I am a fan of my personal space. I don’t like to be encroached upon. I get claustrophobic easily.
I also don’t like confrontation. I don’t like feeling trapped in situations.
Today was not my day.
I had to run by a grocery store for a bunch of items I neglected to pick up on grocery day. I decided the place with the best selection for what I needed was Jewel. It was on my path home from work, so I just ran in, nabbed a cart and zipped through for my 5 or 6 things. I go through the checkout line quite smoothly, but then as the bagger is about halfway through loading my things, the manager says something to him and he starts to follow her. I thought it was strange, but I just figured he needed to ask her something. No biggie.
So, I grab the last couple of things on the counter and cram them into the bag, toss them in my cart and head out. Then I hear, “Go! Go! Follow her!” I turn to look and he’s headed right behind me. I turn around and look at the manager with a definite “WTF?” look, and she says “He has to go with you to your car.” I say, “No thanks! I have it just fine!” And she says, “He has to. Corporate wants it this way.” I continue to give her the incredulous “You’re kidding me, right?” look and she says, “Yeah, he’ll just follow you and bring back the cart. There can’t be any carts in the lot.”
I’m shaking my head and the poor bag guy is still following me. Once I get out the double doors, I just turn, tuck my cart into a spot next to a ton of other abandoned carts, and say “That’s ok. I’ve got this.” and grab my 2 bags and hoof it to the car.
Totally creeped me out. What the hell is the point of that exercise? I can only imagine what sort of business meeting this birthed from. Someone tries to figure out a way to make their store a good old fashioned premium service store with “cart to car” service. I guess? I’m really struggling to come up with how this could be a good thing. Am I supposed to tip the guy? I don’t WANT the service, why the heck should I be forced to:
1) Have a stranger follow me to my parked car, and
2) Have said stranger either arrange my bags in my trunk (a process which I am a bit particular about) or
3) Have stranger just lurk to one side while I do the work until the cart is empty and s/he can take it back?
Is this supposed to encourage good feelings between me and the poor bagger? Maybe I’m supposed to be cultivating feelings of pity?
Anyway, as an introvert, this is a nightmare in the making. It’s bad enough I have to make polite chit chat with the checker and bagger in the checkout line as they “ring me up”. I don’t need to extend the painful banter all the way out to my car and throughout the unload. I honestly DO appreciate the offer of “help out to your car?” being made on a regular basis, though I decline the offer about 90% of the time. For those times when I’ve had back pain, or purchased something particularly heavy, I gratefully accept. Why mess with a good thing?
Bottom line, I will now go out of my way to NOT shop there until I know it’s safe…