Happy Monday grocery shopping.  Or, should I say “happy invisible grocery shopper“?  I started my Monday grocery shopping just as I usually do – at the fairly new Wegmans King of Prussia, not far from the house.  It’s been open for about 5 months and I’ve been shopping there since they opened.  And since they opened I’ve noticed a serious lack of recognition by the staff to their customers.  No eye contact, no hello, no smile, no greetings… It’s rather bizarre.

I walk up and down the aisles, running into employees everywhere, and they walk by me like I’m not there, I look up, glance at them, smile – and nothing.  I’m invisible.  There are a lot of employees in this store, too.  It’s not the lone person running around trying to do twelve things at once.  There are a lot of employees.  And at 8:30am, not a lot of customers.  I stand out.

This has been the standard since I first walked in there.  Many of the cashiers are nice, but the folks on the floor?!?  Obviously too busy to recognize the person who’s making their job possible.  I’m not looking for conversation, their life story…  A simple smile with eye contact while I’m walking down the aisle towards them would suffice.

So I think I may be limiting my shopping at Wegmans.  I don’t like being ignored.

Where I know I won’t be shopping is at the Acme.  A total train-wreck of a company.  I shop for my mother-in-law on Monday, and, at 86, she’s pretty set in her ways about things she wants or likes.  Sadly, there  are a few things she likes from Acme that I can’t get anywhere else.  And ofttimes they don’t have them, either.  For the past two weeks I was unable to get her Apple Strudel Bites at the store closest to her, so this morning, I decided I’d go the the store closest to me.  They had the pastries, but they didn’t have her cut fruit.  When I asked, a very flustered gentleman let me know his work flow, what he does, the timing of everything, and that he wouldn’t have the fresh-cut fruit out until after 11am.  It wasn’t quite 9:30am.

I left, went to the other Acme to also pick up her prescriptions, and they didn’t have cut fruit in the size she wanted.  Evidently, cutting fruit is a skill-set their employees at any location are incapable of mastering.  Okay.  To be fair, there is a very nice woman at that Acme who would stop everything to make me fruit bowls if there were none.  She’s really sweet and we always stop and chat for a moment when I’m in there. Naturally, she wasn’t there, today.

So I guess it’s back to PathMark.  Not my favorite store since they re-branded from SuperFresh a few years ago, but, at least I’m not always ignored in the aisles.  They have some very nice employees who are always helpful.

I will trade more products for customer service any day.