My little town of Salem Oregon was all a buzz this past weekend because our first brand new Trader Joe's opened up. I heard reports of people camping out to ensure a prime spot for the opening last Friday. Friends told tales of madness and mayhem throughout the weekend as crazy, culture starved Salemites elbowed their way through the aisles to get three buck chuck, curry sauce, and all fruit Popsicles.
I being the sensible sort (tee hee!) and also the sort that loathes crazy crowds elected to check things out at T.J's Sunday night. I figured the newness may have worn off by then and maybe folks would be too busy eating their organic hamburger patties with their daddy's to be there. I was pleasantly surprised to roll into a relatively quiet parking lot, quickly find a cart, and proceed unhindered into the store. The first thing I noticed was lots of space. Good space in that it wasn't terribly crowded with people, bad space in that there were plenty of empty shelves. I soon discovered that a couple things I was looking for (namely organic turkey burgers and all fruit Popsicles) were completely gone. Although mildly annoying I wasn't too terribly surprised by this - it was the grand opening after all. However, the people - now they were another story all together. Here's a list of tips specifically geared for Salem folks regarding Trader Joes:
1. People! Just because you work at Trader Joes does not make you the shiz. It's a grocery store. Get over yourselves.
2. Clerks. Generally your customers do not appreciate being told how to steer their grocery carts down the aisle. I am aware that the aisles are narrow and I am able to multi-task and talk to you while steering my cart.
3. Customers. This is a GROCERY STORE not a field trip. The end.
4. Customers. This is a GROCERY STORE not a scene. Take your $200 yoga pant outfit and flaunt it down at the Courthouse. I'm not impressed.
5. Checkers. Please finish the complete transaction with me before going off into the middle of the aisle to charm and lure the next customer in. Don't you realize - I'm kind of a big deal around here?
For my fellow Salemites I would love to hear your first impressions of our new Trader Joe's. Despite my sarcastic musings I really am quite excited to have this store within easy driving distance. However, next time I go I may have to bust out my inner gangsta!