocery Stores

meijer

We live in a small, rural, NW Ohio community, population 345.  The village of Ney has one traffic light, two bars, one gas station, and two people who seriously doubt God exists.  Both of the local bars serve food, one is a mom and pop style restaurant and the other is a pizza joint.

The closest town is Bryan, five miles away. Bryan has a few fast food restaurants,a Chief Supermarket, and a Walmart.  Defiance, ten miles away, is the biggest community in Defiance County with a population just south of 17,000. Defiance has a plethora of fast food restaurants,a small mall, a few full service restaurants, and a small collection of free-standing big-box/small-box stores. There are five grocery stores in Defiance: Walmart, Aldi, Chief, Meijer, and Kroger.

Serious shopping requires a fifty mile drive to Toledo or a forty mile drive to Fort Wayne.  For this reason and others, my favorite store is Amazon.com.  I don’t have to get in the car and I don’t have to holler at Polly except when UPS or FedEx is at the door. When we want to eat a nice meal that’s more upscale than Applebee’s or McDonald’s we go to Toledo or Fort Wayne. Most of the time we go to Fort Wayne.

Our favorite grocery store is Meijer. Meijer is a regional grocery chain  based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  We also like shopping at Chief Supermarket, a local grocery company. Due to the loathsome politics of the Walton family, we hate shopping at Walmart. But, thanks to having more budget than money, we are forced, from time to time, to give Satan some of our money. We eat a lot of fish and Walmart is the best place for buying frozen fish and Zero candy bars. Brisket too. Walmart is the only store in town that sells brisket, a must have cut of meat during BBQ season. We also infrequently shop at Aldi and we try to shop at Chief as often as we can. Our youngest daughter and son work part-time for Chief, so we view our grocery purchases as job security for them. We do not shop at Kroger. High prices and those damn cards they make customers use make Kroger our least favorite store. We also regularly buy meat from Jacob’s Meats, located just north of Defiance.

I am the primary shopper in our family. I know, a little Susie homemaker I am, a discredit to the male species. Polly and I shop together, but I am the one who checks prices and quantities and decides what to buy. We have a white board in the kitchen and shopping needs are supposed to be written on the board. Did you notice the word supposed? (Polly is glaring at me, giving me the finger without ever raising her hand) We use coupons, shop with a list, use mPerks, and always pay with a debit/credit card.

Going to the grocery is often the only time I get out of the house. Most often, I haltingly enter the store, already in pain. About fifteen minutes into our low price safari, my thighs and face begin to burn and turn numb. Not long after, I need to lean on the cart just to partially stand up.  By the time we are finished shopping, I am in tremendous pain and ready for a four Vicodin with vodka drink. I dream of this, but the reality is I am very careful with the medications I take, so it’s  two Vicodin with a glass of water and a Tramadol chaser.

There are a lot of things that irritate me when I go to the grocery store, If you have some illusion that I am a Zen-like person who has perfect peace and calm as he painfully shuffles down the aisles of the grocery, I am sorry that your illusion is about to be destroyed.

I love shopping at Meijer. I am a Meijer fan-boy.  Anything I can do to stick it to Walmart, I am all for it. But, as much as I like shopping at Meijer, there are some things that irritate me. I mean really, really, really irritate me.

Bruce’s, Top 21 Things I Hate About Shopping at Meijer:

  • My number one irritation is the greeters, well really just one greeter.  This one greeter is an automaton. I kid you not, she says the exact same thing, with the exact same cadence, every damn time. When we come in the store she says in her best robot voice, Welcome to Meijer.  When we leave the store she says Have a nice day, thank you for shopping at Meijer. Have you ever seen the comedy Good Burger? If so, this greeter is just like the one Good Burger worker who says, Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger! Can I take your order?
  • Shopping carts that have squeaky wheels or wheels that go thump, thump.
  • The way the meat department stacks meat above the cooling line in the meat coolers. I have complained to the manager and I have called the health department. Evidently, no one seems to care that some meat products are not kept at a proper temperature.
  • Advertised items not stocked. Every week we have to go ask someone for a sale item or we have to go to the service desk to request a rain check.
  • Fish that is on sale, but the meat department never seems to have in stock. This happens EVERY week.
  • Deli clerks who stand fifteen feet away and say, can I help you? No, of course not. I’ve been standing here for five minutes waiting for you to finish washing dishes. No hurry, I know Meijer doesn’t want to sell me any food from the deli.
  • Produce clerks who refuse to restock the counters until that last smashed tomato is purchased or the last three ears of corn are dutifully placed in a yellow bag ten times bigger than the measly sized ears of corn.
  • Deli clerks who ask me three times how much ham I want. Did I stutter? One pound and not one hundredth of an ounce over. Can’t you see that I am on a diet?
  • People who are too lazy to put items they don’t want back where they belong. Polly found a thawed out frozen cake that some lazy ass had dumped. The only worse thing? The Meijer clerk probably put it back in the freezer.
  • Not necessarily only a Meijer problem, but I hate the size game that food producers play, A quart is no longer a quart. An 18 ounce jar of peanut butter is now 15 ounces. I am very good at spotting packaging that has been reworked to hide a reduction in the amount of product.  I think I would make a good spy for Consumer Reports.
  • Shopping for toilet paper. Am I the only  person who thinks we are getting ripped off one sheet at time? It is becoming harder and harder to figure out exactly how much toilet paper you are getting in your single, double, triple, mega toilet paper roll. Is it single ply or double ply? Is it twice as strong or just every day get your fingers poopy strong?
  • People who stand in the middle of the aisle during busy times. No matter how long I stand there and give them the Gerencser glare, they seemingly are oblivious to anything but their middle of the aisle bull session.
  • Ditto that for people who seem to only use the motorized carts on the busiest days of the week. I am all for handicapped people being able to shop, but a little common sense about it would be very helpful.
  • Cashiers who don’t know their veggies. How many times have I heard “what are these?” Sometimes, when we buy a lot of  veggies I tell the cashier that I work for Meijer Corporate office and I am testing their veggie knowledge. The younger the cashier the fewer number of veggies they can name.
  • Scanners that don’t work at the self-checkout. When I have to get help three times, that is three times too many. What makes it worse is when the clerk says “Yeah, we have had a problem with that one all day.” Argh…cuss in mind, but smile with my fake I love Jesus smile.
  • Stockers who think that their shelf stocking takes precedence over my ability to get down the aisle. Sometimes I will, without saying a word, move their cart. Oh the dirty looks , but I think they get the point.
  • Dirty bathrooms. Never clean enough for me. I expect clean floors to splatter urine on. I hate electric hand dryers. Give me paper towels or give me death by unwashed hands.
  • People who glare at me when I park in a handicapped space. I DO have a placard, but evidently I don’t look disabled enough. I look too young or I don’t “look” disabled, even though I walk with a cane. Never mind that going to the store, to that one store, often takes every bit of my energy, not only for that day, but for two days later. Sometimes, but I never do, I want to wave at them with my middle finger raised high.
  • Not stocking hats and shirts for fans of the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals. Browns, Lions, Indians, and Tigers? What, isn’t Cincinnati in Ohio? Not that I would buy hats and shirts from Meijer if they stocked them. The last time I checked, Meijer’s price for a cheap snap back hat was more than what I paid for a fitted, game day hat. I know my hats.
  • Not stocking candy bars I like to eat. Come on, Meijer, how about Clark, Zero, and Zagnut bars?
  • Not stocking Paczki’s all year. I know you stock them for Catholics loading up on calories before Lent, but some of us like to pig out 365 days a year. Same goes for chocolate frosted long john donuts. When I want a donut, I want a donut and it better be 6:00 AM fresh no matter what time of day it is.

I love shopping at Meijer. Now if they would just take my list of irritations and fix them I would be extremely happy. After all, the customer is always right.

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15 Comments

  1. Karen

    I shop at a local chain grocery store, Lucky Supermarket (I think they’re West Coast) and a big-box Costco. Lucky prices are not super-low, but not high either, and the customer service is wonderful. The store is one of the smaller ones, small enough that I can get my shopping done and still have some energy left. And on those days when I’m about to slide under the cart, there’s always someone to help. There was the day the assistant manager bagged and hauled groceries for me… but that’s another story.

    Costco is invaluable. They carry a lot of staples that are good quality and very good prices. There are storage issues with buying in bulk, but I’ve figured out how to manage that. But shopping there is physically a challenge for me. It takes every bit of pain medication I can take, and exhausts me. Perishables come in from the car right away, but non-perishables might sit for a day before I get my little hand-cart and shift them into the house.

    I want Costco’s prices with Lucky’s size and customer service! And while I’m at it, a Tardis to get stuff home would be nice…

    Reply
  2. Karen

    As an aside, I had a doctor tell me that Tramadol interferes with the efficacy of most other narcotic pain meds. I don’t know if that is true, but asking might be useful.

    Reply
    1. Karen

      Oops, gave you the wrong email in the last post. It’s all one person, me! I use this address for social media.

      Reply
    2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I usually use Tramadol between Vicodin doses, trying to make the pain roller coaster less bumpy.

      Reply
  3. Doug B.

    #22 They use to round prices up to the nearest dollar for grocery items like canned goods so they looked more expensive. Kroger would price it at 99 cents and Meijer would have the same item at $1

    Reply
  4. Troy

    I like Meijers a lot. I wish they had taken over the world instead of red neck Walmart. One thing greeters are actually security, and as for monotone greetings I wouldn’t blame them for that must be rather boring.
    I suppose you don’t see this in Ohio, but I find the bottle return area at my local Meijers smells of stale alcohol and is generally unclean. I tend to do the bottle stuff at night so maybe it just was past due, but it seems to be getting worse.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      The greeters at the Defiance Meijer don’t do much security. Most of them are on the older side of life. You are right about it being a boring job. I like to talk, so I could make the job interesting…that is if the greeter is permitted to do so.

      Reply
      1. Becky Wiren

        If that was my job I would be chatting with everyone coming in.

        Reply
  5. Suzanne

    Only was able to shop at Meijer’s once and it seemed pretty nice. But it wasn’t the one in your area. I know corporate offices want their places run exactly the same from place to place but in reality it never happens like that.

    We do Giant and Costco for all our groceries now. But both are a zoo, very crowded and hard to navigate.

    One thing your town has on my tiny town is you guys have a Tim Hortons and a Sonic. I would trade our Wal Mart and some of the other various chains just to have one of those in my town.

    Reply
  6. cookingwithdogs

    I loved going grocery shopping when I was able to shop – mainly Stop & Shop, King Kullen or Waldbaums in my area. However, since becoming disabled, I do my grocery shopping through Peapod delivery service. While I miss being able to choose my own produce and such, I’ve been very happy with the service. The rare time or two that I’ve had a problem, Peapod’s customer service people have always resolved it to my satisfaction. Still wish I could go into the brick and mortar stores though.

    Reply
  7. Brian

    Since my heart stents, I have had to curtail saturated fats some and other sweet-love sugar delights. That makes my shopping less complicated in ways… I go for nuts, veggies, some fish and chicken and every once in while, some kind of red meat for BBQ because I NEEEEEED BBQ!
    My wife stopped bread products awhile ago and has become a gentle evangelist about it… I might go that church soon and see if I still feel the love without the body of Christ. (In our Baptist church, it was always wee squares of the worst, cheapest white bread that we solemnly sucked in our mouths. As father intoned, “This do in remembrance of me,” I could not help but wonder how the most precious substance in the triune universe, Christ’s blood!, could be reduced to Wonder Bread. But Baptists have a way….;-)
    I shop at the local chains in BC, franchised Save-On Foods or Coopers. My wife looks at WalMart as a large rat trap.

    Reply
  8. Lynn123

    lol Great list, Bruce! I SO agree with your hatred of electric hand dryers. The old ones weren’t too bad, but the new ones cause hearing loss, I’m sure. I finally figured out that if you hold your hands lower, the piercing sound is not as bad. Last time I was near one, this lady had her hands at the top, the sound hurt by ears so much I couldn’t get out of that bathroom quick enough. I, too, prefer the drip-dry method over those awful things.

    Reply
    1. Karen

      My husband insists that is what pant legs are for.

      Reply
  9. Teresa RN

    I recently had my 3rd back surgery a week ago in 2 years I’m 48 not overweight but I had to utilize using one of these carts this week because the pain and numbness/weakness was horrible. I am a RN of over 25 years. I got so angry of the number of people watching me in the cart. Do I agree there are people just too lazy to walk yes but in my case I could not have made it through the store without using it

    Reply
  10. Eva

    I love Meijer. I just wish they would stop selling stale and three-quarter stale bread. Sometimes their fruit is fresh and sometimes it’s not. Other than that it’s my favorite store to shop in in my hometown. Kroger prices are much too high and selection is vastly limited. Meijer truly is a Godsend in my town. And now I will only be literally one minute away in my new neighborhood.

    Reply

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