The everyday crap that's part of living in Greece is finally starting to wear on my nerves. I usually like to keep my blog light and fun but I just have to whine or rant-whatever it turns out to be for this post.
I'm only going to write about one thing that's been irritating me lately and it's the grocery store -aka- supermarket. I hate going. I never thought that going to buy groceries was the greatest but then again, I've never dreaded it as much as I do now. First, most of the supermarkets are small. The aisles are small, everything is small. If there's someone restocking shelves and blocking an aisle just be prepared to go around the other way because hell will freeze over before they'll move to accommodate a customer.
Next-the produce section. If you want to buy produce you're supposed to put your food in plastic bags and give them to the person working in produce so that they can weigh your food and put the price tag on it. The problem here arises from the fact that half of the time you have to hunt down the person assigned to produce so that this can happen. I don't believe in putting all of my produce in plastic bags. For example, when I buy bananas I prefer the price sticker to go directly onto the bananas, without a bag. Well, the last two times that I wanted to go bagless with the bananas I've suffered verbal attacks from the idiots that work in produce. The first time I refused a bag it ended up in a 3 minute battle of words...the employee saying that he HAD to give me a plastic bag because that's what they're told to do. It leaded to him asking where I'm from -as if it matters-and said, "oh, well you Americans have all of the answers don't you?" Yep, whatever dude, just give me my friggn' bananas. He wasn't Greek, he was Italian...FYI. This isn't about Greeks vs. anyone-it's just about me vs. idiots that work in the supermarkets that I shop in.
The second banana scuffle occurred yesterday. Again, no one was in the produce section except for the arrogant store manager. After having me stand there for a few minutes I finally had to ask him to weigh my bananas. He sauntered over to the scale. This man is visibly annoyed by me. Guess what supermarket manager...I'm not on vacation, I'm not going away-deal with it. Anyway, so I hand him the bananas and he started to put them in a plastic bag. I politely asked him not to do that and he said, " well where will I put the price sticker then?!"-in a very aggressive tone. I said, " directly on the bananas". He rolled his eyes and said, " no, I'll put them in a plastic bag! That's what we have them for." I said, "I would prefer to not have one, it's just more plastic and more garbage for me -it's not necessary." Now, he's really angry. (idiot) So he yells at me and says, " I'll give you the plastic bag because that's how we do it...that's why we have recycling here in Greece-put your bag in the recycling!" I just took my bananas and walked away, it makes no sense to argue with a rock. Besides, my little Alexandra doesn't need to listen to this BS.
Some other issues I have had at the supermarket include being asked for identification to use my stupid store issued discount card. What? " I need to see your identification"....the cashier scowls. I refused as I thought it ridiculous. She let me use the card anyway.
Recently, with the discount cards customers were able to accumulate coupons that could be counted as cash toward a future purchase. I obviously accumulated a lot of those coupons shopping for a family of five. As I handed my coupons over to the cashier she asked me for all of the receipts from the purchases that awarded me the coupons. What? OK, so I had one receipt in my purse and then she refused to take the coupon that it matched because it wasn't from the same location that I was shopping. Luckily, an employee with a brain intervened and informed her that I don't need a receipt and I don't have to redeem the coupons at the exact location that they were issued.
There's one more issue that I have. There's one cashier at one particular store that dreads to have me in her line. It's obvious. Why? Because more than once she's remarked about the size of my purchase. She's said, " every time that you shop here, you buy so much. You back up my line." Excuse me, but I thought that I was shopping for my family in a supermarket...is there a limit as to how much I can buy?
So, there that's off my chest. I do want to acknowledge that there are a several employees that are very kind and seem almost happy to see me. A lot of times it's those employees that intervene and rise to my defense. I'm not conditioned to walk through life looking for the next argument and I refuse to adjust my personality just because some people can't be civil. Yes, the same type of crap does happen where I'm from-just not as intensely and definitely not as frequent. Going to buy groceries shouldn't have to be such a burden.
***all of these interactions took place in Greek***