Thursday, October 07, 2010

Whole sanity.

Just a little question for y'all:

If you order something, like a pizza, and then you go to pick it up (because it's not a place that delivers), and find out that they didn't have a main ingredient that you requested, so they just substituted something else, what would you do?

Actually, I need to be more specific, I think. It'll make more sense that way.

We ordered a pizza from Whole Foods at 91st and Metcalf last night, because we needed to grocery shop, but we also needed to eat as soon as we got home from shopping. (So as to keep me from ripping all the heads off of small children in our neighborhood when my blood sugar plummets. It's for the CHILDREN, you see???)

We ordered our standard pizza on a multigrain crust. But when we arrived to pick it up, the guy making pizzas told us they were out of the multigrain dough (AGAIN. Seriously, MAKE MORE OF IT, WHOLE FOODS AT 91ST STREET! Apparently, it's a popular item! GOD.), and said they'd gone ahead and made it on their regular dough instead. "Do you still want it?" he asked me. I took the pizza and said, "Yeah, it's fine, I guess," as I tried to keep the demons inside from working their way out to the surface.

When I was checking out, I asked the guy at the stand, "Is there any way we can get a discount on the pizza? They were supposed to make it with multigrain dough, but they were out." And he kind of looked at me, and I looked hopefully back at him, and he kept scanning groceries, and then said, "Do you want talk to manager?" [He was an asian dude.] I said, "Well, if that's how I can get a discount on my pizza, then yes, please." He kept scanning, and didn't call or motion to anyone, or anything. I started the debit card process, but stopped when it asked me if I approved the charges. "Seriously, can I get a discount on the pizza, or what?" I asked again. He looked at me, and then another employee behind him asked what was up, and he told her, and she looked at me, and I told her what had happened with the pizza being wrong, and she did this big ::SIGH:: and said, "Let me go check."

All of this time, there's a customer behind us in line. So the checkout guy turns to her and apologizes, and I'm not shitting you, motions at ME as if I'M the one that did something wrong. You know, by asking for a discount on my PIZZA THAT WAS MADE INCORRECTLY. I ignored him, though, and continued to wait. The lady nehind me asked me what had happened..."So they made it with the enriched flour dough instead?" Yeah, I told her. Not a big deal, but we really like the multigrain, and try to stick to whoe grains when we can. She understood. (She was really nice, actually.)

Unlike the workers at Whole Foods. While we waited, a manager came up and asked what was up. The checkout guy leaned over to him and whispered in his ear, and then the manager nodded, gave me a look, and walked away.

WTF was up with THAT???

Finally, the other employee that had gone to check on the pizza issue for us returned, and waves at me in a dismissive manner saying to the checkout guy, "Just give it to 'em." Like, really snotty-like, and shit. And I was all, "But...I was just looking for a discount. I wasn't asking for the pizza for free." I don't know why, but it just really chapped my hide that they were treating me like I was some sort of freeloader coming in and being all bitchy or some shit. I. just. wanted. a. DISCOUNT! Why was that such a huge mutherfucking deal???

It was weird. I wound up being pissed (no thanks to the plummeting blood sugar at that point!), and felt like I was being made out to be some bad guy when all that happened was...oh. Oh yeah. THEY MADE OUR PIZZA WRONG. How the fuck was it not disounted to begin with on that account?

So, was I the douche they made me out to be, do you think? I always figure it can't hurt to ask for a discount in those cases. I thought 10% - 15% would have been reasonable, you know? Sheesh!


faithstwin said...

Nope- you weren't being unreasonable or rude or stupid. It was a totally valid request. I say this post gets sent to Whole Foods headquarters, btw.

I stopped going to Henry's because of the shitty attitude their employees had- especially when I returned that ham steak that had expired a month before yet it was still in the case for sale. (I know, how didn't I notice the date? I just didn't look...)

Fuck 'em- Trader Joes baybaaayyy!!!

Ryan the Girl said...

Dude, screw those rude Whole Foods jerks! You were perfectly reasonable.

Ms. Pants said...

A couple of things:
1) if this is the same WF that you posted about with the rude checkers that freaked about TJ's always moving next to them, then for the love of all that is holy (wholly?), stop fucking shopping there!

2) Forward a letter to HQ regarding the treatment you've received recently. Be concise, honest, and stoic. (Keep it to a 1 page letter if possible.)

3) I think you should have asked for the discount at the counter where you picked up the wrong pizza. Then the braindead checker could have just scanned the right price in and kept being brainless instead of having to ::: GAWD ::: exert some energy.

4) Why did you not call the kid on his rudeness right there? Nor the manager's rudeness with the whispering? CALL PEOPLE OUT ON THEIR SHIT. You are speaking of a SERVICE industry. YOU are who they are to SERVICE.

5) For the love of all that is holy/wholly, STOP FUCKING SHOPPING THERE. Yes, this is a repeat, but you can find organics at most groceries these days, you can hit farmers' markets, you can go to a TJ's (which we don't have here in Houston so count your lucky stars, dammit). But it's obvious this store is not doing it for you. Stop doing it for them.*

*Apologies for channeling my mother.

Faith said...

TJ's doesn't open for another month, or so. So I have to wait for that as an option...but I'm excited more than ever, now!

I sent off a letter to the store right before I wrote this post. So we're good to go, there. I complained about BOTH stores, since last night's incident took place in a different store than the one that has the complainy, mad-about-Trader Joe's girl at it.

And I thought about asking the pizza guy for the discount, but I dunno why I thought it'd be better to just do it at the checkout. I blame my low blood sugar! ;)

I'll let y'all know what I hear back from them, if anything. And yeah, I'm not shopping there anymore. They can suck it, fo sho.

Nuke said...

It isn't unreasonable to expect good service. It is however unrealistic to expect to get it.

Service workers are seriously at low levels of service these days. In your position I probably would have either taken it home at regular price or left it for them to pawn off on somebody else. Mostly because I am a pessimist and would have expected further shitty treatment.

I applaud you for not only standing up for the customers, but not going all psycho and kneecapping anybody.

Average Jane said...

That sounds like a perfectly reasonable request to me. Sounds like they're in serious need of some better employee training.

Stephanie @ Confessions of a Trophy Wife said...

Totally redonkulous for so many reasons. I don't blame you at all for being PO'd.

The proper thing to do would be to say, hey, we ran out of whole grain crust [FAIL] so we went ahead and made your order on white. If you would still like it, we'll give you a 10% discount. That would be what they should have done if they cared about their customers, which they obviously don't.

Someone was just telling me that their friend got banninated from their local WF because they accidentally forgot to pay for something in their cart. They accused her of stealing and told her she wasn't welcome to come back. She was a regular customer. Really?

christinag said...

THIS is why I love yelp..... It felt like I was reading a review there. I'd mark it cool, useful AND funny! :)

JJSKCK said...

I agree with everyone who suggests that you stop giving them your money.

Unfortunately, from what I understand, TJ's won't be open for another 6-8 months.

Faith said...

6 - 8 months? I did not know it would be that long. ::sigh::

It'll be worth the wait, I'm sure!

baKC said...

I know the dude you're talking about! He's usually just kinda indifferent to me, but I saw him be pretty rude to an older man once. It was a price-check sitch, with lots of eye-rolling from the clerk. After about three minutes, the older dude gave him what-for. "What's the problem here, why is this taking so long?" type of thing, to which this clerk just looked at him blankly 'til the price came through.

At the store on 119th, I ran into a problem a couple years ago with the redheaded female clerk. She asked if I wanted to purchase a $10 charity bag of food for the poor, and I refused (pretty nicely, I thought), saying I always donate to Harvesters. She frowned, kept ringing up my stuff and muttered, "Well, as long as you always donate to Harvesters ..." I didn't say anything, but it made me feel bad. I've continued shopping at both locations, but I'll probably check out this Trader Joe's place when they open. The clerks are always pretty cool for a while, when a new store opens =]

Dan said...

Not an unreasonable request, but made at the wrong time and place. When the pizza guy told you about his unilateral decision to change your pizza, that was the time to ask about a discount. He offered asked if you wanted it, and you said yes, instead of "not at full price, but I'd accept it at a discount." Instead, you went to a person who had no involvement in the transaction until you told him that an apparently perfect pizza was not what you wanted. At the very least, you had to expect he was going to have to check with somebody, so now your problem becomes the problem of everyone behind you at a busy time of the day. If I were the person behind you, I might have offered you a couple bucks just to keep things moving.

You are ABSOLUTELY correct that your screwed up pizza should have brought some sort of adjustment. But you screwed up when you took your gripe to the checkout lane instead of the person responsible.

(Can you imagine how good for the store it would have been if they had said "We didn't have what you wanted, so we made you this instead, and you can have it for free as our way of apologizing, and we hope you'll come back next week and give us a chance to get it right"? Missed opportunity for good publicity on one of KC's most-read blogs.)

statia said...

I'm so not a TJ's fan overall. It's kind of...meh. Though, they do have good boxed baked goods. But anyway.

Generally, I've never had an experience like yours at WF. We have two near us too. One old and busted one. It's been there for years and the aisles are small, and it's always fucking crowded, and in general, the workers there are exceptionally nice, and have given us shit for free for no good reason. Like if I wanted to try something out, or once we opened a bag of cookies to keep the kids quiet and told them as much, but the checker accidentally dumped them out, so she gave us another brand new bag for free. So that was cool. The problem with that store, is I can never get down the fucking milk aisle, because they always have a cart full of boxes in it. My biggest problem with that store, is the other shoppers. They're so fucking high and mighty and act as if they have the right to hog the entire aisle while they shop, and then roll their eyes when you say excuse me.

Then there's the new WF, which is new, and shiny and has all the bells and whistles and the fancy food stations, etc. It's got a lot of room to get around and the people that shop there are mostly OK. The workers though, they're definitely a little more...rough. I don't know, read into that, what you will. But they seem so much colder.

Anyway, you were treated very inappropriately, and I hope they rectify the situation. You weren't the least bit out of line for asking for a discount.

faithstwin said...

While I see your point I also see where Faith wrote she was having a low blood sugar moment. As someone who experiences LOTS of these (type I diabetic) I can assure you a brain without sugar just doesn't think right. What this situation turned into was flat out poor customer service for the second time in a couple weeks at a Whole Foods where Faith and Leo regularly shop. While a discount given at the counter responsible would have been helpful, the people in front, the last line of customer service you see in a grocery store dropped the ball. It doesn't matter if it was a customer causing the problem. You come up with a solution as quickly and with as much polite as you can muster. If that means you are rolling your eyes and making said customer feel like crap? You should be looking into a new position as maybe an IRS agent or a sanitation worker.

Dan said...

Maybe the guy at the counter was having a low blood sugar moment, too?

Remember, WF is owned by a Republican, so compassion is bound to be in short supply there.

faithstwin said...


I don't think you read Faith's blog very often though I know she doesn't post about our family nor our polictical affiliations hardly at all (mostly because we don't like to publically talk politics...) but we are republicans. It's mainly because of financial reasons that we are conservative as a base but that one words does not epitomize our personalities nor our ability to FEEL.

There were at least 4 people involved in Faith's situation on the Whole Foods side, just fyi. Unless they ALL were experiencing low blood sugar? I would pretty much narrow this down to just another day at a store where the workers suck.

AND BaKC came in and backed up Faith's experience with the SAME checker with their own experience with that guy- sounds like he is just a little bit of a douche every day!

You can still shop at Whole Foods, Dan. It's ok. I know people still shop at Henrys even though I never will again. People put up with shit customer service every day without batting an eye. Some of you even accept it as normal. To each their own.

Dan said...

Faithstwin -

As long as people show up at WF and try to haggle with the checkout guys for stuff they should have taken care of at the pizza counter, I think I'll stay away. Or I'll just bring a couple extra bucks to offer the hagglers just to keep the line moving.

Actually, I agree with Faith that a discount would have been a reasonable request, but I think she went about it all wrong. Checkout dudes aren't typically empowered to sell stuff for less than the normal price, and when you wait until you get to the checkout counter to try to make a deal, you're inconveniencing everyone behind you. I think that's exactly as rude as having loud kids in a bar, but that's just me. To each his or her own.

faithstwin said...

aahahahaha! Dan, Dan, Dan, I have been avoiding your assholeness to this point but I see you are offering a challenge. Let me address this before Faith wakes up and brings her own wrath (she surprises me sometimes so maybe she'll be kind? I hope not!)(Oh, and let it be noticed I have totally recognized how you avoided my response to the Whole Foods Owner being Republican argument, babes...)

I will start with this comment: "As long as people show up at WF and try to haggle with the checkout guys for stuff they should have taken care of at the pizza counter, I think I'll stay away"

Once again- you have completely disregarded the LOW BLOOD SUGAR point to this story.

I recognized this point in previous comments: you said- but I think she went about it all wrong- when responding about the checkout people- AGAIN.

Oh Dan! Do you know how many times I have been a 'checkout dude'? Many times over in this lifetime! We have an odd amount of ability, to be honest... those who want to be jerkoffs about it (or when WE want to be jerkoffs?)? We say we need to 'speak to a manager.' Those who want to point out to a manager AFTER the fact that the situation was handled at the wrong point of sale? Yeah... unless that CASHIER decided to be stupid and warranted a customer walking away? We did what we could before we called a manager. TRUST ME. The ONLY time a manager/lets-be-honest: supervisor needs to be brought in is when a KEY is needed to change something. And even then it only should take a code, no more than a few seconds, and that issue is fixed.

IMO (and mine is rather lengthy and experienced!) your argument about customers holding you up does NOT apply here. You are, in my assessment, making shit up. Or you are just that undereducated about this... but you seem old enough to know better.

Dan said: "Checkout dudes aren't typically empowered to sell stuff for less than the normal price"-

Yeah, they are. Its called an override. And unless it is over a certain amount, cashiers can handle it all on their own. I doubt a $10 pizza calls for such an override!

Apparently you have kids you bring to a bar and think Faith is rude to bring such a situation up.

Just so you kniow ahead of time (you seem like a poor reader at this point) I am a single Mom whop does NOT bring her kids to a bar and never did. I completely agree with everyone regarding kids in a bar as well as crying/whining/loud kids in restaurants. They suck (which is why I ordered out for the first 5 years of my kids life).

Maybe you should recognize we are customer service oriented to the hilt before you comment again?

Dan said...

Ahh, Faithstwin, you misunderstand me. The reason I didn't go any further with the Republican issue is that I realized that to a "Republican for economic issues", it makes perfect sense to slow down a line of innocent people so you can bicker over the cost of a pizza. If your party affiliation is chosen for money rather than for correct policies, I can't really expect your supermarket line behavior to be any more public-spirited. Kind of like one of those people who flips on her blinker and expects to be automatically let into a busy lane of traffic - the world revolves around their sense of entitlement.

But, back to the case at hand. You keep on bringing up the low blood sugar thing, as if that means you get a free pass to misbehave and yet hold others accountable if they don't meet your own standards. Perhaps if you wore a blue disabled tag around your neck that would help? Otherwise, we tend to expect that people are able to handle the intricacies of buying pizza.

And, really, Faithstwin, you're making a lot of lousy guesses about my life's experience. Terrible, misinformed mistakes, but I'll assume that you were suffering from low blood sugar at 1:04 a.m., and I won't hold you responsible for your behavior. But I will point out that in every retail store I've worked in (and there have been several), overrides are for mistakes, not for willy-nilly bursts of generosity. And, even if you were correct that checkout clerks working for a Republican are trusted to set prices on a whim, is this a case where he really should have? She showed up with a boxed pizza after telling the pizza guy she wanted it, and then claims she didn't want to pay full price. How does he know what kind of crust she ordered? Is he supposed to trust her just because she's trying to haggle for a couple bucks like this is some third-world street market? How about if she holds up a can of tomato soup and claims she really wanted minestrone, so can she get it half price?

Fact is, she presented a perfectly good pizza to the cashier and told him a story about why she didn't want it, even though she hadn't mentioned it to the person she took it from. As she so eloquently states, he had to be wondering "How the fuck was it not disounted to begin with on that account?".

Was it unreasonable of him to want to check with the pizza guy and see what in the heck was going on, or should the checkout people at WF start giving food away to people who tell great stories about why they don't really want it - kind of like a supermarket Arabian Nights?

Faith said...

Actually, the time stamp on Twin's comments should be taken with a grain o' salt...that 1:04 a.m. was likely more around 11:04 a.m. PST. Blogger has never been very good when it comes to time zone dealios. I've tried resetting my time zone multiple times, and it tends to reset itself to EST. I haven't tried it in a while, though. Maybe I should do that again!

My blood sugar was a bit low, but I don't think that was fucking with my judgment. I simply didn't even think about asking the pizza guy for the discount. It made more sense to me, and would in most shopping situations, to ask for the discount at the checkout. ::shrugs:: Maybe it's my own retail experience that leads me down that road, but it just makes sense in my head.

It was almost 7 p.m. on a Wednesday night. The store wasn't crowded. And when I asked the checker for the discount, there wasn't anyone even behind us in line yet. There were 3 other checkstands open that people could have chosen to go to.

Also, the checker asked me if I wanted to talk to a manager, I said yes, and then he did...nothing? Why is that part of the post being ignored, Dan? Because, really, if I made a mistake by asking for the discount at the wrong location, wasn't he just as much at fault for holding things up by failing to follow through with a customer request?

Twin, just as an aside, Dan and his wife spent a larger part of I think about an hour, or hour and a half on Saturday night hanging out with Leo and I at a mutual friend's party. He likes to push my buttons (and your apparently) in these comments, but he's actually a really, really nice guy. (Who makes delicious beer as a hobby. Not that that has any influence over my feelings towards him, of course! ;))

Faith said...

::points above at time stamp on comment:: See, I posted that comment at 9:01 a.m. CST. So it's actually stuck on MST, for some weird reason. Blogger hates me!

Dan said...

Faith - Another point where you are ABSOLUTELY right - regardless of what the checkout guy thought about the request, ignoring it and making you ask again at the approval point was totally unacceptable. So I'm totally with you on that point.

And, yeah, Faithstwin, one of the things I most love about your sister is her combative side, and it's irresistible to provoke her once in a while. I swear it's not mean-spirited, and if I ever thought that I was hurting her feelings or kicking her when she was really down, I'd feel awful and apologize like crazy.

I know she's a Republican, I know she doesn't approve of kids in bars, and I know she used to think that people are legally obligated to let you into their lane if you turn on your blinker. I also know she's at her most hilarious when she's at her most outraged.

faithstwin said...

I know I know... I was kind when I first started! And even though I am not going back to it, Dan if I had time I would have TONS in your last comment to me to chat about.

But it *is* illegal in the state of California to pass someone once you are in the range to see their blinker NOT allowing them in. BUT what cop in their right mind would pull someone over for that? None. Only an asshole who caught you doing something else would then tack it on if you are being a douche.

I'm happy you are a truly lovely person outside of your misunderstaning of people in grocery stores. =P (It's 8:02 a.m. per my pc clock, if that makes a diff...)

Ms. Pants said...

Just a note on the Yelp thing-- yelp is a fucking crock of shit. If WH advertises with Yelp, no negative reviews will be posted.