This commentary is about a local problem here in Cincinnati. But
could be occurring in other areas of the country. This causes me to
think that America is a nation raising a generation of social
disappointments for the future. Not all Americans but most Americans.
With CEOs behaving like kids and kids behaving like CEOs it's no
wonder the economy is a mess.
This will be a brief commentary about the economy and the attitudes of individuals that have jobs at the present time. I am referring to a supermarket here in Cincinnati, IGA in Clifton. To those of you who are not from Cincinnati you may have similar experiences to mull over once you read this.
First of all how often do you go to the grocers? If you're a married woman with kids you probably go more than twice or three times a week. If you're a married man you may do likewise. Or if you're a single woman maybe only twice a week or less.
Now if you're a single man with an injury to your spine and under a physicians care at the VA, you may go when you're able. That is my case. As a veteran on a pension I go to the supermarket when I feel able to do such laborious deeds.
In the 1980s to 2004 going to the store used to be fun or so it seemed. You felt good about shopping for groceries. Sometimes you could even meet someone in the store to discuss prices or even more. That was when such places were more particular about who they hired.
Back then the practice of hiring kids or poor uneducated blacks or whites was well screened. I mean you didn't feel like you were walking into a reformatory or juvenile detention center. There was no need to put yourself in a mean spirit in order to prepare for some unexpected attack from unruly children working part time in the place.
But the old days of peace and respect are gone. The IGA I mentioned located in Cincinnati on Ludlow Avenue in Clifton, is such a supermarket that has gone awry.*They hire anybody. But their policy is not so strict that you are under an obligation to have your bags bagged by baggers. You have the legal right to decline their help.
But doing such a thing in that particular store is anthema. The teenagers they hire there are rude, uneducated and downright insulting. What's more they are allowed to get away with it. Talk back and sass the customer without any fear of punishment.
With the economy in serious condition one would think that this type of attitude would be outlawed. However at IGA it is not. The teenagers are allowed to insult the customer and still have their jobs the next time the customer returns. I know what you're thinking, "just go to another store."
That may be the temporary answer, but long term, that would not solve the problem. Moreover, it would cost me more since that supermarket is the closest to me in the neighborhood. So you see things may appear simple when in reality they are not.
One should be able to bag their own groceries if they want. Without an insulting, undisciplined, and maybe uneducated teenager telling you what to do and where to go when you refuse their help.
This particular IGA does not have any rules that denies the customer the right to choose to bag for themselves. Why then do these kids behave this way? Well it is because they have the right to. Well in this IGA they do. When this happens I usually refuse to purchase their food. But the problem does not go away it is still there waiting for me to return to the store to begin again.
I would suggest to anyone that knows and goes to this IGA to refuse their help. The neighborhood is full of lunatics and so's the store. I would not advocate this if I did not have a strong feeling for justice and equality. The customer has rights too. They should have the right to bag without some teenage idiot, male or female, black or white, native or foreigner, making an issue out of it. Whether it be their job or not.
What does this IGA do about my situation? Absolutely nothing. That's right. Nothing. They don't fire these psychological behavioral types either. They perceive it as a joke. I guess they don't mind loosing customers. With the weakness in the economy and weakness in the dollar they would appear to be, to me anyway, sick contradictions to just let these cheap hired help terrorize the customer. Such a policy should be trashed. But I guess you pay for what you get.
The unemployment rate rose in November in Cincinnati, and with an array of hungry mouths out there you'd think they could get rid of these misfits and hire others until they get quality types. But if they have a Union that would pose a problem though a minor one. Nonetheless they would get rid of such psychological misfits if they saw a considerable drop in food sales. Now wouldn’t they?
Grocery stores should not be war zones. Or places where teenagers have the right or adults too to disrespect customers and not be reprimanded for it. Verbal warnings are usually nothing more to these thugs than empty words. What should be done is temporary suspension the first to the third time, with a hearing afterward, union or not, and then thereafter firing.
I tell you, people are not going to take it from some unruly, uneducated teenager or adult who think they can do whatever they want to people just because they have a job. I am not the type of person who will stand idly by and allow unjust treatment by arrogant employees any time any where.
The legal term for their behavior is harassment. Harassment is a Felony in the state of Ohio. Meaning you can do one year or more in prison if convicted. I think this will be the next route I take if their conduct does not change. Hopefully it won't have to get to that point, but you never know. If IGA management is slow to response to my complaints about these bad conduct types they hire, and IGA is liable as well, maybe they don't mind being sued.
Maybe they have money to throw away. If that is the case they are the only ones on the planet and in America who does. And I would be more than happy to take their money.
One final note. Think about this. The receipt that you the customer get after you pay for your groceries or any item for that matter, is a contract of a sort between you and the place where you shopped and bought the items. Once you give the cashier the money for the goods or services those items become yours to do with however you please. Therefore, if you do not want someone to touch your purchased goods, after you pay for them, you are legally protected by state law to respond in that manner. That would include the store’s baggers, such as IGA, or any other store with the sole exception of having items suspected of being stolen.
So this is not racism. These are simply your rights.
*The statement above in paragraph six is in no way anti-Civil Rights
Act of 1964. What it means is that the quality inherent in hiring an
employee necessitated by most companies is missing from the screening process
today when these types of teenagers are employed, as in IGA’s case. Regardless
of the economic conditions discretion is not being considered at all. And the
result for the customer is one of eggshells.
Biography - Wesley McCants
Disabled Vietnam Veteran
In addition to writing commentaries, poetry and novels, I am one half of the macbrothers, Inc. We are songwriters and not artists or performers. We write music for others to perform or record. I do not do tours since I am not an artist. Like I said, we write & record our own songs and release them for purchase online. However, we are interested in nonprofessional or professional artists seeking songs. If you are an artist interested in songs for your album please email me. I will send you the demo and lyrics (and any changes to the lyrics), or you can listen online to our songs readily.