This week's big special is a 3-pack of Philadelphia Cream Cheese bricks for $4.97. This would be a fair deal even in the U.S.; here, where a single 250g brick regularly retails for $3.79, it's rather incredible.
These come on sale once a year, and the first thing I do each time they're on--before we open on the first day of the ad--is construct a sign saying
"ATTENTION CUSTOMERS: The 3-pack Philadelphia Cream Cheese is in the bunker at the front of aisle 8"
I then strategically place this sign such that it blocks the individual bricks of Philadelphia cream cheese completely. I then sit back and observe the fun.
WHERE IS AISLE EIGHT?
This question comes up a minimum of five times each day. I hear variants when other items are on sale, some of them even stupider: "where is the center aisle?"..."where is the produce department?" That one boggles the mind considering that in every store I've ever visited, produce is the first thing you see when you walk in the door.
There are a shocking number of people who have apparently never been in a grocery store in their lives. Sometimes it's all I can do not to say "aisle eight would be the aisle with the big eight over it". Instead I smile and lead them gamely to the bunker of cream cheese and its REGULAR ONLY" sign, then wait for the inevitable "where is the light?"
I will gently point to the REGULAR ONLY and apologize. The customer-slash-dumbbell will retrieve her cream cheese, like as not ignoring the LIMIT 4 PHILADELPHIA CREAM CHEESE PER FAMILY PER DAY signs (signs, multiple) deployed around the bunker. That I'll let the cashiers deal with, just so I don't look like some kind of grocery Nazi. It's entirely possible I will soon be summoned to till three to (a) inform the customer of the limit (because cashiers evidently lie about things like that, just to piss customers off); (b) inform the customer that yes, there were signs stating said limit (sometimes I'll even have to run back and grab one, because evidently I lie about things like that too); and (c) grab the six or eight additional 3-packs the customer has picked up and return them to the bunker.
Whereupon I'll probably find six or nine or twelve individual bricks dumped willy-nilly amongst the 3-packs. I'll return those to the shelf, reflecting that whoever placed them in the bunk actually had to move a sign out of the way to even see them.
I don't get it. I just don't. WHY DON'T PEOPLE READ SIGNS? This has been a pet peeve of mine for going on ten years now, and it seems to be getting worse, not better. You get the odd person who reads signs a little too closely--let's just say that the size you've got marked on the sign had better be the exact size of the product--but to most people, it's as if the sign's written in hieroglyphics.
Every grocery store in the city starts their flyers on Friday. Including us. Every Thursday, without fail, we get people coming in to the store, next week's flyer in hand, expecting to score tomorrow's deals. Not just some people....many people. The problem here is that the flyers start landing in mailboxes as early as Tuesday each week. Well, no, actually the problem is that people don't notice the SALE EFFECTIVE FRIDAY TO THURSDAY, with handy-dandy dates, at the bottom of each and every flyer. More words. The post-literate society has arrived...