A couple weeks back, I was at a mega-store. Okay, maybe not a mega-store, but it was a super-store. Kroger. They are primarily known for selling groceries. However; in light of this, they also sell clothes, toys, books, health and beauty items and they even have a pharmacy. Which is the reason I was there, to pick up some medicine, so while I was waiting for the medicine to be ready I walked over to the men’s clothing area because, as I stated before, I needed new underwear.
I found a package of cotton that suited my needs and went to purchase them. I used the self check out aisle. I don’t like to do this, but all the human operated aisles were full of people with loaded baskets and I only had one item. Now, I have a very good reason for not liking self check out. Okay, reasons. Primarily, as part of the cost of any item in the store, there is also factored into said cost the money they need to pay for their cashiers, their managers, their cleaning staff and even the stock boys. When I use self-check-out, I’m not getting paid nor am I getting a discount on the products I’m purchasing. Basically, I’m paying a premium for a product and the company is getting a free employee whom they don’t have to pay taxes on, or medical care on, or social security on, or unemployment taxes on… or any of those many other hidden costs of business. Also, why would I want to work for free?
Another reason I don’t like these machines is that you will always have problems with them. Either the computer doesn’t scan the item correctly, or it doesn’t recognize the produce you’re trying to weigh, or even the scale where the bags are doesn’t realize you’ve already put the groceries into the bag on the scale. When any of this happens you have to push a button and wait for, oh, lets’ say… ten minutes for a manager to arrive, fix the problem by pushing various touch screen buttons and threaten the computer with destruction by waving an overripe, overlarge eggplant at the little glass box and laser.
I could go on… but I’m getting lost in thought and I need to stay focused… so when I scanned my five pack of cotton and the cost of thirty eight dollars popped up on screen I immediately pushed the call button for a manage. Why? Because I don’t spend that much money on underwear, neither do you. Hell, I can’t imagine anyone who would.
When the manager arrived, I expressed my concern about the cost of the item, he shook his head and said something must be wrong. So he paused the computer and asked me to follow him to where the underwear were located. When we arrived at our destination he pointed out a sign that clearly stated that the computer had the correct price. I told him he was nuts and that I would not be paying for the briefs. He offered me a fifteen percent off coupon. I refused, went to the pharmacy, picked up my meds and left.
That was weeks ago.
Yesterday I went to a new store, actually an old store to get some groceries and I happened to walk through the men’s section and I stopped at the underwear aisle. I found the same brand with the same amount of product inside it and it was less than half the price of Kroger’s. I shook my head and looked for my size which is when I found a bag that offered seven pair for the price of five. I quickly did the math, two bucks a pair instead of almost five bucks a pair across the street. Yes, the two stores are literally across the street from each other.
Kroger… thirty eight bucks for five pair of Hanes underwear.
Wal-Mart… fourteen bucks for seven pair of Hanes underwear.
What the hell is wrong with this scene? This world? These capitalists and consumers?
I can’t even remember the last time I walked into a Wal-Mart but I know when the last time I was at Kroger. Not five minutes after I left Wal-Mart. I did this just to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind.
I wasn’t. Kroger still had the same price on the underwear. Also, I don’t think they had sold any to any customers in weeks. Maybe it’s the price, maybe customers just don’t need them or maybe no one really knows they are there. But I do and I make sure that others know as well. Why? Because no one needs to be gouged just for comfort and I can wait until they get their Hanes on me. (I know… bad pun)
Have a great week.