Fry’s Foods: Where You Can’t Tip the Applecart.

Walk into a grocery store and you expect to find foods.

Check.

Cashiers.

Check.

Shopping carts.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Not where I work.

I work at Fry’s supermarket. A major chain. Parent corporation: Kroger.

To write that Fry’s is mismanaged would be a gross understatement. An outright lie.

Fry’s is, without a moment of doubt or reconsideration, THE. WORST. MISMANAGEMENT. I have ever witnessed / experienced / endured in decades of corporate experience. THE. WORST.

Kroger/Fry’s is: Chaos on Crack.

I’m embarrassed to be a part of their fiasco. Their fuck-ups. Their fibbing. Their horrific hypocritical store motto of Friendly Customer Service. “We treat our customers like family.”

I’ll rein in the rant and resume the news.

Every day that I work there — in addition to days that I don’t — this happens:

Customer you enters through automatic sliding doors. Into the lobby.

Immediately turn left to the shopping carts.

Wait. Huh? There are no shopping carts.

Not a one.

Because either they’re scattered all across in the parking lot. Or are in use in the store.

Now here’s the sitch.

Every hour one bagger is sent out to retrieve carts. Max of six at a time. Bound manually by an adjustable strap then pushed across a (not small) parking lot into the store lobby.

The process requires considerable walking and time. At a clip, maybe 5 minutes in sum for a load just outside the store, 10 for a load sourced from a distant side lot. Many baggers saunter along. Those with work ethics make haste. Me with my impeccable work ethics, why, I’d telepathically transport them into the lobby if I could! Point is, your carts mileage may vary.

Meanwhile, customers continue to flow in. Sometimes 12 inside a minute. Sometimes 20. Or more.

So of course there will be no carts. Can be no carts. Customer arrivals outnumber the pace at which a bagger can retrieve and deliver carts into the lobby.

But Fry’s doesn’t care.

It won’t schedule two baggers to do carts except on Senior Wednesday; the 10% discount draws MASSIVE crowds. Like Black Friday.

Fry’s can’t won’t schedule two baggers on carts because (a) they don’t want to pay for employees and (b) they’re WOEFULLY short on baggers  (as well as employees in all departments).

Because they treat their employees like shit. No regard. No respect. No value. Minimum wage. So employees come and go ALL THE TIME. Fry’s is a revolving door. Every employee I’ve talked with hates the place. Wants better. Is looking for better. Craving better. But, like me, they’re there because they have to be. There are no jobs — thank you, Obama. They’ve gotta pay the rent so Fry’s it is.

The Fry’s motto is: Friendly Customer Service. ha!

Customers become irate when there are no carts. Understandably. I mean, when you go shopping, it’s not unreasonable or unrealistic to expect a vehicle or means to collect your groceries.

Or is it? Maybe it’s just my warped sense of things.

So customers get angry. They complain to cashiers. To managers. Who apologize. And do nothing.

The customers I REALLY feel for are the seniors and the handicapped. The store gets a lot of both. This is a retirement community.

No shopping carts. Imagine how they feel. Some customers even use the carts for support simply to walk and shop. So sad.

So pathetic.

And for the handicapped and seniors, no sit-down electric carts either. Because either they’re in use inside the store — there’s only about 10, hardly enough to satisfy a retirement community! — or out in the parking lot. Or not working. Drained batteries. Happens ALL. The. Time.

I witness it myself. I hear the complaints from customers. All the time.

And I feel thiiiiiis big. Embarrassed. Deeply ashamed. Wanting to crawl under a rock because my employer doesn’t meet even the very lowest standard of quality. Because Fry’s can’t won’t get their fucking shit together to make good on its motto that’s written and spoken and drummed into every employee:

Friendly Customer Service

So here’s my advice if you (ever dare to) shop at Fry’s on Fair Street in Prescott, Arizona.

(The same may apply to all Fry’s but I’m in no position to know so can’t advise.)

1. On your way to Fry’s, stop off at Wal-Mart. Or Safeway. Any supermarket with shopping carts.

2. Load the shopping cart into your vehicle. Slide it into your backseat. Tumble it into the trunk. Strap it on the luggage rack. Rope it to the rear bumper. Hold it with one hand while the other hand steers. However you can transport it, do so.

3. Park at Fry’s. Unload your stolen borrowed cart.

4. Enter the store and place your goods into your cart as if it were a Fry’s cart. Don’t worry about any placard from another store. Chances are no one will notice.

5. Unload your items into your car. Remember to leave space for the cart!

6. Return to the location where it was borrowed and drop it off.

7. Thank the cart AND THE STORE FROM WHICH IT CAME for providing a service. That Fry’s won’t.

8. Return home and unpack groceries.

9. Enjoy your dinner and a glass of wine. Or three! You deserve it after your ordeal. With Fry’s. Where every customer is treated like family. At the Waverly Hills Sanitarium (Jefferson County, Kentucky).

 

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