The Carrefour is a French grocery store. I usually shop at the Carrefour in Uzès because it is close to our village of Sanilhac. Today I left our house at 10:30 am to go grocery shopping. Jack and Sophie get out at noon for lunch and I wanted to give myself plenty of time. Shopping in France is not like in the USA. It takes FOREVER in the grocery store. Two reasons: 1. There always seems to be a million people in the stores. The isles are always crowded and the stinking shopping carts don’t push straight! (All of you who have experienced this know exactly what I am talking about!) 2. The check out line takes longer than the shopping excursion! There is no such thing as a fast lane. They have one but it is not fast. I have always had to wait in a line at checkout. You load up your groceries and you bag your own groceries. Some days I like this because I am very particular about how I want my groceries sorted and stacked. But, in France nobody goes quickly as they are bagging their groceries. It drives me CRAZY!!! Everyone literally takes their time and then some and they are not courteous to the other 5 people with full carts behind them. In fact, the cashier will stop scanning the groceries to give the person at the end the sufficient time to slowly bag their groceries that are coming down the conveyor (I’m talking, like 5 items!). I miss the grocery stores in America where you can be in and out in a few minutes. Even with a full cart of groceries in America it only takes a few minutes. Convenience does not exist in France! (No exaggeration!) For example, last week Aaron and I had finished our grocery shopping and as we were getting in the car I remembered I forgot an item. Aaron “quickly” ran back in and picked up the one item and was back in the car 15 minutes later for ONE item! No, he did not get lost and he knew right where the item was!
Today after 5 minutes of being in the Carrefour an announcement is made that the cashier systems were all down and they would let us shoppers know when they would be working. A few seconds later I approached an elderly woman and asked her if that announcement was referring to all forms of payment. She replied, “Yes, nothing is working!” Ok, what to do? I was looking around as all the shoppers were still filling their carts. I proceeded to fill my cart as well. I thought for sure within 20 minutes the system would be up and running. A few minutes pass and I notice everybody still standing around in the checkout lines aimlessly looking for a solution. Another intercom announcement, letting all shoppers know that the systems are not working and will not be for some time. Again, I approached a woman and we conversed as to what we should do. She told me they could not accept any form of payment. I looked around again and this time shoppers were unloading their carts. They were returning the items to their exact location. I laughed! The store was telling everybody to leave because they could not take care of the transactions!!! They had no back up, nothing! Ha! Convenience! There was not a liaison, of sorts, to help direct people to know what to do. So, I unpacked my cart, exited the store, and drove home! The end!