When things go wrong at Aldi

Or, when your cloth grocery bags from your college are so attractive someone wants to steal them

Aldi 1
Me: Hey! You complain that we don’t ever do anything fun but it’s Saturday night and where are we? Marido: Aldi? Me: EXACTLY!


Marido came home from Aldi, which, if you do not have in your neighborhood, I am sorry, because it is the best place for basics and for Italian and German goodies like ladyfingers and chocolate.

It’s not because they exploit people, either. It’s not like Amazon where they make their employees go through a search after they finish work – but after they clock out. If you have to wait more than a minute or two to leave after your shift is over, you should be paid for that time. Making people wait 15 minutes to go through search and not paying them for that time is – I don’t know if I want to go as far as evil – I save that word for people like Jeffrey Epstein – close to evil. People don’t work at low-wage jobs as a hobby.

Aldi is inexpensive because they cut all the frills. They don’t play music in the store, which I love for its own sake – can’t we just have some quiet in public spaces? – because they don’t want to pay royalties.

They display goods in the boxes to save unstocking fees. They have limited variety. They don’t pack the groceries for you.

And they charge you a quarter to get a shopping cart and give you the quarter back when you return the cart to the stall. This keeps carts from being left in the parking lot where someone has to collect them and probably makes it harder to steal them. (Unless you are a cart thief who is willing to lose a quarter.)

So Marido was at Aldi and he stepped away from his cart for a second and returned to find it – gone.

He was confused, as the cart was gone. Who takes a cart with someone else’s food that hasn’t even been paid for yet?

He wandered – well, “wandered” does not impart the sense of confusion and probably panic and for sure growing ire that he felt – looking for his groceries.

No luck.

He told an employee that he couldn’t find his cart. The clerk helped him look and eventually, they found all the food stacked carelessly by the blueberries.

The cart was nowhere to be found.

The clerk got another cart for Marido. He put the food in it.

But he had no bags.

So he searched the store and found a guy with a cart that contained our grocery bags.

Marido: These are mine! Where did you get these!

Guy: They’re mine!

Marido: Um. I went to Rice. [Which is a college many states away from where we live.] Did you? Because that’s where I got them. [They gave them out at homecoming a few years ago.]

Guy: They were in the cart when I got it!

Marido: Yeah, well, they’re mine.

And he snatched them out of the man’s cart.

And came home all discombobulated because that really is a clear violation of the Social Contract: We Do Not Take Each Other’s Carts Or Their Grocery Bags. And Marido is used to (I don’t know why as so much evidence is to the contrary) people playing by the rules.

I hope he can recover from this trauma. Aldi has been good to us.




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