Saturday, November 11

Whole Foods: Unholy

I called my local Whole Foods and asked for 2 cases of their store brand original rice milk set aside for me. I gave my name and said I'd be there within a couple of hours to purchase it. (Thing Two is following in her sister's food-allergic footsteps; I'm on the dairy/soy/wheat/egg/fish/nuts-free diet to accommodate the allergic breastfeeder, and my toddler is still drinking her weight in rice milk every day.)

The guy assured me they had it in stock, and said he'd put 2 cases aside with my name on them.

I showed up at Whole Foods less than two hours later. There was a woman restocking the shelf next to the rice milk. I approached her and explained, "I have some rice milk set aside for me in the back; who can get it for me?" She looked at me and said, "Rice milk," then pointed to the rice milk aisle. I tried again. "No, they put some aside two cases for me." She shook her head. Obviously English was not her first language. She pointed to two other employees nearby. "You ask other person."

I approached the other two employees. "Hi. I called earlier and had two cases of rice milk set aside in the back for me." One of them pointed to the rice milk aisle. "Rice milk is that way," he said.

I tried hard not to roll my eyes. "No, I TALKED to somebody and had them SET ASIDE some CASES of rice milk for me. They're in the back. Can you get them?" The other employee turned and called to a fourth employee nearby. "Hey Miguel!"

Miguel came over, and I repeated, "I have two cases of rice milk waiting for me in the back."

"Rice milk? There's some right there," he said, and pointed to the refrigerated rice milk on the shelf.

Ready to scream, I snapped, "NO. TWO CASES." I held up two fingers. "In the BACK." I pointed to the Employees' Only door, which was only a few feet away. "I called earlier and had them SET ASIDE for me. They have my NAME on them."

"Oh. Hold on." He disappeared. I waited.

A fifth employee emerged. "You're looking for rice milk?" he said.

"Yes," I replied, cautiously.

"Let's go down here," he said, and began leading the way to the rice milk aisle.

"CASES," I managed to say.

"Yeah," he said, and kept walking.

I humored him. We arrived in the rice milk aisle. There was one case of 365 brand Original stacked in the corner. He put it in my cart and then looked around helplessly. There were several boxes on the shelf, but no more cases. He grabbed a case of Vanilla, opened it, dumped the boxes on the floor, and began filling the empty cardboard case with Original rice milk from the shelf.

When he was halfway through, a sixth employee approached us, pushing a cart with . . . two cases of rice milk on it. On those cases was written my name and the words "2:00 p.m. pickup."

SO glad I called ahead to save myself some trouble.

6 Comments:

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Hayley said...

If you're in Maryland, you should definitely go to Trader Joes for stuff like that. Their customer service is great, and they are smaller so things are less likely to get mixed up in a mass of people working there.
PS- love your HPT site!

 
At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:10 PM, Blogger Meg said...

AH...Whole Paycheck! Obviously, they don't make a big enough profit to employ people with more than a single misfiring brain cell.

 
At 11:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so funny. I had the same problem with ordering rice milk for my daughter at Wild Oats. Had a quick ?? for you. Do you think the Calcium in rice milk is good enough? I've been worried my daughter doesn't get enough calcium (been drinking it for 3 years). There is controversy about whether calcium in rice milk is absorbable. Just curios on your thoughts. Love your site! and the peeonastick one too.

 
At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best way to handle that situation at the Whole Foods where I work (ahem) is to go to the Customer Service desk first. Tell the person at the counter about your reserved product, and that person will call back to Grocery, talk with one Grocery person and tell them your name and what you have waiting in the back, and then that Grocery person will then bring your cases directly to you at the Customer Service desk. Going straight into the aisles and asking someone there doesn't generally work too well.

Every store is different. I work in Chicago and my store is excellent. Other stores in the region have their own issues. I don't represent Whole Foods at all, but I am well paid and I love my job. Incidentally, I work in Customer Service.

I really enjoy both of your websites. I just had to respond to this one.

 
At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sound like a snooty, patronizing bitch to me. Sure, the Whole Foods employees weren't exactly quick to read your mind about what you needed from them, but it sounds like they (six of them!) went out of their way to at least acknowledge you. Plus, you got what you came for. Next time, try to be a little more patient and appreciate the fact that employees are actually willing to approach you in stores, even though you're obviously unpleasant, snippy, and high-maintenance.

 

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