Saw another whale in the Bay this morning on the way to work. Very cool.

I definitely picked the wrong career field. It’s clear to me now that I should have gone into the grocery business. Think about it. No matter how much a given grocery store gouges its customers, abuses its customers and employees, or generally sucks, there remains one immutable fact: people gotta eat! For instance, we generally don’t shop at grocery stores any more for our household food. We shop at a farmer’s market for fruits and vegetables, a butcher shop for (great) meat, and a local market for spot shopping and necessities that spoil (milk). However, we can’t stop eating just to protest crappy service, so we order our groceries from an Internet grocer.

We stopped shopping at grocery stores because it would take us twenty minutes to fill our cart with goods and another twenty minutes of waiting in line to pay for our cart full of groceries. Today, for instance, I bought a bagel, a quart of milk, and a small container of yogurt at Safeway. It took somewhere in the range of two-three minutes to gather these items after entering the store. I walked -out- of the store fifteen minutes after entering it! That means I spent more than ten minutes just waiting to pay for the items it took me two minutes to pick out. Grocery stores are chronically mismanaged and understaffed. Once, after bagging my own groceries for the sixth consecutive time, I told the manager on duty that I rarely, if ever had to bag my groceries at the store down the street. The manager got mad and seemed to imply it was my fault that he wasn’t willing to pay enough to hire enough people to fill the bagging jobs. Grocery stores always have just two or three people running the checkout stands. Then, when the lines for the open lines are four and five deep, the manager calls for additional help up front. The additional help arrives, definitely not reminding you of a cavalry charge, and the lines slowly dwindle down to just one person waiting in the original two lines. Now the manager dispatches the summoned help, and the cycle starts over to be repeated every ten or fifteen minutes. Why can’t they keep just one or two more people up front the whole time, thereby avoiding the cycle of boom and bust???