Tuesday, December 9, 2008

ONLY in America

I had to go to a local grocery store tonight to fill Big Jorge's prescription.  While I waited for it to be filled I walked over to the Deli side just to peruse the yummies.  I was there shortly before closing time and I noticed they had some rotisserie chickens left to sell.  I asked the man behind the counter what they do with the chickens they don't sell.  "Half are kept and half get thrown away depending on what time they were made" he said.  So I asked if they would be willing to sell them at a discount, the ones they were planning on throwing away that is.  He wasn't sure and suggested I ask the manager on duty. 

Well I got ten minutes to kill, I thought.  Why not ask?  Justin was his name.  Here's how it went down:

Me: Hi there Justin (looking at his name tag).  I talked to Mike and he said that they have to throw out half the rotisserie chickens at the end of the night.  So I was wondering if you'd be willing to sell the chicken at a discount since you are already planning on throwing it away. 
Justin: Well company policy doesn't allow us to do that. 
Me: You mean the company would rather lose money than sell it for even a small profit?
Justin: well we used to do that but then we would get people lined up waiting for the discounted chickens. So they don't do it anymore. 
Me: so let me get this right.  "Your store" would rather toss perfectly good food and lose the money than sell the perfectly good food to people who want to purchase it, than give a discount?
Justin: Basically. 
me:  Wow.  Only in America do we have people that throw out food because they don't want to give it at a discount.  Wow.  Okay. Thanks Justin, for your time.  

I go and pick up my script and as Im walking out the door of the store I notice a sign that says "Help XYZ store fight hunger, contribute today."  So this makes me stop and think.  Then it's back to Justin I go.  (hey I got no kids with me at this point, I got all the time in the world). 

Me: Hey Justin, not trying to be the annoying customer of the night, but I've noticed the big yellow "feeding the hungry" signs you got up around the store and I was thinking.  What would it take for your uppers (management) to put their money where their mouth is and consider using those tossed chickens by giving them to a food kitchen instead.  Heck, I'd even be willing to do the leg work myself if you told me who to contact.  I'd even find some kitchens for you guys to donate to, I mean since you don't want to sell the chickens and all.  
Justin:  Well, a few years ago we used to do that until we got sued because someone ate one of the free chickens, got sick and then took it to court.  Now we are only allowed to give bread, but not cooked food.  
Me: You mean to tell me that someone got food, for free.  Ate it. Got sick and then sued the company that tried to help them? 
Justin: Yep.
Me:  Wow.  Only in America.  Thanks again.  Have a great night. 

Only in America do you have companies that would otherwise give the food away, decide not to because of the litigious society we have and the people who are convinced they deserve millions.  Wow. Im baffled.  Its truly the one bad apple scenario and its sad.  

1 comment:

Jodi said...

Brad used to work at a grocery store and I asked him the exact same question about the food that didn't get sold and if they gave it away and he said they weren't allowed to by corporate b/c of the litigation possibility. So sad.