Sometimes, an event happens that is so off the wall you would have never thought to have invented it and this evening at Kroger – a major supermarket chain in the USA – I experienced one of those events. Now, the local Kroger has been sliding a bit. I’ve written on here about their inability to provide fresh lettuce – that brown spoiled stuff is not worth a second glance – and their meat selection is suffering. Tonight though, I discovered just how out of touch many Americans are with their world.
I was trying to stock up on stuff to get me through the weekend and that included snack foods. Any writer will tell you that you had better keep plenty of snacks on hand while working. I have some humus in the fridge and I thought I would pick up some pita bread. Like most American towns, you don’t get fresh bread anywhere but you can get packaged bread normally. I thought I would get a package of pita bread, nuke it in the microwave and go at that humus. That is what I thought anyway.
Well, I went to the deli section and all I found was a small, very expensive, package of pre-cut pita bread. It was 2 dollars for like 3 pieces of pita bread. (Exactly, that was my reaction too :). So I asked a guy behind the counter who said he was new and didn’t know if there was pita bread anywhere. Ok, fair enough. So, I asked the main lady at the deli who was honest and said she didn’t know what pita bread was. So I held up the expensive kind as an example and she still was clueless. Ok, then, I trekked to the cash registers to see if I could find someone who A. knew what Pita Bread was and B. Knew if it was in the store.
The guy at the register didn’t know what pita bread was either. I had to explain to him that it wasn’t a cracker like the thought it was and that no, it wasn’t in the deli whose employees were just as clueless. So, he at least did his job and ducked back into an office to ask for help. He came back and said a supervisor would be right with me. Fair enough. for at this point, after all this, I wasn’t going to drop the search until I got an answer.
When he said someone would be out to help me find the pita bread a lady who looked like she was from South Asia, and who was holding one of those expensive packages I had come across, said, ‘Are you looking for pita bread too? Can you believe they don’t have any?’. Then the guy in the register line next to her turned and said, ‘I have been looking for pita bread too!’. Suddenly there were 3 of us on the hunt for pita bread.
The supervisor took me back to the deli to where it was suppose to be and was shocked to discover there was none. When she asked the deli person the worker reiterated what she had told me that she didn’t know what pita bread was. The lady explained what it was and that it would come pre-packaged and that some should’ve been ordered if they were out. Of course, if you don’t know what something is, it is a little hard to re-order it. The supervisor promised to order some right away for the three of us in search of it. We’ll see how that goes on my next trip.
How can no one in a huge place like Kroger not know what pita bread is? I mean 1/2 the planet uses it at every meal. It is a symptom of how out of touch Americans are becoming with the rest of the world. I could be serious and talk about falling education standards or how less than 1/2 of Americans can find Syria on a map. Yeah, fast food doesn’t come on pita for the most part but there are so many cultures here that do use pita so an overseas trip shouldn’t be necessary to discover it. I was baffled. I was also amused and have been poking fun of it since I got home. I probably laughed to hard as I got home and broke a bottle of taco sauce in unloading groceries.
To sum up, if you want to create a 3-ring circus, just go to your local Kroger supermarket and ask for pita bread. That should do the trick.