Attack of the Killer Trader Joe’s Tomato

Spencer and I took a quick trip to the Trader Joe’s in Shrewsbury, MA tonight and I just had to write about the woman in front of me in line.

It’s worth saying that I’ve never been a fan of Trader Joe’s.  It’s not the store, it’s simply the type of people who shop there.  My general observation has been these people eat Granola, have food allergies, don’t wear socks, embrace the cuteness of cow bells clanking at the registers and somehow balloons are occasionally involved with these people’s kids.

However, I’ve completely warmed to this particular Trader Joe’s location because they took over a now defunct pool supply store which has allowed them to nearly double their retail space. More space in the aisle means Kim doesn’t have to kill anyone.  Those sandal -wearing neo-hippies can make love to their nuts and berries while leaving me to peruse the insanely cheap flower bouquets and the fresh produce.

So tonight we went there to buy six bags of broccoli that are packaged for steaming in the microwave and I scored 4 more Pomegranates for $1.99 each.  I chose the register where the cashier was sporting his tropical Hawaiian shirt along with a salt and pepper beard.  Unfortunately he was in the middle of ringing up a woman who quickly turned into one of those super annoying customers that I always seem to have the pleasure of standing behind in every check-out line!

Apparently she bought some plum tomatoes the other day for $2.16 and they were simply awful.

Cashier rings the cow bell and presumably the front end manager promptly appears to credit the lady $2.16 no questions asked.  (Mind you, she didn’t have the offensive tomatoes with her nor did she have a receipt for the prior purchase!)

This is what burns me up.  After she’s pleasantly credited the $2.16, she just has to remark to the cashier, “Well, I know I won’t be buying my tomatoes from Trader Joe’s anymore!”

As Seth and Amy from SNL would say, “Really? Really!”

Was it entirely necessary to make that remark after she was completely taken care of by Trader Joe’s?  Wasn’t it enough that they gave her money back without any hassle at all?  Did she have to say that she would be taking her tomato business elsewhere?

I’ve purchased hundreds of dollars in Pomegranates over these past few years.  I’ve had my fair share of rotten ones, but I’ve never once returned fruit to a grocery store because it’s just not something I would ever consider doing.  I know some would say I’m entitled to a refund. However my philosophy is buyer beware when you’re buying fruits and vegetables.  There’s a reason why I see people knocking on watermelons and sniffing cantaloupes in the local supermarket…picking fresh fruit is a skill that is developed over time.  You’re bound to choose poorly sometimes-it’s just the way of the world.

Tonight I left Trader Joe’s with a healthy respect for their excellent customer service. I guess Trader Joe’s customers are probably like any other customers out there in the land of retail: there’s always going to be one rotten tomato.