Back in Canada now, and experiencing some reverse culture shock perhaps. While I was in Sweden, I remarked to Per how amazed I was that people assumed and depended on everyone doing their job to the best of their ability. For example, Swedes trust that their government, watchdog groups, committees, and the like (such as Konsumentverket) to – gasp – actually do the job they are supposed to! He was completely confused at my statement – why shouldn’t I expect that everyone would do their job? Well, living in Canada, I’m completely used to poor customer service, lazy employees that pass the buck, and a general apathy from people towards their job and those they are supposed to help.
Case in point today: frustrating day at the grocery store. The good thing about Superstore (a gigantic, discount grocery store chain) is they have a huge variety of goods! Thought about how Per might find the store really interesting with all the products you can buy in one place. Downside is that they have such a huge variety… I was stuck shopping for over 3 hours!! And if we stopped to look at everything we’d be even longer. I couldn’t find all of the things I wanted i.e. canned beets (to make Swedish beetroot salad). Nope, guess we don’t carry that in Edmonton if it’s not in the Superstore. Yellow peas? Nope, only split yellow peas. I don’t think ingredients for Swedish foods are very easy to come by in Edmonton.
Also, it’s frustrating that we don’t show prices per kg like they do in Sweden. This is one of many ways I feel that Canada is so backwards compared to Sweden. Making life easier for the Canadian consumer to make informed purchases? Hah! You’re dreaming!…
Anyway, so I stand in front of the whole aisle, calculating in my head which package is the best value. On top of that, the same type of product could be in 3 different places in the store, which makes comparison shopping even more difficult!
But that’s not my main complaint… I caved and bought some Haagen Daaz before heading to the cashier, as I really missed North American ice cream. Swedish ice cream is good enough, but doesn’t quite hit the mark in comparison. (But Australian gelato is probably number one.) So, checked out at the cashier, the girl told me I had “6800 points” – enough to get $60 discount on my groceries, from using my grocery credit card in Sweden. But she didn’t ask me if I wanted to use them, and didn’t take the discount off. Uh, hello??? I WANTED to use them. Why the heck would I want to keep saving them up – for fun??? She apologized and I tried to give her some slack for being a new employee.
I tried to go to customer service to get it fixed, because I don’t shop Superstore very often (once every 1-2 months). But the woman at the counter pissed me off so bad!! She said they can’t just put the money back on my credit card, they have to return everything on my receipt. And then she can’t just give me back the same goods, I have to go shop in the store and pick up everything again myself… Sounded fishy to me – I was pretty sure she just didn’t want to have to manually run a return on every item on my receipt.
Me: “Well, can I just return $60 worth?”
Lazy old woman: “No, you have to return EVERYTHING. You can’t do it that way.”
Me: “The cashier was the one who made the mistake, it shouldn’t be my problem.”
Lazy old woman: “Yes, but the return can’t be processed any other way. You can just use the points next time you shop.”
I was pretty ticked off, so I just shook my head and walked out, fuming. Then, on the walk to the car, I thought, hey, that’s NOT true that I CAN’T return $60… She’s just too fucking lazy to do it! If I go back in there, she has no choice but to process a return on items that happen to total to $60.
So in true Canadian passive-aggressive fashion, I wasn’t going to let the lazy employee off the hook that easily. I went back with $70 worth of groceries, waited while she manually returned each of those items, walked back in the store and did a quick round, while she made some poor sap of a re-stocker have to put all the same things back. All because she claimed that she couldn’t give me back the same items, to save herself from doing work. Even if it did waste another 15 minutes of my time, I showed her!
Sweden 1, Canada 0.