Costco - Don't Park in the Fire Lane
Our Costco is adjacent to another large big box store. I had parked there originally. We went to Costco and as usual purchased the heavy 10 lb baking soda and some beverages too heavy to carry all the way back. I took my grandson and got the car. I left my wife out front of the store. It was a hot, busy day and with the heat and all the pickups out front my wife moved under the awning with the carts along the side of the store. She placed the box in one of the carts and waited for me. As I pulled up I noticed her and realized the lane directly in front of her said "fire lane". I pulled as far to the right as possible to allow cars to pass on my left. I was as far to the right as I could get on the sidewalk. Suddenly, a man with a blue tooth headset in his ear jumped out of a truck cab to my left began shouting "Hey" at me. I looked to my left. It was a gas truck driver who had just left the gas islands. It was a double tanker. It blocked the entire row of cars on either side. I could see he was agitated probably because he wanted to use the space I was in to turn. He shouted at me again and said, "You can't park here, it's a fire lane!" I said back calmly, "I am not parked. I am just picking up my wife over here as I gestured to my right because spaces near the front are all tied up." He said, "It's a fire lane, not a loading zone, you need to move now!" My wife made a familiar gesture of disrespect, very uncommon for her, and yet understandable considering how rude this truck driver was being. I pulled over to the nearest spot; it was a handicap spot. An elderly woman with a walker was coming up to the van beside us. She said to my wife, "That was wrong of him. You should talk to the manager." The truck driver blazed out of the lot like he was late for a fire. My wife got in the car holding the box and shaking and said, "Let’s just go." The whole exchange took less than 30 seconds. We went to the gas island to get our weekly tank of gas. There was a female attendant putting the lid back on the tanks, and as she walked back from there and passed me I mentioned the driver yelled at me because I was in the fire lane trying to get my wife in the car. She said, "Well, it is a fire lane and you can't park there." I said to her, "I wasn't parked, I was just trying to get my wife in the car quickly, as there was a crowd up front. She said, "You should park in a REGULAR spot sir, you cannot use the fire lane." I said, "Ok." And I thought that was the end of it. I would go home lick my wounds and call it a day. One more *** in the Costco image. One more swatch of tarnish on my favorite store. BUT this attendant wasn't finished with me.
She came back out! She stood, sunglasses reflecting noon day sun like a highway patrol officer, hand on her hip, and a pose like she wanted to challenge me and announced, "I just talked to the driver and he said you called him a fu*ker." I looked her straight in the eye. I was shocked. "I most certainly did not!" I went on to try to explain my wife made a gesture, but we were just trying to load a single box of groceries and get out. I COULD NOT BELIEVE this COSTCO EMPLOYEE gal came out to pick a fight with me and she was on the clock WORKING FOR COSTCO!
I smiled and said here is my card do with it what you will but my time with Costco just ended in this moment. She was not even phased. She said, "Do what you want, I don't care." She tossed my card on the front seat through the open driver side window and strutted off. I was livid. Sorry but I had had it. I took my card and threw it as hard as I could in the air and it landed somewhere near the booth and the exit from the gas islands. Another customer pumping gas said after that, "Hey, a*sh*le! You should show more respect for these people they work hard". In that moment I realized, WE ARE BEING CONDITIONED. The new Costco mantra ought to be "YOU PAY, SO YOU MUST OBEY." How dare I challenge the "COSTCO SOCIETY". Well I don't care back I say now! Her attitude however, is not too far from the feeling and the vibe I have been picking up from Costco employees everywhere I go. In Twin Falls, Boise, Las Vegas and Bozeman these past few years I have had my executive card stolen by an employee of Costco, been told I was lying about my expiration date when there was really just a glitch in the system about my end date - and a few other less than stellar conversations about price changes and stock outages.
As I drove home I calmed down a bit and called for the store manager. He did his best to explain about the fire lane. But sir, I said, there was no fire. There was an impatient gas truck driver who decided to push me out even though I was nearly up against the pillars on the sidewalk, and traffic freely passed by. All it was is that he couldn't make his double wide tanker turn without using the "fire lane". So Manager thanks for rattling off about policy and - you might have said sorry but it was pretty feeble - and you never even acknowledged that your employee might have refrained from coming out to challenge me WHILE I WAS PUMPING GAS SO I WAS PAYING COSTCO FOR A LECTURE.
Monetary Loss: $100.