I’ve been going to my local grocery store for years. Ever since I moved to this area even though I’ve lived in different locations. It’s been the same for that same amount of time. Several of those years I would go there at least once a day and, many times, more than once a day. I was familiar with every inch of that store. I would help people find things; filé for the people displaced by hurricane Katrina, and maple syrup for a Pakistani woman who didn’t speak English being two instances that stand out in my memory.
The other day I went into the store and things were different. Horribly different. Half the store was in the process of being re-arranged. I felt lost. I couldn’t find things that I was looking for; things I could have found in my sleep before. The cat food, for instance, was moved to the aisle as the baby food. That actually made sense, in a weird kind of way. Worse, the aisle was narrow. So narrow that I actually got stuck because there was a person in front of me with a cart and a person with a cart behind me. I literally could not get past without climbing up the shelves, or crashing through them like the Kool-Aid guy.
The store re-design isn’t finished yet. Signs detailing the aisle contents are in places where the described contents aren’t. My shopping trips have gone from minimal minute missions to lengthy journeys, finding lost mayonnaise like an ancient Spanish Conquistador with a dry salad.