Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Time I Tried to Shop at Aldi

Readers, I have missed you. Life has been crazy, I've been busy, (insert excuse for not blogging here). At any rate, I have returned with a story, nay, a lesson, in what happens to a young woman who goes gentle into that good store known as Aldi. First, a little history:

Aldi is a German company, apparently short for Albrecht Discount. Basically, two brothers took over their momma's store, made junk super cheap (comparatively), and started expanding. They split the company when they couldn't agree whether or not to sell cigarettes at the register (like you do), so now they are two separate entities, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd (north and south, for the non-Deutsch). American Aldi's are part of Aldi Süd, whereas Aldi Nord owns Trader Joe's. Cool, yes?

So my sister-in-law swears by Aldi - she says they have great prices on produce that's always fresh, good store brands, etc. I decided to check it out on Sunday. Imagine my surprise when...

I couldn't find the carts. Like any good shopper, I walked in the front door and expected to see buggies. Not so. After looking around frantically for a buggy or handbasket, I returned to the exterior of the store. There, to the right of the door were the buggies. I attempted to pull one out, then noticed they were linked together like a prison chain gang.

I attempted to use the best Ramblin' Wreckness my 9 semesters at Georgia Tech would afford me to discover how these contraptions came apart. As I lay struggling, I saw a young man returning a cart. Figuring that this was the South, I asked him if I could have his cart. Imagine my surprise when...

He stuttered a no. I then witnessed him link his cart back in, resulting in the return of a quarter.

Alright, y'all, I gotta break this down for you.
1) I never imagined a cart rental system would exist in suburban metro Atlanta.
2) I did not have a quarter.
3) This young "man" would not give me his cart BECAUSE HE WANTED HIS QUARTER BACK. A %$&#@@#^^# quarter. I ask you, nay, I beg of you, is this chivalry? Is the common courtesy so low that a young "man" would leave a woman destitute and despondent for twenty-five cents?

So I dug around in my purse (which my boyfriend likens to a brick) in hopes a quarter would surface. It didn't. So I went back into Aldi, determined to check out what was what. I picked up a few items, proceeded to the register, then noticed something else. Imagine my surprise when...

I learned they don't take credit cards. None.

Y'all, I have a love affair with my American Express. I get Skymiles, the service is impeccable, it basically rules. Telling me I can't use it sends me into a Poe-esque tailspin - I start reciting "Annabel Lee," wearing all's not cute.

The wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my American Express

Apparently they take debit cards, but I like getting Skymiles, okay? As I was not finna deal with that, I put my items back and decided to leave. That's when I noticed something else. Imagine my surprise when...

THEY CHARGE YOU FOR BAGS. Seriously. I get it. Plastic is bad for the environment, paper costs a lot, they're trying to keep their costs down and their environmental noses clean. HEARD. But I just cannot see how a grocery store can charge for bags. I near about lost it.

So, in short, will I return to Aldi?

Yes. But I shall be prepared. I shall return with:
1) A quarter
2) Reusable shopping bags
3) A list
4) A harsh word for that jerk who wouldn't give me his cart, should I see him again.

Your move, Aldi.

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