General Etiquette > general

I want THIS potato salad, not the one on the shelf

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One of the local grocery store delis has really great potato salad and chicken salad.  I happened to be in the area today and while picking up a few things I stopped at the deli.  I didn’t see anyone waiting for counter help, but I did see several people slicing meat and doing various things in the work area.

(I’ve been there a few times and I know they do fix orders at the counter.  They also have a large area where there’s lots of packaged items in containers on shelves.  Personally, I prefer to tell someone what I want and have it put in a container while I watch.  I prefer this because I don’t know how long the potato, chicken salad or whatever has been packaged up AND the times I’ve gotten potato salad or whatever from the counter it’s been really yummy.)

I stood there for a few minutes, was just about to say “excuse me” when a woman looked up from what she was doing and asked if she could help me.

Me:  I’d like some potato salad.
Worker:  There’s plenty right there on the shelves (motioning).
Me:  Well, I like to get it here.  Seems fresher.
Worker:  It’s all the same.  It's all fresh, ma'am.
Me:  Even so, could someone get me a pound of the mustard potato salad from this large bowl here at the counter?
Worker:  (Kind of s sighed in exasperation), shrugged, washed her hands, walked over and got me what I wanted.

I was a little bit insulted because customer service at this store, and this deli area, has always been superb.  Not a big deal, but I think a customer should be able to get the item they want.  It’s not like the counter potato salad was being saved for something else (if so it wouldn't be out there for all to see and salivate over).

Right?  (Or was I being snow-flakey, heaven forbid?) :-\

Personally, I think the stuff they packaged up would be fresher.. or at least not as stale as stuff sitting out catching whatever in the air.

But as long as the deli sells what they have sitting out to everyone and doesn't make it a policy to just sell the pre-packaged stuff I think you were ok.  You didn't huff, get loud or doing anything rude.  Asking someone to do their job is not rude.

I think you were polite and within your rights to ask for service.

However, I believe that the prepackaged items should have a "packaged on" date printed on the label along with the weight and price. I know my local grocery deli does. In my experience, the deli makes a large batch of whatever in the morning, pre-packages about half of it in the most popular weights and puts the rest in the display case so it really is exactly the same.

I'm the opposite of you, I'm a bit squicked out by something that's been sitting in an uncovered bowl in a display case all day. I'd rather have the stuff that was packed and covered immediately.

This is the sort of thing that would have me speaking to a manager on the way out the door.  If you don't want customers to patronize a service deli, don't have one.  Your request was perfectly rational.

I think she was a little rude. You asked for something that was part of her job to provide. Your reason for not wanting the alternative is nothing to do with her. I sort of get pointing out the pre-packaged stuff if it is done in a 'just so you know, this is an option, but I am happy to serve you with the salads here too'. But otherwise, the deli is there to serve you with what you want. There are numerous reasons why you might prefer the deli counter.


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