I have a long history with the local supermarket chain Market Basket. When it was my neighborhood grocery store for a decade in the 2000s, I noticed two patterns there. First, every single solitary time I stood and oversaw as my groceries were rung up, the person or the cash register made at least one error in favor of Market Basket. There was always, without fail, an error and it was always, without fail, an overcharge. Not a single undercharge in a decade. You can believe that I called a manager over each time and was loud in my objections. I pointed out that the consistency of the problem meant that it was a policy decision, not a hiccup.
The other pattern I noted was that every manager and assistant manager in the store was a man and every checkout person was a woman. 100%. I put my outrage into a correspondence with upper management and within months that was no longer the case. Ever after I used to go up to the women managers and tell them, “You’re welcome.” They probably thought I was some crazy old white woman. To which there is some truth.
I no longer live near any of their stores. Yesterday, though, I decided to go to the new Market Basket that opened up about 5 miles from me. The thing is: I am addicted to MB’s basic toilet paper – and as my storage space is almost non-existent – I have to replenish every few months. Why bother over this one brand? I was in a quandary when I first returned to the States. I didn’t like most of the available toilet papers. The Scott was so thin that it needed to be wadded; and the over-“luxurious” types like Charmin felt spongy like Styrofoam. Market Basket’s basic product feels like paper and does the job.
So it is time to go load up on MB toilet paper. I also need a quart of milk and a few lemons. I enter the store (the first time I’ve been to this new one), and I’m immediately overwhelmed by the gargantuan size of the space. The milk turns out to be all the way to the left and the lemons all the way to the right, with the toilet paper in the middle.
I am not wearing my walking shoes, which is unfortunate because I end up doing more walking than a day in Venice. They ought to think about providing Segways or motorized carts. Helicopters would be too noisy and Star Trek transporters too expensive.
How I longed to be back to the human-sized Trader Joes. I don’t need a choice between 11 different brands and sorts of Raisin Bran. This American concept of “choice” is a delusion, meant to force us to pass hundreds of commodities in order to get to our quart of milk. My butt and I have got to face up to the challenge and find a different brand of toilet paper.