I stopped into a local grocery store the other day, the rare mom and pop kind of place that still offers to help you out with your bags (they really do...I actually saw a bag boy helping someone out to their car today!).
I usually try to go to this place so that my dollars stay local. I was on my way home from work, anxious to be on the couch with a beer, but decided to take the extra time to go to the local store rather than 7-11. I grabbed my beer, a couple limes, and headed to the checkout.
That's where this story gets interesting. Lucky me, I find a checkout with the bright yellow open sign on, no line and two employee's standing there. I set my stuff down and am greeted with "Sorry, I'm closed."
"You don't look very closed to me" I said, expecting her to start ringing me up. "You'll" have to go to another checker" she said as she pointed to the 3 lines of at least 8 people each at the other end of the store.
Are you kidding me? I drove out of my way for this? I walked down to another register and began to wait in line. After waiting a minute and not moving, I suggested to the employee behind that counter that she might want to call a manager for help (what a crazy idea, huh?). She did so, and when the manager arrived she SHE TOOK THE TWO PEOPLE BEHIND ME to the register she was opening!
Is it just me or would common sense have said you take the people that are waiting the longest. I expressed my displeasure and I was met with blank stares.
So why should I bother going out of my way for the local business? 7-11's are located conveniently, I never wait more than 60 seconds in line, and most importantly I'm in and out without having to deal with stupid people. No wonder mom and pop shops are disappearing by the dozens.
Innovate or die. For me, it's the 7-11 or the self checkout at the big box.
-Jeff the Great