29 Sep 2011

Theory and History

Humor 11 Comments

From my article on the grocery store:

In light of the above, let me offer a tip: When buying something from the dairy department, don’t just grab the first unit on the shelf. Often if you look two or three rows back, you will find a fresher one.

Besides the officially stamped expiration date, there is another reason to heed my advice: When shoppers put something in their cart and then change their mind, the item eventually finds its way back to the proper location. But if we’re talking about a carton of eggs or a package of string cheese, keep in mind that for all you know, that item may have been sitting out in room temperature for hours before an employee from the front of the store ended up putting it back. (In principle that shouldn’t happen, but c’mon we’re dealing with teenagers!) So that’s another reason it’s best not to grab anything perishable from the very front of the case.

In the comments to this article, “Jeff” wrote:

I am pursuing a career in supermarket management. (I figure that supermarkets aren’t going to go out of style, and if they do, we’ve got bigger problems). Any refrigerated item found laying around goes back in the cooler only if it is still cold. Otherwise it is immediately segregated and marked as unsalable.

You know those stereotypical cop movies, when the rookie joins the force and has all kinds of naive ideas that he learned in the Academy, only to be quashed by the street-smart veteran who knows how things really work on the job? Well it looks like Jeff and I have to make such a movie.

Coming this Christmas: Two hard-nosed grocery store workers. One dairy cooler with a lock. And one teenager who’s about to pass his expiration date.

11 Responses to “Theory and History”

  1. Brent says:

    Yeah, I’ve been a service manager at a grocery store, too. Trying to get the older folks to refrain from doing dumb stuff is hard enough, but you’d go mad if you really thought you could prevent the teenagers from, well, being teenagers.

  2. MamMoTh says:

    This could be avoided with some government regulation.

    Moreover, the government could hire all the unemployed to go to every supermarket and put the fresher dairy products in the first row.

    • Bob Roddis says:

      And under MMT, it wouldn’t cost anybody anything!

      And you could also hire the unemployed cost-free to make sure everyone changed their underware every day. And build camps.

      • MamMoTh says:

        That’s the first sensible thing you’ve ever said.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          You didn’t know Bob when he was a kid.

          • MamMoTh says:

            No, but I heard Cantillon was the first word he pronounced.

        • Bob Roddis says:

          Actually, I misspelled “underwear”. Of course, the government could hire the unemployed cost-free as spell checkers.

  3. Gene Callahan says:

    “Otherwise it is immediately segregated and marked as unsalable.”

    Oh my. The place I worked would repeated have us run palettes of meat in and out of the freezer to kill the smell as it went bad.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Are you talking metaphorically about your work on Wall Street?

      • Gene Callahan says:

        No, a real grocery store that rhymes with “Blue Prenerds.”

    • MamMoTh says:

      If it wasn’t for Keynesians forcing people to buy their meat in that store against their will, market forces would have dealt with that or the store would have closed.