Have you ever had the pleasure of shopping at Aldi before? I’m pretty much a regular. There’s a reason they’re winning awards… Sadly those awards are definitely not for customer service! My most recent Aldi experience has to be one of the worst shopping experiences in my life- one I do not wish to repeat!
Here’s a heads up for those of you who haven’t visited Aldi before…
You finally secure yourself a parking space and after a frantic scraping around at the bottom of your handbag you find a dust covered pound for the trolley. You get the baby out of the car and into a baby friendly trolley. Five seconds after moving off you realise you picked the lean-to-one-side trolley. Never mind *deep breath* we will get through this.
You walk around the supermarket and fill your trolley with your selected items all in an eerie silence punctuated by children’s random screams and the occasional nervous laughter.
You queue up at the till, unpack and place your items on the conveyor belt. Now this is where it gets fun!
You move to the end of the till and place your trolley in a divot. The cashier then randomly selects items, beeps them through the check out and THROWS them haphazardly in your general direction while you’re expected to shove all the items back into your trolley with in humane speed, whilst making sure you don’t put anything like say… A large bag of potatoes maybe, on top of a cream cake or packet of crisps.
Occasionally, the cashier will sigh or tut with annoyance and roll her eyes because the items at the end of the till start to build up. The items at the end of the till start to build up because, try as you might, you’re just not good enough at fielding the oncoming onslaught of tins, bread, eggs and lettuces flying at you whilst trying to pile the objects back in the trolley in some sort of logical order and of course trying to avoid any object escaping and smacking your baby daughter in the face as she sits in the baby seat.
To make things more interesting; the customer in the queue behind you will spend the better part of your time in close proximity glaring at you and looking at you up and down in disgust. You are then expected to concentrate on all of the above whilst trying to work out what on earth you’ve done to piss off Satan’s minion behind you.
You then wheel the wonky trolley over to a “packing area” (essentially a long shelf) at which, you empty all the contents out from your trolley again. You then pack all the items back into shopping bags and place them back into the trolley. Oh? Did I mention that not only do you have to pay for carrier bags you have no idea of possibly knowing how many you will need seeing as you’ll be packing your bits after purchase… Now I’m all for a green planet- I should be punished for forgetting to recycle my bags it’s just rather fucking annoying that after the hellish beating-by-flying-objects I suffered at the till, I now find myself a carrier bag short and will end up with a tin of tomatoes, tub of ice cream, a red pepper and a bag of nappies rolling loosely round my car boot- thank you Aldi.
Now if you’re lucky, you escape there; you pack your bags into your car, you take your lean-to-one-side trolley back, you strap your child back in their car seat and you drive away only semi scarred.
Alas my journey did not end there! As I was placing the bags full of shopping back into the trolley, the stupid handle on the stupid bag for life broke- now I chose the bag for life for the heavy objects like say glass jars of olives, pasta sauce, dried chilli etc because, idiot that I am, thought the “bag for life” would be a bag for life and hold out in the face of tins and jars. Clearly not. Queue sauce to spurt EVERYWHERE!! On the floor, in my hair and in the large “bag for life” bag covering everything with a garlic and tomato sauce! Kitchen roll, toothpaste, more jars, smashed glass everywhere, peppers, lettuce all nice and saucey.
To make matters worse, no one had seemed to have noticed my predicament except from the aforementioned Satan’s minion from behind me in the queue. She was now openly looking at me like a piece of shit and had started to shake her head from side to side…
Queue my face to go bright red, in embarrassment/anger/frustration whatever you want to call it.
Satan’s minion did nothing to help.
Granted, she was about 100 years old, wizened and in a wheel chair but she could have got someone’s attention at least! I did get a few pity glances from passing customers and one kind lady did stop to help me pick up what I could.
Anyway, I finally managed to catch the eye of a passing staff member who suggested that as the goods in my bag for life were now “a write off” which she wouldn’t be able to resale and she was apparently “very busy” why don’t I go back round the shop on my own with a new bag and replace everything in the write off bag with fresh non sauced products…
As I stared at her in dismay I distinctly over heard Satan’s minion muttering to the cashier about “youths” and “children having children” I assume she means me although I’m 25 and married- hardly a youth- back to the situation in hand; I politely state to the sales assistant how it would be a little time consuming and slightly unethical even to allow a member of the public to go round the shop alone and “bag up” whatever products got sauced and then just walk out of the shop, not to mention quite a waste of the other food? Fair dos it has sauce over the packing but for the most part it’s fine. I suggest I replace the smashed produce with new produce and salvage what I can from the saucey mess, replacing what I have to? Can I maybe have some kitchen roll or a damp cloth to clear up some mess? She cannot provide the cloth but says I can replace the sauce myself and strides off…
The child is now getting fairly pissed off- I don’t blame her, so am I- I ram most of the stuff in the new bag and quickly dash over to replace what I can.
When I return to the scene of the crime, I see that no one has cleaned up the mess on the floor- which includes glass shards and slippery olives rolling around- no one will look me in the eye, the child is now very pissed off and Satan’s minion is now ramming my trolley with her wheelchair trolley- apparently saying “excuse me” to the likes of me is far beneath Satan’s minion.
I give up and walk out with my stuff leaving the mess right there on the floor.
I pile the shopping in the car, replace the shitty trolley, strap the child into the car seat, get into the front seat and take a deep breath. Using baby wipes to clean as much of the garlic- tomato sauce off me as possible, I reflect on my experience…
Bruises gained? 3
Sweat patches gained? 4 (under boob & under pits- new record)
Bags split? 1
Time wasted? 20 minutes
Enemies made? 1
Pissed off child? 1
Covered in sauce and stinking of garlic? Check.
Public humiliation out of ten? 7.5
As I reverse hastily out of the parking space, keen to be done with this hell trip, I almost take out Satan’s minion and her husband crossing behind me…
Enemies made? 2.
Thank you Aldi, I’m sufficiently scarred for life.