Posts Tagged ‘kroger’

4th September
2009
written by Jeff

Posh KrogerI’ve been seeing a lot of you ask on Twitter, “Where the hell is Zombie Kroger and why is it called that?” By “a lot,” I mean like three people I sorta know but have never met.

So, I figured I should put together this little rundown of the four Krogers that have been given monikers and why they are so named.

Disco Kroger
Montrose at Hawthorne (near Westheimer)

The original. I don’t know when people started calling it Disco Kroger. I first started going there when I worked across the street. I also had my truck towed from there when I stupidly parked in its parking lot during a show at Tower Theater (you know it now as Hollywood Video – sigh). But, if you’ve ever been in there later at night, particularly on the weekends, you understand just how it got its name.

Ghetto Kroger
Shepherd at 11th

As far as I know, I’m the one that handed this Signature store with the name dating back to this post about how crappy that store can be. I first started going to Ghetto Kroger when it was decidedly less ghetto many MANY years ago. It was also significantly smaller. I’m told this will be the largest Kroger store in the US when re-modeling is complete. To understand its ghetto nature, all you have to do is go in there, see the construction and note ZERO signs saying “Please excuse our mess” or anything like that. I guess in a few months, we’ll have more ghetto to love.

Zombie Kroger
Shepherd at 20th

As outlined here, Zombie Kroger is so named because it is marked both by really sweet, exceedingly slow elderly people and a dearth of checkers most of the time. Plus, it seems to be in some sort of vortex that swallows normal time and has soda that looks like Windex.

Posh Kroger
West Gray at Dunlavy

Only recently this River Oaks store (pictured) got its name for both its clientele and the fact that you feel as if you are walking on diamond-encrusted floors and breathing caviar-infused air as you mill about in this hoity toity market. I see a blog post in my future.

So far, those are the Krogers with nicknames. I’m sure others could be determined if necessary. Hell, add your own if you like!

Photo via Wikipedia

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1st September
2009
written by Jeff

Big BlueLeave it to me to sell my house, three blocks from Ghetto Kroger, and move into a place three blocks from Zombie Kroger.

Why do I call it Zombie Kroger, you ask (I know you asked, so don’t pull that “I didn’t ask” bullshit. We both know that you did!)? I call it that because the clientele appears to mostly be older than the average corpse and moves even slower.

I don’t like to shop there, but I stop by since it is close on occasion. Here are the five reasons I should NOT routinely stop by Zombie Kroger – and why you should avoid it altogether.

What the hell kind of food is that and why is it there?

See that bottle of weird blue liquid? When I reached in to grab a couple bottles of Deja Blue water, apparently, I got one bottle of that blue shit too. First, what the hell is that? Is it like the blood of an Oompa Loompa? Did someone bottle unicorn pee?

Second, why in the name of sweet blue unicorn pee do you put that on the same shelf in the refrigerated case with water that has a blue bottle? If I wanted the nectar of some made up fruit from Narnia, I’d call Aslan and tell him to ship me a crate.

And, while I’m at it, why would you put all the cat food EXCEPT THE IAMS at one end of the aisle with the two sections of cat food separated by hundreds of bags of dog food? What genius thought that good food for cats should sit on two shelves 15 feet from the Kibbles and Shit?

Check it out…or not.

During the day, you would be lucky to find more than two lanes open at any given time. Normally, that wouldn’t be an issue, but when you have a store full of octogenarians who often buy food together and pay by check, you end up with issues. I was in line last week behind two women who had one cart of stuff divided into five separate batches of food that all had to be checked out separately and paid for with different payment types. Fortunately for them, every batch was fewer than 15 items so, naturally, they were in the express lane.

While I’m on the topic of express lanes and strange customers, when I was there tonight, a manager opened an extra express lane, but blocked it off with a sign and shut off the numbered lamp as the store got less busy so he could go back to whatever it is managers do. No one seemed to care. Several people – one woman pushing 90 wearing a full girl scout uniform (scout’s fucking honor!) – just walked around the sign and got in line.

Finally, since there are at least a few normals that shop here, how about a self checkout stand. I realize this could be an unmitigated disaster since many of the folks in the store probably don’t even know how to use a remote control for a television, but maybe try an experiment for those of us who do.

How about you widen the aisles or something?

I feel for the older folks who come in there on a regular basis and the many disabled as well. The aisles are so narrow, they barely fit one person at a time let alone a person, his zip scooter, an oxygen tank and the oversized nurse helping him shop.

It also doesn’t help that the store is often populated with some really odd characters who seem to stand and stare for what seems like hours at toothpaste or milk or tampons. One guy tonight was in an aisle when I walked into the store and still in the same spot when I left. I assume he was comparing the price of canned peaches to determine if Dole had enough nutritional value to justify losing the ten cents off coupon he had for Libby’s, but what the hell do I know?

Departments are more like compartments.

Speaking of small, what made them think that a customer service desk the size of a toll booth was big enough for the dozens who want to cash their social security checks twice a month? And I really hope you don’t want a birthday cake (you don’t!) from the bakery since the counter space is smaller than the jewelry display case my ex-wife and I used to haul to shows all over Texas (yeah, I sold jewelry…you wanna make something of it?).

I’m just saying that if your meat department offers only two cuts of beef and one of them is “ground,” that isn’t exactly what I’d call a wide selection. Just something to consider.

Which way do I park?

Finally, what kind of crazy bastard designed this parking lot? Angled parking is fine. It’s not the smartest way to go for traffic, but with all the giant ass cars people drive around, it’s probably a necessity.

However, don’t have the parking angled BOTH WAYS IN THE SAME LANE!!! I don’t have to do a million dollar traffic flow study to tell you that a lane that is really only big enough for one-and-a-half cars and has angled parking going in both directions is going to be a freaking disaster.

Now, add that parking to a lot where a LOT of very old and disabled people park. It’s like putting all compact car spaces at Whole Foods for all the Hummers – oh, right, they do that too.

Ingress and egress needs to be ultra easy when you have a bunch of people with cataracts driving giant Oldsmobuicks. It’s science.

I’m not a grocery store expert even though my four years of work at Kroger in high school does qualify me for upper management at Food City, but I can tell you that Zombie Kroger is terrifying, even more so than Ghetto Kroger and that is saying something.

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3rd March
2009
written by Jeff

KrogerI did it. I got lazy. I wanted a snack and the Kroger is just 3 blocks from my house. I had been avoiding it except for household goods – paper towels, detergent, etc – and even going to Target for those whenever possible.

Last night, I decided it was a Kroger night because I didn’t feel like going to Randall’s or anywhere else and my visit helped remind me why I don’t care for the ghetto version of Kroger that is near me.

The stink of garbage outside the store.
I’ve been going to this Kroger for a long time. In fact, I used to go to this store as a kid with my grandparents. But, since it became a “Super” Kroger or whatever they call it when the old, quaint store is swallowed by the Godzilla of grocery stores, the garbage outside the front door of the place has stunk like Mothra’s asshole.

The woman at the courtesy booth who didn’t speak to me.
I still had some rolled coins left over from my yard sale, so I took in a couple rolls to cash out. I didn’t want to be the dumb ass who tried to check out with a roll of dimes, so I went to the courtesy booth. The woman behind the counter just stared at me when I asked her if I could get bills for the rolls of coins before walking into the back office for a couple minutes. These were still wrapped from the bank. She came back out and, without speaking, called the manager via the intercom and began to help another customer without saying a word. When I asked, she said that they sometimes have to count the coins. The manager showed up and approved the transaction. She looked at the two rolls of dimes and one roll of quarters and asked, “Twenty dollars, right?” Jeez, I dunno, Rockefeller, you’re the cashier.

The choice selection of baked goods.
I don’t go into a grocery store expecting it to be like a German bakery, but it would be nice if the selection of rolls and bread reached more than three bags of day-old yeast rolls and a pyramid of knock off Wonder bread on sale three for a dollar. And why exactly do your croissants need 50 ingredients? I’m fairly certain you can make them with less.

The DVD player showing High School Musical 3 while I stood in line.
I do everything within my power to avoid anything relating to Zac Efron. It’s just a policy I have. I also don’t want to know anything about, hear anything from or see anything related to high school musicals of any kind, particularly those with spoiled little acne-free Disney kids. Playing High School Musical 3 on a DVD player so I am basically forced to watch it while waiting in line to pay for my groceries is both cruel and unusual.

The stinky helper behind me in line.
While standing in the checkout line, a strange gentleman began asking me questions randomly. “Is that one broken?” “If the woman would just help her, she’d get done faster, right?” “They need about four more of these, don’t they?” I tried to nod politely, but the pungent aroma of his horrible breath nearly knocked me out. He even walked over to one of the machines to help someone out when she didn’t need help. Patience, stinky grasshopper.

The toothless lady at the self-checkout lane with the hundred.
In case you wondered who stinky breath was helping, naturally it was a toothless woman wearing camouflage and trying to pay at the self checkout lane with a hundred dollar bill. This prompted an exchange between she and stinky that made no sense. I’m fairly certain they were speaking a language only the mole people who live in the abandoned subway tunnels in New York understand. I don’t even want to speculate as to why she had a hundred dollar bill yet was unable to match the color of her socks.

The guy who nearly hit me in the parking lot.
Once I made it out of there, I got in my truck and proceeded to back out at roughly the same time as a guy in a black Mercedes about two spaces behind me. I was ahead of him slightly but seeing me must’ve triggered the gene that makes him want to prove he’s still a man, so he slams it into reverse and tries to get out before me. This was silly because my truck was already out into the aisle. He was CLEARLY pissed that I didn’t respect his bizarre attempt to out-testosterone me and raced up near my bumper. I leapt out of my truck and smashed his windshield with a bottle of Dasani water shouting, “I will crush your will to live!” That last part probably happened in my head, but still.

I think I’m going to stick with Randall’s and Target. Sure, Randall’s plays elevator music and Target is nearly always filled with screaming children, but it seems preferable to my sad ghetto Kroger.

Photo by Kymberlie R. McGuire.

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