Thursday, July 13, 2006

Don't read this if you have a food allergy

As I enjoy my organic dry roasted and salted soynuts from Wild Oats, I read the package. Serving size? Check. Calories? Check. Fat and nutrients content? Check. Ingredients? Check. "INGREDIENTS: Organic Soybeans* and Salt." Wait. What's that asterisk doing next to "Soybeans?" Let's take a look down the package and find out.

"*Contains Soy" Wait, now. What? Soybeans contain soy? Seriously? Holy crap. Thank you Captain Obvious. To be fair, I understand warning labels for people with food allergies. Food allergies are scary -- deadly scary. And I don't have a problem with the warning that this item is "Made in a plant that processes peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat (Gluten) and milk products." I wouldn't have known that.

But are we really such a bunch of moronic consumers that we can't infer from the fact that "organic dry roasted & salted soynuts" contain soy? Is Wild Oats that worried about being sued to have to include that asterisk?

Then again, maybe I'm an idiot for assuming that all soybeans contain soy. Maybe most don't.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

May I help you?

I went shopping over the weekend. I didn’t need anything specific; I just wanted to check out the new Ross store. Because it’s new, it’s nice and clean and pretty well organized. The dressing rooms are bigger and have actual doors rather than half-torn-down curtains. Overall I was pleased with the store – until I came out of the dressing room.

Three women stood at the entrance – three employees of Ross – hanging up clothes that customers decided not to buy. All I needed to do was hand my “1” card back to an employee and leave. One woman never acknowledged me. One women gave me a rude, “I’ll be right with you,” and the third women gave me a complete head-to-toe-and-back-again look of disdain and superiority. I guess if you *work* at Ross you’re better than people who *shop* at Ross. In my younger days I was a much angrier woman than I am now (no, really) and probably would have dropped the card and the slacks on the ground and walked away, no matter that I actually planned to buy them.

Instead I waited politely while a line built up behind me and three employees busily ignored us. A forth woman finally came over and took our cards and discarded clothes. I thanked her and walked away, wondering if I should complain to a manager. I realize that Ross is a discount store and many people shop there because they can’t afford to shop at more expensive department stores. That does not give any employee the right to be disrespectful. If you work at the store, you should – should, should, should – treat every customer as if she is your boss.
I probably should have talked to a manager and then walked out without buying anything. But I really wanted the t-shirt and jeans I had picked out. Thankfully the girl at the check out was polite – even friendly – and removed most of the lingering effects of the rude women at the dressing room. If you hate people, maybe you should choose a career path other than customer service. Just a thought.