Matzo CouponLast week, I received this coupon for matzo at the Safeway checkout. All I had purchased that day was a container of Safeway brand Butternut Squash soup — hardly the epitome of Jewish food.

What possible reason could Safeway have for giving me a coupon for Matzo… in November? There are two possibilities. Either they think that Jews really love this stuff year-round, or they just want to wave in my face the fact that based on previous purchases, they’ve been able to determine my religion.

I was spoiled by Wegman’s growing up, so I was ill prepared for how much grocery stores in California suck. But as much as Safeway sucked when I got here, it’s sucking more all the time. They’ve put in place ridiculous policies, like requiring their employees to call customers by name and offer them help to their car. In San Francisco, it’s clear that the employees have been told that they’ll be punished if they don’t adhere to these policies. So they obey the letter of the law — when I check out, they hand me my receipt and mispronounce, “Kleper.” That’s it. Just one muttered word. That’s them calling me by name. It’s not, “Thank you, Mr. Kleper” or “Here’s your receipt Mr. Kleper.” It’s “I have to say your name or I’ll get fired. So here’s my best attempt, Kepper. Now, would you like help out with your one container of soup or can you manage this one alone?”

Safeway should give its employees a little more leeway. Don’t offer help out to grown men buying a pack of gum. Don’t call your customers by name — that’s fucking creepy. And don’t make it obvious that you know a lot about them from their purchases — that’s even more creepy.

Time to stock up on matzo!

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