Tuesday, November 14, 2006

T@ste of Teeter

First, try to say that without sounding incredibly Southern, and in a bad way.

T@ste of Teeter. It's impossible not to sound like a hick when you say that phrase.

Nonetheless, Dave and I received our hand addressed invitation last week to the upcoming T@ste of Teeter because we are one of the top 100 shoppers at our local H@rris Teeter.

Yeah. We are just that good.

Or maybe we just spent that much. Can I mention (again) that once three different employees of Trader Joe's told me I was their favorite customer!? (((((sigh)))))

We love our local H.T. and for reasons that actually *do* include an annoying chatty Cathy check out woman, a transvestite, and a bagger with a seeming physical disability who farely wrestles my shopping cart from my hands so he can load my groceries to the car. I honestly adore this man. I feel guilty letting him load my groceries, but every time he insists (and he DOES!), I adore him just that much more.

BTW, I say "seeming" because I've never seen this disability slow him down one bit. And I have to be honest that I feel very protective about him in writing this post. Oddly, I don't want him to know that I have noticed his disability. He always greets me with a big smile and a "Hello" when I go in. And then I try to scoot out past him when I leave so he can't insist on helping me. Only once in my life could I not load my groceries, and it was when Conor was an infant and I just couldn't figure out how it all worked to put the baby in the car and load the groceries and return the cart and do it all before he started crying. I just can't fathom anyone helping me load my groceries, much less someone with a disability. Yet, he insists on helping me. I feel guilty and honored at the same time. Thus, I scoot out the door.

And in another BTW, employees often smile and greet us at our local H.T. and this includes the "greeter" at the vegetable section ("Welcome to H@rris Teeter!") and the veggie manager who 1) once ran out of the store to congratulate me on being pg and 2) introduced me to the new veggie stocker one Sunday morning to help make her feel welcome. I'm So. Not. Kidding.

How on earth did we luck into a small town grocery in the middle of big grocery chain in a decent sized city?

Don't know. We'll see if we can find out any answers at the T@ste of Teeter.

BTW: I am going to delete this post by the end of the week because I never want my bagger to know I've talked about him online.


OneTiredEma said...

I would love a grocery store experience like this!

Instead when I need a lot of stuff I have them delivered and then daydream about running away with the delivery guy--never my type, but they bring groceries to my door! When my kids are sleeping! What's not to love?!

Anonymous said...

This is one of those instances you can point to and say: "see, it's the little things in life that mean so much!" I know exactly how you feel about your HT. My husband and I are from a Small Town but for the past several years we've been living in a Big City while he's in grad school; we were home for a visit this summer, and one of the checkers at our grocery store (not a small, family-owned business; this is a large local chain) walked over to me while I was shopping to say "hi, long time no see, how've you been" and she *remembered my name*! And it's been six years! I'd been feeling really homesick, and this honestly put me over the edge. It was all I could do to hold back the tears until I got out to the car.

Carroll said...

Face it, Anita -- it's not them, it's you! You're a really nice person. Truly deeply nice people, who take the time to smile and be friendly to *every*one in their lives (not just the "important" people) are few and far between in this harried hurried age in which we live. Sure, they may be well-trained in "Customer Service", and sure, the guy with the disability may relish every single crumb of approbation and acceptance that comes his way. But, they're sure not trained to tell every single customer that you're their favorite!

On the other hand...Trader Joes is really in a league of its own. I was in there one time a few years ago and happened to mention in passing to the checker that it was my birthday. Appropos of apparently nothing at all, the checker paused for a second and asked "what's your favorite color?" (Huh? Well, yellow) As I was leaving the store, I heard one of their bells ringing. Before I was all the way to the car, I was surrounded by a cadre of three or four clerks, all singing Happy Birthday to me, and bequeathing me with a huge and beautiful pot of yellow chrysanthemums. Good folks really are all around us, in cities big or small. I think it just takes the miracle of human kindness to bring out the best in all of us :-)

(Sign me "Pollyanna" for this one ;)

Anita said...

I would like to take credit that it's me, but in a faculty meeting discussing our Teeter with a neighbor/professor, she agreed that the bagger is incredibly helpful and he does insist on helping us out to the car!!! :-)

Carroll said...

OK fine! Protest all you want. We know the truth ;-)

lisa said...

Top 100!?! Love the HT and all, but yikes, you must be spending some $$$$ there. :) Actually, I like our HT because they're extra friendly there, and I LOVE the self-checkout guy. Always seems really happy to see you. I think it must be part of the culture of the company, which is a breath of fresh air.

Jennifer said...

Yeah, when we lived in NC I always tried to make excuses to shop at the (often slightly more expensive) HT because they're just really good at running a grocery store. It was my guilty pleasure.

And I know that the "have a free cookie while you shop" concept is not unique to HT, but those cookies! Are so good!

karen said...

Our Teeters don't have greeters.
But we love them just the same.
All three of them (Teeters, that is)