Thursday, August 12, 2010

We Don't Care

Recently, Carefour (the big box everything in 1 store store) inexplicably moved their hand held shopping baskets. This confused yours truly to no end. They used to be at the entrance right next to the shopping carts. I almost never get a cart because it makes it that much harder to navigate through the crowds and I can't fit a cart's worth of groceries on my motorbike. Anyways, there I was staring at hundreds of carts and not one single little red basket.

My first instinct was that they had run out so I wandered all the way around to the checkout counters (it's farther than you think) figuring that I could swipe one from there. When I got to the checkouts, there weren't any. I looked around for another couple of minutes before finally asking someone.

The friendly checkout girl told me that they should be at the entrance. Thinking that I maybe had had a few too many drinks the night before, I sauntered back towards the entrance (completing the loop). Once again, no baskets. I asked the employee closest to the entrance. He pointed towards the inside of the store. I walked until I reached the electronics section and still no red baskets.

Against my better judgement, I asked one of the guys standing by the televisions. I got the answer I expected "di depan" (at the front/entrance). Convinced that this could not be true, I asked the next guy I saw in the housewares section. He pointed towards the back of the store and uttered some word that I could not understand. The next guy I asked pointed and said the same word.

This trend continued with the next 3 employees pointing in the same direction and uttering the same word. Verification is good in a place such as Jakarta as misinformed answers occur way more often (I've been told that this is because it is more polite than saying "I don't know") than you might think. By the time I got to the last employee, I reasoned out that they were saying: fabric (same as English) as in the fabric section.

Finally, I spotted them! A big fat stack of red shopping baskets in the very back of the store in the very back of the fabric section. Maybe if I had been functioning on a higher level that day, I might have thought of looking in the fabric section without assistance.

A few days later, I visited a different Carefour with similar results. Luckily, I knew what to do when I saw that there were no baskets at the entrance. This particular branch seemed to be much more organized as they had placed the baskets halfway to the back of the store and only 50 meters from the entrance.

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