samedi 18 février 2012

More Monoprix

Ysterday, for the first time ever in history, the Monoprix opened the "10 items or less" line during the lunchhour.

But the scale for weighing fruits and vegetables had never worked since the store first opened was out of order, so up went a sign: "Fruit and vegetable scale broken" with the implied message that should you have any food of that nature (which most lunch-buyers would, this being France where people don't eat Twinkies and Coke for the midday meal, ahem), you couldn't use that register.

What irritated me most about this (besides the obvious)? The sign wasn't just something a Monoprix "worker" scribbled on a piece of cardboard. No! The sign was a professionally-printed, plastified structure, totally aligned with the color scheme and cheerful font Monoprix uses all over their stores. ( Their motto, for example: "Qu'est-ce qu'on peut faire pour vous aujourd'hui?" or, "What can we do to annoy you with today?")

In other words, they know the scale doesn't work. They know the scale has never worked. They know they have NO INTENTION OF EVER FIXING THE SCALE...and so, the need for a permanent, nicely-made sign.

This brings to mind another Stupid Thing I've Seen At The Monoprix. A couple of years ago they remodelled this Monoprix and tried to make it sexy. They were obligated by French building codes to install an elevator, as the store is on two levels. (I will save for another post how insanely-allocated the different products are on these two levels, but here is a teaser: you can buy razors on the bottom level, but you must go to the next level to buy shaving cream. Believe me when I tell you that this strategy is not to get you to move throughout the store and therefore buy more-impulsively--for that is not the economic mindset of the French-- this strategy is done deliberately to drive me mad.)

Anyway, the day they started constructing that elevator I said to my colleague and fellow-Monoprix-hater Melissa, "That will NEVER function. They'll put in in, but they will NEVER maintain it. Some shopper will get stuck in there for life with their trolley full of frozen food, and they will never get her out."

And that is exactly what has come to pass. Well, sort of. Monoprix never even got to the "working capacity" part of the elevator. They built it, they let the building inspectors sign off on it, and then they turned the whole glass structure into a storage unit. Everytime Melissa and I walk by all those boxes of catfood and Pampers stocked inside the inert lift, we just laugh and laugh. Before we cry, of course.

The Monoprix elevator: providing an extra stockroom since 2008

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