Monday, February 7, 2011

Working Up A Sweat

No.......this is not going to be a blog about hard work or exercise, what I'm talking about here is a simple trip to the grocery store. Tell me please, is there some kind universal law governing retail merchants, that compels them to keep the heat in their stores at 80°F or higher throughout the winter? For my non-American readers that would approximate 27°C.

From past experience, I knew it was going to be warm in Krogers this evening, so I intentionally left my jacket in the truck, thinking a lightweight cotton shirt and a cardigan sweater would be just the ticket. About five minutes in, I began to wonder what their monthly electric bill was, and then how hard their refrigerated cases had to work to compensate for the ridiculously high ambient temperature. Then begrudgingly, my thoughts drifted to how much cheaper my weekly grocery bill would be, if they would only lower their thermostat to a more reasonable 72°F/22°C.

Warm as it was while pushing my cart around the store, it was nothing compared to the burning hell of the checkout lanes, where heat ducts have been strategically placed to ensure that cashiers and baggers don't have to suffer the life threatening consequences of gooseflesh! God forbid they should ever be advised to put on a sweater if they feel a chill!

So there I was in the self-checkout lane, my sweater living up to it's name. By the time I had finished packing my first bag of groceries, I could feel beads of sweat forming on my forehead, and by the time I was ready to pay my bill, my undershirt was sticking to my flesh! The temperature outside was just 47°F/8.3°C, but it felt like heaven when I emerged from that cauldron. I crossed the parking lot and loaded my groceries into the truck, then put my cart in the adjacent cart corral. Getting into the truck, I removed my cap and wiped the sweat from my brow. Needless to say, my jacket remained on the passenger's seat for trip home.

Supper at my mother's was pleasant this evening. My niece couldn't make it, but the other usual suspects were there. My sister told me she enjoyed the DVD of The Girl With The Pearl Earring that I gave her for her birthday last week. That entire movie is shot to ressemble a Johannes Vermeer's painting. If you haven't seen it, and love Dutch Golden Age art, you will surely enjoy this movie.

My bro-in-law wanted to tell a story, that he had already told us three times, about his brother using a hernia as an excuse not to lift anything over 25 lbs. He began by saying........"Did I ever tell you about about the time I............", to which my sister said, "Yes, you have." Well, he proceeded to tell the story again anyway! When he was done, I said that's the fourth time you've told us that story, you must be losing your short term memory, to which my sister replied, "I wish I was losing mine!"

Melissa XX


Stace said...

I feel sorry for those people working the checkouts...

When I worked for Tesco's to get through Uni I was always way to hot behind the till (which made you terribly sleepy in the afternoon - not appriciated by customers or management...)

We complained about the heat, customers complained about the heat. Nothing.

In our local supermarket (that I use only in emergencies) it's the opposite. The place is so cold that the extra virgin olive oil goes solid, and is unusable for a good couple of days when you take it home!


Caroline said...

Don't get me started about supermarkets, they are run by idiots who usually do the exact opposite of anything sensible, ANYTHING!

Love your sister.

Caroline xxx

Dru Marland said...

It was awful during the snow- I went into town on my bicycle, dressed a bit like Nanook of the North (or indeed a polar bear after a little while, when the snow had settled on me...) -and then, stepping into a shop, I would go into instant meltdown. Ick.
Apparently the temperatures of interiors are substantially higher than they used to be, either in consequence of or as the reason for people to wear fewer clothes around the house. Younk G wears v skimpy stuff and keeps the damn heater on full blast, despite my parsimonious and vociferous objections...

Caroline said...

Dru, I absolutely adore parsnips too!

Caroline xxx

Anonymous said...

There's a good chance that the management of that Kroger's have no control over the heating and cooling of the store. I say this because my wife works for Hobby Lobby and even though we live in East Texas, their A/C controls are run from somewhere in Oklahoma. Don't ask me why, but it's true. I would not be surprised to find that other major corporations do the same thing.

Jenny said...

Some market researcher has probably discovered that people buy more when they are overheated.

UK supermarkets aren't too bad on this front. I do always thing it's such a waste of eneryg to use open-fronted refrigerated cabinets though.

Calie said...

Now, Melissa, my biggest complaint about grocery stores here is that they are just too darn cold! Maybe it is a California thing?

I loved your sis's comment!

Calie xxx