On, "Do you have anymore in The Back?"

Just a little advice for the next time the grocery store is out of an item and you want to know if they have any more "in The Back."

1. The Back is not some mystical, magical place that, though smaller than the main store, somehow holds all of everything on never-running-out shelves. The Back consists of maybe 3 or 4 cases tops per aisle of the items that can't go out because the shelf is already full. Which means those aren't the items you would be asking for.

2. When an employee says, "I'm not sure, let me check," there is a very small chance that item will be there. If they are going to look for you, it's probably because the item comes from an outside vendor, or they recently had a delivery from their warehouse and they think that maybe that item could have been missed. But mostly they're just being nice.

3. When an employee says, "No, I'm sorry, we don't," trust them. Don't just assume they are being lazy and/or unhelpful. They go back there a lot more frequently than you do, and are therefore much more familiar with how The Back works. Grocery stores can't keep back-stock of everything they carry. Unless your desired item is on the store's Ad for an amazing price, it wont be in The Back.

4. When an employee says, "No, we don't," and you insist that they go back and look anyway, they will: try to hide their sigh of frustration at your wasting their time, walk to The Back, and then stand there for 30 seconds to a minute "fake checking." For real. They will then come out to tell you that to your dismay, they were right, and there isn't any [whatever] in The Back.

So basically, unless you have a valid reason for disbelieving your friendly neighborhood grocer's employees, trust them and believe them when they apologize and tell you they don't have any of whatever it is you wanted in The Back. They have no reason to lie to you- they want you to spend money!

But don't think this means you can't ask- because sometimes that item is back there. Asking is not the problem. Showing that you are annoyed that they don't walk back there to "check," because you don't think there's any way they could possibly know off the top of their head is the problem.

And if you do ask, and the item is in The Back- consider yourself a lucky duck, 'cause you just beat the odds.


Elisabeth said...

I used to work in a shoe store and "the back" was very similar. I was particularly puzzled when people would ask if we had more of a clearance shoe in the back...yeah, not too much extra close out merchandise waiting to be shelved.

Allie said...

Bahaha- especially number four! People would call looking for RIBBON of all things- trust me, I'm NOT digging through all of those over stock boxes. If it isn't in the first one I check, then no, it isn't in the Back or anywhere else.

Cait said...

Yay! Another grocery store rant! I LOVE these posts and wish listerine man would come back, just for entertainment's sake!

Emily said...

I love that The Back is capitalized!

Francesca said...

I loved being asked that at Party City. The Back only holds costumes. Everything else is on the floor with very little stocked on the top shelf above the aisle.

Symantha said...