Why don’t you just stay in your little cow-town, meet a little cowgirl and have little cow-babies?
A month or so we needed groceries. The weekend flew by and the shopping didn’t happen, so on a Sunday night around 9:30pm, I ventured out to Stop And Shop. The parking lot looked suspiciously empty. Lucky me, I gloated as I parked the car and made for the front door.
“We’re closed,” Sammy Stopnshop informed me.
This sentence made no sense. Ok, it’s not New York, but last I check we’re down the street from a major metropolitin area.
“Wha?,” I asked.
“Closed,” he repeated, “We close at 9pm.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?!” I tried to stop myself from saying this. I failed. The kid shrugged, non-plussed. “I….it’s….cl-…wha?” I stumbled off, dazed.
Remember the 90’s when everyone rolled up their stock options and snorted vast amounts of cocaine which companies supplied gratis as motivation to work ungodly hours? Ok, I didn’t but…um…I heard about folks who did. (Or at least a friend told me.) The point is this – everything was open 24/7. Everything. We were all so busy cranking out code, maintaining servers or blowing venture capitalists for companies like eYak, or eForksOnline or Zooba that nobody left work until 3am. Need food at 4am? Hell, yes, we’re open! Even scarier were the number of other sleep deprived cubicle jockeys picking up a case of Crank2o at that time of the morning.
And, then, well…you know the rest of the story. In one version the letter read – “The board will buy back your stock options (bought for 1500 bought for $250) for one dollar. This is not a per-share price. This is the price for all 1500.”
A couple years later, we’re looking at a 9pm closing.
Thankfully, I remembered this as I jumped in the car. Against my well-entrenched hatred of Shaws/Star Market*, I had no choice. The TVs stay on until midnight there.
I’m not sure if the Mt. Auburn Shaws/Star Market* was built over an Indian burial ground but something disturbing generally happens there. Tonight, it manifest itself in the form of a short, overweight 50-something woman in a pink track suit (“the Southie tuxedo”, as EJ Murphy calls it) pushing a full-size shopping cart with upwards of thirty pink stick of women’s antipersperant. That was all. No food. No liquor. No kitty litter. Just antipersperant. Were they on sale? Does she sweat that much? Does she buy stocking stuffers early?
I can answer none of these questions. Satre would have felt nauseous, but then he usually did anyway.
Shaws/Star Market* runs a new wacky checkout scam now. They call it Xtreme Savings. A better name, however, might be “Getting Rid Of Shit That No One Bought”. It works this way – the store obligate your cashier to mention this OUTSTANDING DEAL as you’re check out. If the cashier is too bored or doesn’t speak enough English to tell you about the OUTSTANDING DEAL then you get the item ABSOLUTELY FREE!
A few months ago, I found myself at the checkout counter of Shaws/Star Market* faced with a quandry. The cashier had not pointed out the Xtreme Deal, BUT it was something along the line of Box ‘O Trans Fat ‘n’ High Fructose. It’s free, I thought, but do I really want it? The answer was no. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t say the guilt mechanism didn’t play a part in the decision – to get the OUTSTANDING DEAL I needed to point out the incompetance of the cashier and possibly get her in trouble and she seemed very nice.
This evening, however, the cashier claimed she scraped her finger on a peach as she chatted with the cashier next to her. I looked at the Chocolate Chip Mint Pop Tarts that could and would be mine. Yes, they would probably suck, but who cares. I really disliked her. I waited until my card went through.
“Do I get my free Xtreme Deal?,” I asked.
“Help yourself,” she said, “they kinda scare me.”
I tossed one in the cart and left. That was that. No controls. No paperwork. Just a prayer of thanks from the manager for reducing his stock by one.
I’m listening to Blink right now, a book about behavior and the benefits of snap decisions. This kind of promotion, in light of the book, smacks of behavioral experiment.
Bonus Item – Has anybody invented Shopping Cart Putting? If not, I just have. The goal is to push your shopping cart into the corral from as great a distance as possible. Given the well-documented unpredictability of the wheels and the grade of the parking lot, it’s harder than it sounds. Sorry to the owner of the Humvee with the dent in it.
*Personal Note To The Poor, Sad Marketing Admin That Has To Monitor The Google Alerts – Are you still on the email list? Did you get the last one? Guess we’ll find out, huh?