Friday, September 01, 2006

NARP - The Ghetto Grocery Store.

I live in the ghetto, the inner city, the 'hood. Never a dull moment around here what with shootings and crack deals and the lovely hookers and barking pitbulls.
OK, so the local grocery store (affectionately known as the Ghetto Kroger) is kind of nasty, and I don't often stop there. The produce looks sad, there's whole aisles just for uber-generic canned goods and the store just isn't as shiny and clean as other Krogers. Twice I've bought half and half that despite being well within the "sell by" date, was rancid - maybe they cut costs by keeping the fridge temps a bit higher.
There's no deli or fresh bakery, no make-up or frippery-type items (they get pocketed too easily.) The wine and beer is kept in a locked cage. There is a security guard by the registers at all times.
You probably won't find fresh broccoli, but there's an entire aisle of cola type drinks, and this evening they had a whole display for Pimpjuice (I am Not Making This Up.)
Fat young women with black eyes and bruised legs yell swear words at broods of children, crack-skinny biker types and obese people in dirty spandex leggings or greasy jeans hobble through the store leaning heavy on the carts, nervous senior citizens clutch their purses and regular working folks shop; people aren't friendly around here. They're suspicious and self-protective. This is a far cry from the upscale suburban Kroger just a couple of miles away!
Anyhow, tonight I stopped in for a couple of staples. The lines are usually slow - understaffed registers and frequent issues with people overloading their Bridge cards. I amused myself reading about Angelina's new bump and who really killed Jon Benet while waiting for the mumbly guy ahead of me to finish up. As he went through the door into the parking lot, there was a brief and loud altercation between him & the security guard. Then the guard came back in, shrugged and said "He got the charcoal."
Turns out, Kroger employees are not allowed to stop shoplifters once they've gone through the door, for fear a shoplifter might get hurt somehow and sue the store. So, if someone makes it as far as the door, they get to keep whatever they lifted. This guy was apparently a repeat offender - he buys a few things, then snatches one of the big sacks of charcoal right by the exit doors and leaves.
I asked how often this happens - the cashier, the security guard and a manager all said - about every other person leaves the store with something they didn't pay for, but once they get to the doors, they are home free.
The employees also cannot deny even a known chronic shoplifter access to the store, in case they get sued for discrimination. (For what it's worth, this particular individual was a white guy.)
I have to assume this is common throughout the country. I guess who one gets angry at - shoplifters, welfare grifters, Kroger corporate policy, Republicans, Democrats, lawyers - depends on one's personal world view.

12 Comments:

Blogger Karen said...

Good grief, girlfriend; what part of Flint do you live in, MLK Avenue!?! Seriously, is there any safe area in Flint?

Be careful, sistar, I jes metcha!! :-)

9:28 PM  
Blogger Carina said...

Just south of Angelos Coney Island on Davison Road, the Kroger I'm talking about is the one at Franklin & Davison.
Not as bad as north Flint...!

10:14 PM  
Blogger yellowdog granny said...

wow..now I remembe why I live here..someone tried to steal anything from Community Grocery..Patsy would chase them to the parking lot and bip the crap out of them with the stolen item...well, that's a joke..no one steals from the grocery stores..ha...I dont know of one store in town that has any sort of security devices to catch shop lifters...the threat of telling their moma would be enough...

10:46 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

*heaves a BIG sigh of relieve*

I know that area well; jes be careful! :-)

Actually, if you stay on Davison Road all the way to Baxter Road, in Davison, you're only a couple miles from me!

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Robbie said...

Jeez Carina.....
Good you have dem ghetto type dogs and attack cat. You're right nasty Kroger store fer sure.
But 2 days ago I watched a well dressed woman between 50 and 70 somewhere in a nice SUV, lite-finger a couple of packs of donuts right out of my store. Not allowed to stop them. Not safe nowadays. Made me mad as hell.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Behind Blue Eyes said...

Yeah, when you see stuff like this in movies or something they make it look a lot less menacing than it really is when you see it in person. There isn't actually one that bad where I live, you have to drive to Saint Louis for that and the hostility is palpable....and to think of the people who grow up in that world and never really venture outside who are bringing up their children that way...who are bringing their children up that way...it's depressing, it's heart-rending, it's scary, it sometimes pisses you off....you know...like open up your eyes....get outside of your box...there is more to the world than this...but I guess they don't know and don't really have the skills anyway. It's important to see things like this so you have more understanding....at least that's what I think...but after I see it, I'm glad to go back home again. I'm sorry for the children who this is their world, but I don't want it to be my children's world.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Carina said...

Karen - I know where Baxter Rd is...in fact I'm going out that way Tuesday morning to my vet (Davison Veterinary Hospital.) I'll wave! :)

Granny - sure wish we had the same ethic around here, but unfortunately many ghetto mamas are the ones stealing.

Hey Robbie - you can't even yell "hey you lowlife!" as they walk out with shoplifted stuff? That is ridiculous. You've been in my Kroger.

Diana - mostly, it pisses me off. Because there are so many children being raised by parents who keep breeding, yet don't have the skills to get a houseplant to thrive, let alone a child (or a whole brood of children.)
That is the saddest thing, no wonder violent crimes are being done by younger and younger kids.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Davison Veterinary Hospital was our vet for years when we had our two dogs!

~~waves~~ backacha!!

5:00 PM  
Anonymous jan said...

I'm so glad our laws are so protective of the criminal element. Sure would hate for a shoplifter to be put out of commission without a big settlement that you and I pay for.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Carina said...

Karen, I really like Drs Kowalski and McFall, they are wonderful vets.

Jan - I'm glad too, really. *snorts*

7:23 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Honestly, that 'untouchable' shoplifter issue is not new. Two decades ago I worked at an upscale men's clothier in a then trendy upscale mall.

We had a 'no touch' rule on the lifters then, for the same reasons.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Carina said...

Jenn, really? I've never worked retail, so I wouldn't know...I think I read recently that some Walmarts weren't prosecuting for "minor" offenses because police were tired of constantly being called whenever small things were lifted.

6:54 AM  

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