Awful Albertson’s

We woke to the sound of rain; finally the weatherman got it right.

After stumbling out of bed later than usual, we grabbed a light breakfast and headed out to run some errands.  Updating the computers at Borders Books was simple enough, but things got complicated when we stopped at an Albertson’s for groceries.

Albertson’s was NOT a pleasant consumer experience.  Upon entering the store, we were greeted by an arctic blast of air.  It was cold, really cold.  It was a true shopping-in-Norway experience.  I wanted to do some jumping-jacks to keep warm.

The highly compartmentalized layout of the store was weird.  For example, bread was sectioned off but included peanut butter and jelly.  A small cold-box of refrigerated pasta was right in the middle of the dry pasta isle.  You usually find potato chips in a separate isle, but all the salty snacks were grouped together — crackers, peanuts, chips, etc.  Who came up with the idea to put Wheat Thins and Fritos together?  It was just weird.

After playing treasure-hunt for our short list of items, we stood in the check-out line for 20 minutes.  None of the checkout lines had baggers and the checkers were using recycled plastic bags.  I’m not making this up.  At least Walmart has a carousel arrangement for checkers to bag your order, but here the checkers had to manually open and stuff each bag.  The process would have been inefficient by Soviet standards.  Our club card saved us $2.23 on items that were overpriced to begin with.  Obviously, the store is caught between a cost-reduction program and experimental layout scheme.  It  worked, we spent more time in this glacial environment than we intended and would have used the self-checkout if we had known how long regular check-out would take.  But we ain’t-a-com’n back.  No wonder the grocery chains are scared to death of Walmart, which is where we’ll shop from now on.

The rest of the day was spent hanging around the coach, reading and working with the computer.

We watched a movie on TV before going to bed.