Monday, March 24, 2008
Whole Paycheck Rant
A few weeks ago, I attempted to expand my horizons, do my bit for Mother Earth, and shoot my bank account to hell. Add it all up...I bought lunch at Whole Foods.
I despise Whole Foods. For starters, food is a basic human right and simply should not cost that much. There is no logical reason why a small bag of cherries should be $10, unless the cherries were sneezed on by Moses himself and polished by blind Bhutanese monks. I'm also a pretty simple person, and don't require that all my food be gloriously gourmet and farm-fresh.
But don't worry about the prices, because the customer base gives out the sanctimony for free. There's nothing like a yuppie guilt trip about factory farming and buying local/organic/raised by elves when food prices are skyrocketing and I am barely making ends meet. Apparently, if you do not spend an absurd amount on a can of beans, you are a Bad Person. This is much like the Prius evangelicals who want tax breaks and fawning admiration, because they can go out and buy a brand-new car when so many others cannot.
Whole Foods is not hippie-dippy counterculture. We have my parents for that. Whole Foods is a mega-corp that squashes competition and is working to replace all those little companies on its shelves with their own 365 brand. It's not the cute little grassroots mama Earth movement the yupsters seem to think it is.
But I could deal with the prices, the snootiness and the sanctimony if the store itself made even a smidge of effort to be pleasant. My neighborhood Safeway is infamous for its chaotic aisles, rude customers, bratty kids, long lines, and slow cashiers. Which, funnily enough, was just like shopping at Whole Foods. All the fun for twice the price!
On my visit, the lines were halfway down the aisles. And, to add to the pain, some genius decided to put a teenage trainee cashier on the line during lunch rush.
Trainer: Now you put the food on the scanner.
Trainee: I put the food on the scanner?
Trainer: Yes. That tells you how much it costs.
Trainee: It costs (absurdly stupid amount for a glorified snack).
Trainer: Take her money, then give her change.
Trainee: I don't understand!
Please note that this exchange occurred for every single customer.
So, Whole Paycheck, you can keep your yuppie sanctimony and silly prices. I'll be at my nasty old Safeway.