There’s a brand new Kroger in my neighborhood, a beautiful store with a good variety of products and great location. It even has gas pumps.

Will it become my grocery of choice?

I doubt it.

I’ve become spoiled by the Publix product offerings, customer service, and well-groomed employees.

Kroger is a bit closer to home, so I’ll run in occasionally to grab a jug of milk or bag of chocolate, but for weekly shopping, it’s Publix for me.

My decision was made one evening when I went to Kroger to buy a couple salmon filets. A group of teen boys was working the meat department. A friendly worker offered his help, but nearly freaked when I told him I wanted skin removed from my two filets. He called on another employee, only slightly older, for help. “You don’t know how to do it?” I asked.

“No, I don’t.”

It took the other young man approximately thirty minutes to accomplish the task, so I question if he was any more able.

That’s right. Thirty minutes.

For two filets.

The young man who first helped me suggested that I do the rest of my shopping and return to the meat counter when I was done.

Unfortunately, salmon was last on my list, so I stood and waited.

And waited. And waited.

The young man then retrieved the fish from the guy who did the skinning and proceeded to wrap it in butcher paper. Trouble is, his bare hands were covered with fish slime, making the outside of the paper so greasy, the price label wouldn’t even stick to it. He tried to hand it to me like that, a slimy, paper-coming-unwrapped, bundle of fish.


I asked that he, instead, slip the entire thing into a plastic bag, which he did. But he did it with those same greasy hands, sliming the outside of the bag that he handed to me. I held it gingerly, with two fingers, until I reached checkout where I put it in a plastic shopping bag by itself, trying to not contaminate everything else I was buying. Then I went for the hand sanitizer.


When I unwrapped the fish at home the next evening I noticed how poorly it had been skinned.

Obviously not by a real butcher.

Which made me wonder why a store would offer products for sale for which it did not also have employees trained to ready them for sale.

And then there was the sloppiness of the employees.

They all wore matching t-shirts with a Mexican theme to promote their Mexican products sale, but the shirts fit poorly and few shirttails were tucked in.

Apparently, appearances are about as important to store management as the jobs their employees do.

Employees tend to live up to the expectations you have for them, bosses. I think if you ask more, Kroger, you’ll get it.

Maybe it’s time for a management reboot.


  1. Susie
    Jul 29, 2015

    We feel the same way. I’m sick of Kroger and the poor stock on Columbia and the new one is confusing and too big. Don’t get us even started on the baggers. Publix is my market of choice. Plus, you meet the nicest people there. 😉

    • Karen Curran
      Jul 30, 2015

      Yes, you do, Susie:)

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