OK, I’ve got a beef.
A minor one, but a beef all the same.
It’s about taking back beer and wine bottles.
Here’s the sketch:
I allow such bottles to collect over a long period of time before I deign to take them to The Beer Store for the paltry return money.
Hello! Where are the fund-raising groups that used to knock on doors to collect these things? Mine are there for the asking.
But I digress.
Anyway, the time to gather my bottles came last week at the end of my holidays. They had been collecting dust since Christmas, I think. Whatever. There were a lot of them. And it was a pain packing them in the car.
But I did my duty. The trek to the store was made.
Once there, though, the real annoyance began.
There’s a patronizing sign in The Beer Store that explains how you, the customer, is supposed to return the bottles.
For instance, you’re told to rinse them. Yeah, right.
Also, you’re supposed to ensure that the clear beer bottles are separated from the coloured-glass bottles.
Did I mentioned we’re the customer in this instance? Yet, we’re the ones responsible for making it easier for Beer Store employees to do their job. Go figure.
I had about 10 or so six-packs, in which bottles of mixed colours mingled freely.
Fortunately, The Beer Store hasn’t got to the point where they reject integrated returns.
But instead of just sending the mixed packs to the back storage area, the employee at the counter makes a point of taking bottles in and out of packs to ensure proper segregation. Only then do they join the other empties in storage.
I’m not sure of the reason for this. I mean, why not just send them off immediately and let an employee in the back segregate them?
Don’t have an employee in the back? Hire one.
Is doing it in front of customers supposed to convey a silent admonition to them? As in, hey, buddy, sort ‘em right next time, it saves us money.
The consequence of sorting bottles at the counter is that it delays service.
But I guess that’s OK for The Beer Store because it’s a monoply. Don’t like the way it handles returns, well, go somewhere else … oh, right, you can’t go anywhere else.
The Beer Store — where customers help do employees’ jobs or suffer the consequences.
Wrote a column the other day about available parking for St. Catharines’ two new entertainment venues — the puck palace and the culture castle.
An e-mailer kindly noted that I forget to mention another option for those seeking easy access to these joints.