Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kroger Story #4 (A Good One)

We'll take a break from the hideous stories from Kroger, for a (semi) good one. It will be relevant for the story that will post tomorrow.

The thing that only makes this story semi-good instead of just good, is the fact that it seems the store hardly ever has an adequate number of check-out lanes open, and relies too heavily on the self-checkout lanes. I HATE the self-checkout lanes. They never save time. The scale is always off or something and it keeps telling me to "Please remove the last item from your bag and scan it again", or "Please wait for an attendant".

Well. One day I was in there and ALL that was open was self-checkout lanes and I had a ton of produce. I hate self-checkout lanes especially when I have produce. I simply don't have the produce codes memorized and when I'm in a hurry I hate spending the time to look them up. I'd rather have someone scan it all for me that is more familiar than I am with the produce codes. But alas, there I was. I scanned all my produce, looked up all the codes, and with minimal trouble, made it out of the store in what seemed to me to be record time.

When I was leaving the store, I asked the attendant there, out of curiosity, why there were not actual checkout lanes open that day. She explained that until 8 a.m. (It was just shy of 8 when I was in there) the store is on kind of a skeleton crew, and they generally don't have enough people to run the actual lanes and stock the groceries and do all the things that need to be done in the morning. But she also explained to me that although they don't officially have any lanes open that early in the morning, if ever I needed them to open a lane for me, that they were more than happy to do so.

I was grateful for this very helpful piece of information! But tomorrow you will find out what happened the day I decided to take them up on that offer.

Stay tuned.


In all my excitement of posting my Kroger stories, I completely neglected something I meant to do earlier this week... to give my mom a birthday blog shout-out!

My mom, Jimmie Ann Floyd, celebrated her birthday on January 28th. I won't tell you how old she is- but in my mind, she's one of the most youthful ladies around.

There are lots of things I could say about my mom, but I'll keep it simple: As her daughter, there's no doubt in my mind that what every daughter needs to know from their mom is true, is true for me: I know my mom loves me. I know she treasures me. I know she's proud of me.

My mom has 3 kids-- one is 32 (my brother), one is 30 (me), and one is 20 (my sister). Throughout the years, she's never lost steam-- she's high-energy and keeps up with all of us, all while being a fantastic grandmother to her 3 grandkids. To her grandkids, she's known as "Mimi". And her grandkids adore her. Mimi's house is a fun place to be.

Happy belated birthday, Mom. I love you!

The Early Years-- My mom, brother, and me in 1981.

Mimi & Eisley-- Christmas 2009

Christmas 2009

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kroger Story #3

By this point you may be wondering why we continue to shop at Kroger, if our experiences continue to be so bad. Well. I'd gladly shop somewhere else, but the problem is that there really is nowhere else to shop. As far as grocery stores go, Kroger is it. Now, don't get me wrong. Not all Kroger stores in the area are as bad as the one closest to my house. I could drive to a different Kroger (which I often do), but that means a 20 minute drive instead of a 7 minute one, so I admit, I often choose this sub-par Kroger as a matter of convenience. I am pretty much bringing the poor customer service upon myself. I have definitely come to expect poor service at this particular Kroger... which actually makes things easier to deal with. If I expect poor service going into it, I leave myself open to have my expectations far exceeded whenever something good happens there. And instead of being irate about the bad things that go on in the store, I am now mostly amused.

Anyway, the day after the situation at the Customer Service desk (see, Kroger Story #2), I decided to call and speak to the head store manager about it. Granted, I probably should have asked to speak to the manager before I even left the store, but I was in a hurry that day, and made a mental note to call back and officially register my complaint the next day. I felt that the manager needed to know that the ladies at the Customer Service desk had ignored me for a full five minutes, and basically continued to ignore me while they were "assisting me".

I got the manager on the phone and proceeded to tell my story, in a very calm, matter-of-fact, informative way. I thought surely he would be disappointed in the level of customer service I had received, and would at least apologize on behalf of the store.

I was wrong. Instead, he said something like this:

"You know. If you had called yesterday when this happened, I would have been able to do something about it." I replied with something like, "Really? It's too late to say something to them?" To which he replied, "Well. I mean, now I basically have no way to know who it was, so I really can't help you. If you have a problem, ma'am, you need to handle it right away, instead of waiting a day to do so."

Now, granted, I didn't remember by this point what the two ladies' names were. He had a valid point. However, I described to him in detail what the two women looked like, and told him at exactly what time of day I was in the store. I asked if he could possibly check the employee schedule to see who was covering the desk at that time.

He said he'd "see if he could figure out who it was, and mention it to them."

But I'm pretty sure that as soon as I hung up the phone, that was the last he'd thought about the situation altogether. The conversation ended without any kind of apology for the fact that I'd had a bad experience, and I hung up wondering why I'd spent the whole conversation defending myself.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kroger Story #2

Billy and I love the Kentucky soft drink, Ale-8-1. And when we buy Ale 8, we buy it in returnable bottles (It's the way to go!). To return the bottles, we take them to the Kroger Customer Service desk, where they issue a refund on a Kroger gift card that you can use in the store (There are other places to return them, where you can get actual cash. But we typically just go for the Kroger gift card, since we buy groceries there anyway. It's our only grocery store option.)

One day I went to return our Ale 8 bottles, and I got to the customer service desk. There was no one in line in front of me. Yet, there I waited. For a full five minutes before I was helped. I stood there, watching the two women behind the counter, laugh and have their own conversation about the "idiot" customer that had come in and tried to return something that the store hadn't sold in over a year. That then turned to a conversation about patio furniture. Which led to a conversation about lawn mowing. They knew I was standing there. I had put my soda bottles up on the counter. I had said hello to them. I had cleared my throat. I finally said to them, "Excuse Me."

When I said, "Excuse me", one of the women, who did not look at or speak to me while doing so, began processing/scanning the Ale 8 bottles I had brought in, and gave me my gift card.

All without ever looking at me, or acknowledging my presence. She continued her conversation with the other woman behind the counter, and I went about my day.

Interesting kind of service to have received at the Customer Service desk, don't ya think?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

(Sorry!) Another Conversation with Eisley

I am realizing, as Eisley's conversational skills come along, the hilarity that is certainly in store for us all in the coming months and years. Here's another snapshot of the things Eisley talks about.

She was sitting in her high chair this afternoon, eating her afternoon snack. I was sitting at the table, typing an email. When I heard Eisley say the following...

Eisley: Yuck. It's yuck.

Me: Eisley, what's yucky?

Eisley (nodding her head up and down): Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. It's yuck!

Me: What's yucky, sweetie?

Eisley: Poop.

Me (laughing): Yes it is. Do you need to go potty?

Eisley: No. It's yuck.

Kroger Story #1

(See yesterday's post, which introduces the Kroger Chronicles.)

The following story may not be that shocking. You may think, "What's the big deal? Hasn't this happened to everyone?"

Yes, probably. What's so special about this story is that it has happened repeatedly. On a VERY regular basis.

One time (or 300 times) I was in Kroger, at the check-out lane. There was one person scanning the groceries, and somehow it took 4 high school students to do the bagging of my 15 items or less. I think it took all four of them, because none of them could really focus on their jobs-- they were way too busy talking about how drunk one of them had gotten at the previous night's party. And how totally cool and hilarious it was. Neither them or the lady scanning my groceries was able to pause for any amount of time in order to greet me, the customer. The most I got was the total amount of my grocery bill, but even then she didn't look at me while she told me.

Do I expect too much from my grocery scanners or baggers? I don't know why, but I sort of think discussions about getting drunk shouldn't happen as loudly as they do at this store, or in front of the customers. I think I probably do expect too much, since my grandparents were in the grocery business (they owned and ran a Piggy Wiggly Store in Texas). My mom and her siblings all worked in the store, and well... I sort of wish I could shop in a store like theirs.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Kroger Chronicles

My new blog idea: to tell the stories of my adventures in the Kroger stores of Kentucky. We moved here from North Dallas, where we lived half a mile from (in my opinion) the best Kroger grocery store there is. The Kroger store nearest our town of Wilmore, KY is the exact opposite of that store. I have had one atrocious experience after the other, as have many of our friends.

So stay tuned. You won't want to miss these stories. They are funny, sad, and just plain amusing!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Conversation with Eisley

I was in the bathroom getting ready for the day... drying my hair, putting on makeup, etc. Then Eisley walked up and stood in the doorway:

Eisley (nodding her head up and down): Okay?

(More nodding)

Me: Okay, what?

Eisley (still nodding): Cookies. Okay?

Me: No cookies, Eisley. You just had breakfast, and it's only 9 a.m.

Eisley: Cookies. Okay?

(I then discovered she had a cookie in her hand!)

Me: Eisley! Where did you get that cookie??

Eisley: Uh-oh!

he promptly ran as fast as she could down the hall, while I laughed hysterically.)

I think it's time to put a doorknob cover on the pantry. Sigh.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Big 3-0!

Well. I did it. I turned 30 on Friday. And so far, I'm feeling okay about it. Okay, so this morning I woke up and my back hurt, and so did my feet. I thought, "And so it begins. Thirty actually does feel different than 29."

But then I remembered that we have a crappy mattress and I wore really uncomfortable shoes last night. My back and my feet hurting probably had much more to do with those two factors than my actual age.

Here's some pictures from my AMAZINGLY fun 30th birthday party in case you haven't already seen them. It was a Casino Night theme and it was great! No real money was gambled, but all the guests got $300 in chips when they arrived. The chip leader at a certain point in the night took home a prize. Congratulations to the evening's chip leader, Jason Brown, who ended up with more than $3,300 in chips, thanks to a last-minute double-or-nothing bet at the roulette wheel! Jason took home an iTunes gift card.

The birthday banner/backdrop/poster was designed and painted by my fantastically sweet and talented husband Billy. The party favors (which I forgot to take a picture of) were decks of cards with a personalized sticker on the box that said "Kelly's 30th Birthday...thanks for playing!"

All in all, a GREAT night!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Power of One Word

It may come as a shock to many of you. But I'm not perfect. Ha. I'm kidding, of course. I would never pretend to be perfect!

And even though I'm in seminary, and even though I'm a children's pastor, sometimes the busyness of the day gets me distracted. And I forget to pray.

Like today. We had been out running errands all afternoon. Eisley had been a little cranky, we'd driven all over town, and we were exhausted. We finally made it to a restaurant to eat our dinner, and of course we got to the restaurant without any snacks to keep Eisley occupied until the food came. We had planned to eat at home, but the errands had taken much longer than expected. So we were doing our best to entertain our hungry and cranky toddler and feeling generally chaotic and frazzled.

Then our food came, and we immediately started tearing Eisley's food into bite-sized pieces,and blowing on it it so it wouldn't be too hot for her to eat. We finally put her food in front of her, and picked up our own food to eat.

I took my first bite, when I heard Eisley say "Amen!" I looked over, and there was my precious 17 month old daughter, hands folded in prayer, saying "Amen!" over and over again. Even though the extent of her praying skills is that one word, there was something very beautiful about it.

I don't know that I've ever been more proud of my daughter. She continually amazes me with how much she knows, and all that has somehow found its way into her mind and her heart. I was grateful for the reminder from her to thank God for our food, and for the gift of the day- even in all its craziness.