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Notes on Grocery Delivery Services

I am particularly amused by the replacement products they give you when they’ve run out of stuff you’ve ordered.  Who makes these decisions?  Who has that job?  And how could they be so clueless?

I got used to grocery store delivery services in New York where they have Fresh Direct- an extremely competent and useful service, especially living on an island where a lot of people don’t have cars.  Here in our nation’s capital we have Pea Pod and Safeway’s delivery service.  It was my misfortune to choose Safeway.

Besides the fact their web site was messed up and they failed to deliver at all for two days running, my order finally arrived tonight.  They hand you this piece of paper that tells you what you ordered and you really don’t have time to peruse it closely while the delivery man unloads the goods.  It’s after they leave that you get your surprises.

Let me see, I ordered McCormick plastic salt and pepper shakers (hey- I live alone – don’t laugh).  Oops, they didn’t have them. But they did give me a nice container of McCormick Lemon Pepper with garlic and onion.  WTF?  Really, I just wanted some friggin’ salt in a receptacle through which I could lightly sprinkle my food.  I do not need pepper.  I do not need garlic.  I do not need onion.

I ordered a bottle of combination shampoo/conditioner.  Oops, they didn’t have it.  So, instead I now have a lovely bottle of Pantene nature fusion moisture balance conditioner.  Have you ever accidentally washed your hair with just conditioner?  You get very shiny and silky- dirty hair.  Really, I just wanted a friggin’ bottle of shampoo.

So I imagine there’s this Safeway employee somewhere named Clyde.  It’s his job to replace products people have ordered that Safeway doesn’t have.  Clyde isn’t the sharpest nail in the tool box or I suppose he wouldn’t be working for Safeway replacing products people have ordered that Safeway doesn’t have.

“Hmmm, let me see here.  The guy ordered salt and pepper.  I think I’ll give him the one condiment people use in most abundance; lemon pepper with garlic and onion.  Hmm, let me see, the guy ordered combination Shampoo/Conditioner.  Hey, the odds are 50/50.  We’ll give the dude lots of conditioner.”   You could go on with this.  “Hmmm, the guy ordered hot dogs.  Let’s give him—a screwdriver.”  “Hmmm, the guy ordered frozen pizza.  Let’s give him—ice cream sandwiches!”

Better still, why don’t they wrap replacement items in little boxes with great big question marks on them?

I’m off to the drug store to buy a bottle of shampoo and probably Bed, Bath and Beyond for a friggin’ salt shaker.

Screw you, Clyde.

  1. Jim Hawk
    July 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Hey Robert – you had me laughing so hard I snorted ! Besides the replacement stuff, I stopped using Pea Pod because of the “tip” the delivery guy expects on top of the delivery charge. Even ten percent can mount up to big change when it’s a hundred dollar order.

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