Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Grocery Store Greeters: Cheery or Death Plaguey?

I grocery shop in the same manner as I would rob a bank. I try to get in and out as fast as I can with having as little human interaction as possible and I just pray that I don’t have to shoot anyone. So having a store greeter say “Hi welcome to blah blah blah” as I walk in is like having the bank guard yell “FREEZE MOTHERFUCKER!” as you enter the bank. Startling. And it really breaks my concentration. I’m also concerned that one of these days my natural Karate Fu instincts are going to kick in and I’m going to kick that store greeter right in the ear before I realize what’s happening.

Pat, what’s your take on grocery store greeters? Cheery gesturers of kindness or a black death plague on society?

Pat:  Don’t like ‘em. Period. I’m glad that your parent corporation is generous enough to pay you to stand and act in a friendly manner, but just let me do my shopping and stay the hell out of my way.

Christian: Exactly! Wow, it looks like we are on the same side of this issue. Weird. Makes me think that I might be wrong on this one. Yes, maybe I need to think about this some more.  

I guess there’s the argument that it creates jobs, which might make them a good thing. But you can’t tell me that there aren’t other things these people could be doing besides sitting at the door and accosting people with their “Hellos” and “Welcomes.” For example, it seems like every time I go to the grocery store the ice cream section is always in complete disarray after I go through it. It really annoys me. Wouldn’t it be a better use of their time to have them go around tidying things up than having them threaten people to have a nice day as they leave? Yes it would. Which means I am still not a fan of them.

So just to make sure I’m not misunderstanding something here, you feel the same way I do about grocery store greeters? You don’t like them either?

Pat:  Right, don’t like ‘em. And it’s nothing’s not that I don’t like the people, I just have issue with the profession. Although, if you think about it, they are likely the kind of person who thinks the world is a better place BECAUSE of grocery store greeters*, so I bet that, given the chance to get to know them, I wouldn’t like them as people either. So I guess it is personal.

Christian: Agreed.

Pat: And you know what? You’re right about there being other things--BETTER things--they could do. Having worked in a grocery store, I know for a fact that they could spend endless hours doing what’s called “fronting” (don’t confuse this with urban youth slang, as in, “Hey man, you be frontin’?!”, which means, I think, “Let’s jump that white boy over there who looks like he’s lost!”). Fronting makes the store look pleasing to the shopper’s eye, especially after shoppers like yourself have ravaged the aisles, by bringing the depleted product to the front of the shelf. This is done during busy shopping times, when stockers can’t replenish the shelves, so they use the remaining product to create the illusion of a fully stocked store. Like MAGIC!

I started thinking about another possibility--why not have those greeters stay in the isle with toys and have them watch our kids so that we can shop in peace and buy things we actually need instead of just quickly filling the cart with what we hope are foodstuffs so we can get out of the goddamn store before our kids ask us one more goddamn question?! I’d be down with that.

Christian:  Yes it seems like there should be plenty of other things they could be doing. Like running my groceries through the self checkout line for me. Or how about getting my car after I’m done shopping? And washing it? And now that I think about it, my house really needs cleaning. And I could really go for a good stiff drink.  

Therefore, yes, there a lot of things they could be doing besides harassing me. So it looks like we are in total agreement on this one. What do we do now then?

Pat:  I don’t know...seen any good movies? I made my first official omelet yesterday. Basic cheddar. Turned out really well though.

I don’t think I’m very good at talking with you when we don’t disagree.

Christian: Agreed.

*This totally assumes that we live in a world/country where every single person GETS to pick their dream job, and where a downturned economy does not necessitate crappy-ass jobs that people have to take just to make ends meet. I wanted to add this caveat because I know that humor is one of the first resources to go during tough economic times, and I don’t want our loyal followers to start turning on us like angry villagers because we haven’t been sensitive to their situations in life.


  1. I'm glad I read all the way to the caveat, but what am I supposed to do with this pitchfork now??

  2. What I don't understand is idea behind hiring greeters. Who needs to be greet at a grocery store? I'm not being snarky for once, I honestly don't get the motivation.

  3. @Tumbleweed - You should probably hang on to that pitchfork. You may need it for some of our future posts.

    @Megiweg - Exactly!

  4. I think I will, otherwise I'll have to learn karate-fu and I just don't have that kind of time.

  5. That's good thinking Tumbleweed. I have a chartreuse belt in Karate-Fu and it took forever.