We all have that place we can go. It’s not the “where everybody knows your name” place. It’s not the “I better put on a bit of makeup” place. It’s quite the opposite. It’s the place where the cross-section of the population that frequents the location is so varied and so colorful that you barely even run a comb through your hair before heading there for whatever your purpose. We may go for the content (be it a store or a park) or we may go for the people. Or both. My place is for both and it is fantastic.
Redner’s Warehouse Market is a chain of grocery stores that are family owned and tout “warehouse prices.” I love their prices, I can get a flat of chicken thighs for less than $4 and store brand Mac & Cheese for $0.69. Is it the healthiest place to shop? No, but they do have an organic section and the produce is pretty good if you’re focused on that. Mostly, though, you go for the bargain. And… as I’ve schooled my family, for the people. Oh, the people. Customers range from single moms on food stamps to ladies driving Lexuses (… I don’t know what the plural of Lexus is. Lexi? Lexuses? Lexisi? Whatever…) and everywhere in between. There’s always a fascinating scene or interaction with either a customer or an employee. The employees are great, always friendly. Sometimes they say or do the wrong thing and it totally makes the trip. I have to come home from Redner’s with a story otherwise it was a wasted trip. Seriously.
Some examples of fantastic employee interactions I’ve had:
1. I was doing a fairly large shopping trip in the middle of the day (in my SAHM days). I pull my full cart into one of the checkout lanes and the cashier looks at my cart and widely mouths “OH MY GOD!” It was too late to back out of her lane so I had to giggle to myself as she struggled to ring up what one would consider a fairly normal cart-full.
2. They don’t use a store card, but there is a gas card. When I signed up for it 3 years ago, it worked at one local Sunoco that was nowhere near my route so I promptly lost the card. When I explained this to one of the checkout ladies, I was told that the gas card works at every Sunoco. I said, “No, when I signed up I was told it only worked at a few.” Her response? “Well, you probably just didn’t understand.” AWESOME. That may have been the case but being unintentionally insulted by a checkout girl just made my day.
And that’s just the beginning. Experiences with customers are also very fun. My husband had an epic one just a few months ago. He ran in to get a few items and walked out with just one bag. There was an armored truck parked right in front of the store and oncoming traffic, so he was kind of bobbing and weaving to get to his car instead of taking a straight shot. This made one parking space stalker VERY ANGRY. She pulls over to him with her window down and yells at him for not walking straight to his car so she can take his spot when he pulls out and then threatens to SUE HIM! Being smart, he didn’t engage. Instead, he came home laughing to tell me the story. Best Redner’s story EVER. I love this place.
I ran in today to get a few things and on the other side of the self checkout I hear a mom disciplining her little boy. She smacked him somewhere (I didn’t see, could’ve been on the hand or the bottom, I don’t know) and he started crying. She said “I know that hurt, it was harder than I meant, but you need to listen!” Now, in a more upscale store, folks would be horrified. Corporal punishment? FOR SHAME! But there, at that moment, I thought to myself “Good on ya, girl. I’d probably do the same with my little man.” Is that wrong? No, it’s real. That’s why I love Redner’s. They keep it real.
Then, 2 minutes later, a mom in one of those motorized scooters with a basket nearly ran over her own kid. I LOVE THIS PLACE!!