Jessica Gross

Trader Joe’s Gripe

In musings, people watching on November 18, 2008 at 6:52 pm

The Union Square Trader Joe’s staff members are helpful and cheerful. The customers are often less than pleasant.

Some background: I love Trader Joe’s. I’m a walking ad — I talk up Trader Joe’s about as much as I blab about my current top-five ranking of ice cream flavors (a lot). I brave the lines, the chaos, and the mean shoppers for the staff, the prices, and the high-quality food. But I have to tell you a story.

I went to Trader Joe’s this past Sunday afternoon. For those who haven’t been, the line on a Sunday afternoon usually stretches around the entire store. This makes it difficult to grab items on shelves blocked by the line, so many people shop for a few things (like dairy products, toward the end of the line) while they’re waiting for the register. I deem this acceptable.

The woman in front of me, though, decided to get in line as soon as she entered the store. That meant she left the line every few seconds to wander far away to grab an item not along the line’s path. Three times, there was a 10-yard gap between her and the shopper ahead of her. This was not acceptable. Instead of continuing to froth at the mouth, I took action: the third time the gap appeared, I bypassed her cart.

But this lady was serious about being a horrible, immoral shopper. She came back, grabbed her cart, and wedged in front of me in line again! And, not only did she break the supermarket rules, but she also shook her head in dismay.

To the lady who cut: I shake my head in dismay at you.

  1. Which is why you will only find me at Trader Joe’s on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. — there are always just five people in line then. And all the shelves are unblocked from those selfish, selfish shoppers.

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