Posted on | June 14, 2010 | 10 Comments
Plaza Vea is my favorite Peruvian supermarket (or ‘hipermercado’ as they long to call themselves – I guess ‘hyper’ is better than ‘super’). If I’m comparing them to the other major chains, I’d say they’re cleaner than Metro, which is their main price point competition, and they’re less expensive than the rest of them – Vivanda, Wong or Tottus. I do like Tottus, but Vivanda and Wong just seem a little snobby to me. But that’s just me!
Anyway – I had another Plaza Vea moment today that reminded me why I like them. I’m a regular customer over at the PV on the corner of Angamos and Principal in Surquillo/San Borja. We were living about 3 blocks away when they built it, and I’ve been shopping there ever since. I know all the taxi drivers that work the front, and they know me and exactly where I live.
Today, for some reason they were unusually busy around 230pm when I was checking out, and they didn’t have enough cashiers open to cover it. The lines weren’t out of control long, but they were longer than usual. I picked what looked like the shortest line, and soon realized my mistake, when I saw 10 bags of sugar, 10 bags of rice, about a dozen chickens and so on in the cart in front of me. That lady was going to be checking out for quite a while!
Now, I was there with my nephew, Nick. Nicky has cerebral palsy and autism. He’s 22 years old, but his mental capacity for most things is that of a 2 year old child (although he’s got a killer sense of humor!). When realized I had picked the wrong line, I told Nick to stand there with the cart while I walked down to see if another line looked better. I found one, and called him down. He dutifully pulled the cart out and started making his way towards me.
At that moment, a Plaza Vea assistant manager came out from behind Nick and started walking with him, and said to me – ‘Senora, you can go to the priority line’. That’s the line special for handicapped, pregnant and elderly folks. It never really occurred to me to use that line, because I never really think of Nick as particularly handicapped – he’s just Nick.
However, in this situation, it seemed like a great idea. So I thanked the guy and headed to that line. We got there, and there was a tiny little elderly woman paying for her purchases, and then three young 20-somethings standing behind her with a few trendy snack purchases. As I got close with Nick, the assistant manager asked them to please step back and let us in front of them. The two guys stepped back out of the line immediately to let us through, but the girl put up an argument: “Why do we have to move? We’ve been waiting here, and we’re next!” (Pout)
The assistant manager looked at her and said “I’m sorry, senorita, but this is the priority line – and you aren’t a priority”.
Ok – maybe I’m being a little mean. I wouldn’t have minded at all if they went through in front of us, and in all honesty, Nick can wait in line just as well as anyone else. But dang, folks – what kind of a person argues against letting an obviously handicapped person ahead in the HANDICAPPED LANE??? Geesh.
Anyway – just another reason for me to love Plaza Vea.
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