Friday, March 02, 2007

Service With A Sneer

I've learned to stop hoping that I might get friendly, polite or even decent service at the Key Foods supermarket on 7th Avenue in Park Slope. Sometimes I'm just happy to make my purchases and get out of there without getting jumped by the late night crew.

To be fare, I don't mind that the checkout people don't bother with the fake niceties. I don't want to talk to them anymore than they don't want to talk to me. In fact, that's one of the benefits of living in New York City. You can make it through an entire day without ever making small talk with service industry people. My 14-days-until-he-is-my-brother-in-law, Kevin, would hate that but I love it.

On a recent trip to Key Food I was treated to an entirely new level of rudeness when after completing the checkout process I said thank you (not expecting any sort of reply) and the checkout girl, without glancing away from her sidekick, responded "no problem".

In my pseudo-Post polite world, the only time you reply "no problem" is when you have done someone a favor and they thank you for it. Did the checkout girl mean to imply that she just did me some sort of favor?

The checkout people at any supermarket are the spokespeople for the market itself. Is it Key Food's policy that they are doing me a favor by allowing me to shop there? Because guess what? I can go to the Dagostino up the road. Wait a minute, that's 7 blocks up the road. Do I really want to walk 7 blocks for cheese and relish? Damn Key Food! They have won this round. But we will see who is laughing last when the gentrification steamroller flattens that ugly 70's era building and replaces it with an overpriced Whole Foods.

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