Thursday, August 23, 2007


After my last post, I went grocery shopping.

I have a tendency to go late at night, within the last hour that the supermarket is open, and I like to "close up the place." ie. be one of the last, if not THE LAST, customer. Maybe it's a subconscious power thing:

"You can't close up the store until I'm all done... You can't start to count what's in your till until you've finished with me."

There are two supermarkets nearby with a large Kosher selection of just about everything. I often go first to one, and then to the other. On Thursday nights, I luck out because one of them closes at 10 p.m. but the other closes at 11 p.m. Often I see the same people I saw shop in the first store then shop in the second me.

Tonight I went to the first store, which closes at 10 p.m. and then I headed to the second store, which closes at 10 p.m. But I had about a 20-minute window to get what I needed at the second store, so off I rushed.

I was NOT the last customer, but it was about 10:07 p.m. when I was at the checkout.

As I left the store, there were two employees just outside the front doors. I said good night to them, figuring they would lock the doors after the last customer left and then go back inside to deal with the closing procedures.

I was already at my car nearby when I heard in a booming voice: "WE'RE CLOSED!!!"

I didn't look back, but figured that someone thought they might just manage to get in and attempted to do so, only to be met by the "door police." It then hit me in a funny way that these store employees were actually serving as bouncers.

And then I realized that most stores, primarily Jewish ones where customers like to bargain, sweet=talk, insist, DEMAND, rant, and KNOW BEST, could stand to use bouncers like these men. Guards. De-motivators.

I can picture a couple of burly, musclemen, with stubble on their faces, staring down a little old Jewish lady with a shopping cart.

"No, the store is closed... No, you can't just check one more thing... No, the manager has already left... No, you can't park yourself here till morning; come back at 9:30 when the store re-opens."

Before going grocery shopping, I was in another department store, looking for a gift. Over the loudspeaker, I heard, "The time is 8:45; Winners will be closing in 15 minutes. .." "The time is 8:55. Winners will be closing in 5 minutes. Kindly bring all your purchases to the cash.... "The time is 9:00. Customer service is closed. Please bring all purchases to the cash. The store will re-open at 9:30 tomorrow."

Now, wouldn't you think that after listening to that series of announcements over a 15-minute time span that I would get the hint and get my butt over to a cashier with the gift I'd found to buy?

Nah...I'm at the far side of the store, but scanning over the aisles to see if any cash registers are free.

No such luck. There are lineups at each cashier's counter.

So I continue to browse in the housewares.

"I'm's 9:00. This section is closed. The store is closing, " is what a store clerk greets me with.

So you think I'd take a hint then?

Nah... "I know, but there are lineups at the cash anyway," I explain -- and continue to browse. I see that I am not the only customer in that section seeking some last minute purchases. I even think that to myself, "Hey, if you [Winners]throw me out, you might lose out on some customer cash. Maybe I'll find something else to buy in the last minute..."

I guess that all stores where I shop might also stand to use the services of a good bouncer to...put me in place...OUTSIDE THE STORE!