Let’s start with Winn Dixie (WD). After a hard day of pedicabbing on the last day of the Surf Expo last Saturday, I needed to replenish myself with some meat (get your mind out of the gutter). I realized I didn’t have any confections at home so I hit up WD because they sold both. The deli is a good spot when it’s near closing time because they discount the hot food. I got the baked chicken because it’s tasty but if they had some meatloaf out, I would’ve gotten that in a heartbeat. Ever since most Albertsons stores bit the big one, cooked meatloaf is hard to find. WD has a separate area where they place hot food like fried chicken already packaged and ready to go. The 8-piece package I saw had a big tear in the side, exposing the chicken. I figured it was just a package failure.
When I was getting my baked chicken deal (you have to ask the employee behind the counter specifically what kind of deal can they give you), I told the deli employee about it. Her response was that someone probably opened it and took a piece of chicken out of it to eat and if she saw it happening, she’d just let it happen because “people are crazy” and “you don’t know if they might have a gun.” Such a sad country we live in when terrorists take a back seat to grocery store shoppers when it comes to instilling fear. The fucked up part is that she’s right. With massive over-population and a broken system, the wrong types of people are continuously breeding and themselves and their offspring slip through the cracks of society to cause this degree of social anxiety.
She said she’d simply throw the chicken away. Good food wasted. Higher grocery store costs to make up for it. Taking shopping carts off-property, employee theft and turnover, and shoplifting are what get all the attention when it comes to why retail prices are so high. What about shitty customers that consume products in-store and don’t pay for them? You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen the open bag of potato chips. The half-empty bottle of soda. Hell, I’ve even seen liquid laundry detergent that’s been opened and I know it had to be combined with another bottle to make it fuller. You already know the used bottle was still sitting on the shelf. That was genius. I gotta admit that.
You gotta be careful these days. I make sure to check the caps, seals, and dates on everything that I buy. And when I buy detergent, oh yeah, after that discovery, I make damn sure my bottle is as full as it’s supposed to be. Is there a solution to this problem that’s existed since the invention of big-box retail stores? Probably not and that’s because of the low-quality management that exists these days. When you have a shit manager, they hire shit employees. It’s a trickle-down effect. Shit employees don’t give a fuck. Therefore, customers don’t give a fuck. People these days act first and don’t think at all about later. Consequences don’t exist for bad behavior much anymore since it’s now rewarded. The fried chicken thief was rewarded with a free meal. There’s the proof.
Later on, I found her response to be absolutely hysterical and preposterous at the same time. It never would’ve dawned on me that someone would actively open a package of fried chicken (or something similar) to eat a piece in that manner. Never in a million years would I have thought that. I suppose she came to that conclusion from experience and you know what? I believe her. Sorry, no pic of the package containing the parts of the chickens that died for nothing. Didn’t occur to me to take one at the time.
I’ve been in the market for a couple of months for a Bluetooth speaker with big sound and bass for my pedicab. Music is definitely more of a detriment than a benefit when it comes to getting rides but it does help to have on occasion. I have a personal speaker for when I want to listen to music for myself but it’s not loud enough (depending on the environment) for my passengers who request music. After a lot of research, I got the Nakamichi BTSP80 from Sears.com because it was discounted by $20 ($100 down to $80 plus tax) and they were giving $70 in Shop Your Way Rewards points. I read A LOT of online reviews that said how great the sound was. Well, I’m here to tell you that most people clearly have no idea what high-quality audio is supposed to sound like.
I want something that can produce a level of sound comparable to the surround sound system in my home or the speakers in my car. I know, I’m asking for a lot, but Bluetooth speakers are pretty prevalent now and you’d think overall sound quality would trump volume level but that’s not the case yet. Sure, a lot of the speakers available today might get loud but the quality for the price and size ain’t there yet. The BTSP80 had a little weight to it and is good for an indoor, small room or small office environment only. It does NOT have a lot of bass. It has more bass than cheaper speakers of the same size, yes, but that ain’t sayin’ much.
It ain’t gonna blow out your eardrums. It ain’t gonna rock a party. It ain’t gonna vibrate anything. If you want something with the same form-factor as other small Bluetooth speakers with a little more punch to it, and I mean a little, then this is your speaker. If you’re looking for something that’s gonna pack a wallop, this ain’t it. I made sure to make the purchase from a retailer that I could do a simple return to if it wasn’t up to speed. I’ve learned that for some products, it’s just better to buy from a reputable retailer with a solid return policy. Nothing worse than buying something relatively expensive online and return shipping is coming out of your pocket and a hassle.
The day I got it and tested it is the same day I returned it. Took 2 employees to process the refund which is foolish. The worst part is that Sears tried to hit me with a 15% restocking fee for a product that was still in brand spanking new condition. I had them call a manager and he refunded me the fee immediately. On their part, they couldn’t find anywhere that the fee was applicable. On my part, I’ll make damn sure to give an even more thorough review of the return policy for any future big or electronic purchases. The point of this? Make sure you’re reviewing return policies too. And be wary of online reviews (paid ones are obvious). Start with the negative ones before the positive ones. You’ll be able to find the truth about something easier when you see a pattern of complaints. Mind you, some customers are complete morons that don’t even know how to use a fucking Hot Wheels toy so you gotta be able to spot idiot reviewers. But you also gotta know when someone’s standards are low. Like, if you’re in the mood for some really good pizza and someone recommends Domino’s or Little Caesars…yeah, I ain’t gotta finish that, do I? All the reviews I read were mostly good and I know now that they were either exaggerated or from people with low standards. As a result, my research standards have gone up.
I was in need of some milk and sometimes I watch Fox 35 morning news. They have this Savings Angel guy on sometimes and he was talking about how milk at CVS was $2.69 this week. That’s a better deal than the $3.49 milk at Walgreens from a week or two ago that I took advantage of. I was all in. I just happened to already have an ExtraCare card (that I only used once years ago) so I made sure to bring it with me. I don’t shop at CVS often because their prices are high. Probably gonna be higher eventually since they gotta make up for what they’re gonna lose in cigarette sales (yet they happily still sell beer). Anyway, until then, they had a good deal on milk and after I returned the Nakamichi to the Sears at the Florida Mall, I went to the CVS that’s also located there. Yes, another thing about return policies is to check and see if you can return in-store for places that have a B&M.
Before CVS, I hit up a toy store that clearly buys from other places and marks up the price significantly. I don’t buy shit from them but I do go in to check their inventory for new items I might want but would get elsewhere. Arkham City Solomon Grundy? Haven’t played the game but I might get that toy regardless. That thing looks sweet as fuck. My concern with a mall CVS was that the prices would be even higher than normal (they weren’t). A gallon of the TG Lee milk that was on sale was a regular price of $3.99 which is cheaper than Wally World and Target to my surprise. I bought one gallon up to the register just to make damn sure I could get it for $2.69. The cashier checked their sale paper and it was confirmed. I’ve never experienced a discount quite like this one.
When I first approached the register for the price check, no one was there. When I came back with two gallons, two guys in front of me checked out fairly quickly because they only had one item each. When I checked out, all of a sudden a long line of people appeared out of nowhere. Where the fuck did they emerge from? The store didn’t seem that full before. Here’s where I was impressed with the customer service. My cashier was by himself. When that line appeared, he called for backup and it came. When the line mysteriously got even longer, he called for more backup and it came. This reminded me of Publix where they make sure when it comes time for you to checkout, you ain’t wasting 30 minutes of your fucking life like at the world’s largest retailer which doesn’t give two shits about your time.
Here’s how my cashier gave me the deal: He rang both gallons up at regular price and then applied a 30 cent discount to each which generated a coupon for a $1 Extra Buck each (the Bucks allowed me to get the milk at the sale price). I paid $3.69 for each gallon at first. Then he refunded me for each gallon. Then he rang them both up again while applying the 30 cent discount to each and also used the Extra Buck coupons for each gallon to bring the price per gallon down to $2.69. These were all individual transactions and it did take him some time (which he apologized for) and even I got confused about what the hell he was doing but it made sense in the end. Was all that really necessary? I guess. I got some cheap milk with good expiration dates on them so I ain’t complaining one bit!