Friday, November 30, 2012

Costco Angst

Oh Costco. How I love thee and hate thee.

Love. I love the new cookbooks I purchased there, especially Practical Paleo (great book).

I love the prices for organic products, like tomato paste, blueberries, chicken, ground beef, sweet potatoes, carrots, baby kale, celery etc. 

You can get decent pans, knives, small kitchen appliances, and they'll take things back with very little trouble.

Now hate. Maybe hate is strong word, but the latest Costco attitude- I don't like it. Costco employees used to be among the friendliest. Now, I don't know, they always seem slightly irritated, at least they do at the three Costco locations I frequent here in Northern California.

The free samples...both love and hate those. Who doesn't like free food? I DO want to taste the new Greek yogurt. But do I want people crowding the aisles around the sample table like sheep making it impossible for me to effectively navigate when I'm in a hurry? I do not.

And what, may I ask, is going on with the boxes all of the sudden? They used to just box everything for you, and they did it with remarkable speed. Now IF you're lucky they'll ask you if you want a box, and then if you say, "Please box everything, I have to climb stairs with it all," they will box about half it. What is going on? Why are they hoarding boxes? What difference does it make if they go in my recycle bin or theirs? (If anyone actually knows the answer to this I'd like to hear it).

One day my husband asked for boxes and the check-out people actually said (with a straight face and everything), "We're out." 
He eyed them quietly for a moment and then said, "Really?" 
As they stood by, unconcerned, I watched him walk over to the nearest monster sized display of goods (I think it was men's socks and vitamins) and start consolidating items, which enabled him to grab two large empty boxes in about 30 seconds. The employees chatted while they waited for him. I was both vexed and entertained.

Ah, then we wait in the SECOND line, the line to get out of the store, where supposedly the cart gets checked for loss prevention purposes. This line makes me crazy. How do other stores manage to make it without this stupid extra step? Are they all going out of business? I paid for my stuff, just let me go

So having ranted like a looney, I will close with this, I will keep shopping at Costco because I am addicted to cheap organic food and the best price for sparkling water around. But I will grab my own boxes as I shop and as I wait at the door to exit while they look over my receipt, I will say over and over, in a screechy panicked voice, "I didn't steal anything I swear!"

Oh and P.S. to Costco. Eggs are not dairy. Dairy comes from wing-less creatures like cows and sheep. Eggs come from chickens. Chickens do not make milk. When I say "Where are the eggs?" and the Costco employee looks at me like I'm an idiot and says, "In the dairy room of course," well it makes me want to hurl my free sample in his face.