Sunday, May 07, 2006

~:F R E S H * R I P - O F F:~

Time for a fiery blog entry.

So I think I made THE most irresponsible financial decision I've ever made last Wednesday. It's lunchtime. I'm hungry. Starving. Don't want fast food or anything greasy, so I decide to go back (against better judgement) to try the new Fresh Market in Buckhead for a healthy and hearty lunch. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

But before I go on, let me tell you why my first experience was not so great. I went in for lunch shortly after their opening day in February to get a sandwich. Since this store is located on busy Peachtree Street at a not-so-friendly intersection, you'd assume that they cater to mostly busy executives, hospital staff and visitors, and students (since Portfolio Center is right across the street, the hospital a little further down and SCAD is just down the street). Folks just want to dive in and out as quickly as possible with something other than a potential coronary on a plate, right? And it was for this reason that when the Fresh Market in Buckhead first opened, I was very excited. I've been missing Harry's in a Hurry for far too long and don't always care to travel the maze in Publix to make it in and out of their deli line for one of their custom made subs. Back to my story - I'm at the deli and pick out a ready made chicken wrap and ask the attendant where their forks and knives are. She points to a basket. I pick out a fork. No knives? She shrugs her shoulders and tells me I'll find those at the register. Hmmph. So I'm at the register and after paying an arm and a leg for that little chicken wrap, I ask for a knife. I was told flatly that they don't have any knives. "Are you sure?" Yes, well the deli might have them. "Well, then will you go check for me, please?" She leaves and returns with another flat, "NO." Not a sorry - we must be out of them. Or maybe a "I'll go check in the back." I was this close to returning everything I'd just purchased and gone back to Publix.

Can't you tell when an employee is happy to give you the answer they know will displease you? Well this was one of those cases. ARRRRG.

So back to my most recent unpleasant Fresh Market experience. I think I made THE most irresponsible financial decision I've ever made, right? It's lunchtime. I'm hungry. Starving. First thing I've got a craving for is watermelon. I pick up a little container of it in the produce section. Yummm, it looks delicious. Until I look at the price tag. $4.33. NO shit. I'm thinking to myself, "boy, this is stupid, Anne." But I decide to splurge.

Next, I'm at the deli counter again and this time decide to try one of their custom made sandwiches. I order a chicken salad sandwich. Without a word, this woman who tried so hard to make me wait for acknowledgment of my presence, pointed to a "form" I had to fill out first before she would make my sandwich. "For accuracy", she said, with a rotation of her head, via her neck, at her shoulders with an a-la-urban-esque-you-aint-no-bettah-den-me-juss-cuz-I-be-wearin-dis-green-apron-beeotch gesture. Jesus Christ, how complicated can a chicken salad sandwhich be? Costs me around $5.00. Almost as much as that fucking watermelon. When I get back to the school to eat it, I open the sandwich to discover ONE slice of tomato, ONE leaf of lettuce, and a .25 inch pathetically thin layer of "chicken salad", consisting of mostly mayo and some kind of pickle/relish mixture. I find ONE good chunk of chicken in there. But lemme tell you, this sandwich was not short of bread. Hmmm. I was so mad. The other stupid thing I did was to purchase a tray of about 8 cookies for my class to share with me. They were thick, heavy, bland cookies. I like my cookies to have some crunch to them. These had none. Might have well been pudding. SO! I'm N O T going back. If their service was better, staff friendlier, that might entice me.

What's puzzling, though, is that I go to The Fresh Market in Dunwoody all the time and I LOVE them! They've got an outstanding bakery, and really go out of their way to help you find your way around, answer any questions you might have and give you a generally pleasant shopping experience.

At the Bucked location, they make you work hard to ask a question, to make yourself visible in the first place and then to get an answer delivered politely is tough, too. On opening day at Buckhead, I told the deli guy at the counter, "I'm so glad you're here! I work across the street at PC and am looking forward to coming here often for lunch." The response I get from him is a monologue of what he really wants to do with his life and how he's looking for a career change and he wants to get out of the food service industry and how can he apply for classes at Portfolio Center. Whoa. "Um, I think I'll go to Publix instead, thanks."


Doug Elser said...

you go, girl. and we wonder why hispanic immigrants are taking so many of "our" jobs? it's because they just spent 50 hours on a filthy crowded bus from a remote village in the hills of guatemala where a thatch hut and an hour walk for fresh water were their daily luxuries. ANY job to them where you make more than 50 cents an hour and are treated kindly is a blessing. we have it so good in this country that we forget. thanks, honey.

*end soapbox*

Jason said...

that's crazy. And I do agree about the prices. Funny how the logo similarly resembles that of the Home Depot. Perhaps FM should take a lesson in customer service from them.

aud said...

I get the same attitude everytime I want a sandwich. Then they can't comprehend how I would want my sourdough grilled. I was thinking the same thing about their logo, a total home depot rip off. Although the sushi lady seems to be the only one in the place with a smile.

minus five said...

i think you should say something to the manager. i always tell on people for giving poor service. i also tell on them for giving good service. and who knows, you might get some free food out of the deal.