EppsNet Archive: Trader Joe’s

One Thing I Can’t Tolerate is Intolerance: Yelp at Yale Edition

4 Jul 2017 /

According to the New York Times, June Chu, dean of Pierson College at Yale, lost her job after calling people “white trash” in Yelp reviews.

Here are some of (former) Dean Chu’s hot Yelp takes:

Regarding a Japanese restaurant: “If you are white trash, this is the perfect night out for you. . . . Side note: employees are Chinese, not Japanese.”

On a local movie theater: “So what they have is barely educated morons trying to manage snack orders for the obese and also try to add $7 plus $7.”

A mochi establishment: “Remember: I am Asian. I know mochi. . . . To be honest, you’d be better off getting mochi ice cream at Trader Joe’s! I guess if you were a white person who has no clue what mochi is, this would be fine for you.”

Remember: I am white. I know racism. This is not racism unless you are a lightweight, amateur racist. I’ve seen better racism at Trader Joe’s.

Really, those are perfectly fine Yelp reviews. Granted that some people are more easily offended than others, I would say that anyone offended by Chu’s posts should stay off Yelp, stay off the internet in general, and probably just stay in bed every morning and not leave their house.

P.S. I like Trader Joe’s mochi.

Anyway, Stephen Davis, head of Pierson College, which is evidently better than being the dean, said in announcing Chu’s departure:

“Let me be clear. No one, especially those in trusted positions of educating young people, should denigrate or stereotype others, and that extends to any form of discrimination based on class, race, religion, age, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”

I’m not sure how the movie theater review violates those guidelines, unless an inability to add $7 plus $7 qualifies as a disability.

Davis went on to say:

“Yale unequivocally values respect for all. . . . what holds us together is our collective effort to ensure that every single person in our midst is valued beyond measure.”

As long as they think the right way, act the right way and speak the right way, and don’t write snarky Yelp reviews that reflect the way people actually talk in real life.

Inexplicable Things Happen When You Buy CLIF Bars by the Box

13 Aug 2013 /

For reasons that have never been unraveled, when you go to Trader Joe’s and buy a box of CLIF Bars, rather than just scanning the product code on the box, they have to open the box, take out one of the individual bars, scan it, ring it up with a quantity of 12, and then stuff it back in the box.

But not today! Today, when I bought my box of CLIF Bars, the checker had an individual bar sitting next to the register. She just scanned that bar instead of opening the box.

“Is this new?” I asked. “Keeping a CLIF Bar next to the register for scanning purposes?”

“No,” she said, “a woman bought a box earlier and didn’t want me to open it so I got a bar off the shelf to scan it and then just kept it here.”

“Hmmm . . . maybe she was buying them as collectibles, like baseball cards. It makes the value go down if you open the box.”

Lightning and Me Toast the Holidays with Trader Joe’s 2012 Vintage Ale

27 Nov 2012 /

Alternative Uses for Beer

19 Apr 2012 /
Stone IPA

I’m picking up a few things at Trader Joe’s — some Clif bars, a couple boxes of cereal and a bottle of IPA.

The checker points to the bottle and says, “That’s good. Have you tried it?” Like he’s the beer expert and I don’t know anything.

“Yeah, I’ve tried it.” Not to be outdone, I pointed to the cereal boxes and said, “Have you tried it on cereal?”


“Well . . . think about it.”

Turbinado Sugar = Crack Cocaine

21 Dec 2011 /

Chocolate Almonds

Buying Dog Food

26 Jul 2009 /

At Trader Joe’s, buying a bag of Holistic Natural Canine Formula, whatever that is. The dog seems to like it.

The checker asks me, “Do you want a bag for the cat food?”

I say, “Yes, but it’s actually dog food.”

“Oh sorry,” he says. “I saw ‘canine’ and I guess I thought ‘feline.'”

“There’s a picture of a dog right on the bag,” I say.

Finding the Dragon

24 May 2009 /

My son and I walk into Trader Joe’s . . . there’s a big sign that says “KIDS! Find the hidden dragon and win a prize!”

“I’m going to find the dragon,” the boy announces. “I bet it’s at the free sample stand.”

Not surprisingly, it’s not at the free sample stand, but while we’re there we’re able to drown our sorrows with some free baked beans and hot dogs . . .

Everyone in Irvine Drives the Same Car

5 Apr 2009 /

It’s a white Lexus SUV. This leads to hilarious mixups like my son approaching a line of cars after school and getting into the wrong one by mistake, and my wife and I standing in the Trader Joe’s parking lot trying to figure out why we can’t unlock “our” vehicle . . .

Free Samples

31 Dec 2008 /

I’ve got my son and one of his friends with me at Trader Joe’s. They start off by grabbing some roast beef and panini at the free sample stand.

Later, when I’m in the checkout line, they wander off, I assume to go outside, but it turns out they went back for seconds on the free samples.

“You guys are an embarrassment!” I say. “The free samples are supposed to be one to a customer, not all you can eat!”

“I don’t think she saw us the first time,” my son says. “So it’s okay.”

“Jesus, I can’t take you guys anywhere.”

I Didn’t Get a Pizza Square

11 Dec 2008 /

The free sample stand at Trader Joe’s has pizza squares today. They look delicious!

Unfortunately, there are only two left and just ahead of me is a woman with a toddler in her shopping cart.

I’m thinking Just take one and leave one for me but no, she takes both, hands one to the toddler, who immediately drops it face down on the floor . . .

A Business Model for Selling Crack

23 Aug 2008 /

My wife loves to keep bags from the grocery store. Why does she love to keep bags from the grocery store? Your guess is as good as mine. Probably better if you haven’t been drinking tequila all afternoon like I have.

My son walks into the kitchen . . .

He says, “We’ve got enough bags here to open our own store.”

“Good idea!” I reply. “You know what we’re going to sell? All the crap laying around in your room.”

“For a second,” he says, “I thought you said ‘crack.'”

“Crack . . . hey, that’s a good idea too! Ordinarily, you want to buy crack, you’ve got to go hang out on a street corner in some undesirable location. We’ll bring upscale ambiance to the crack business. ‘Paper or plastic?’ Who would suspect you’re toting crack around in that Trader Joe’s bag?”

Well Played, Sir

28 Feb 2008 /
Grocery clerk

I’m waiting in line at Trader Joe’s while the checkout guy engages the woman in front of me in a conversation about her groceries, her occupation, where she went to school . . . it’s not even a particularly long conversation in terms of elapsed time . . . the guy just talks so fast that he’s able to cover a lot of ground.

Personally, I don’t like conversing with service personnel unless they’re attractive women, and even then I don’t like it that much.

OK, my turn. The first item out of the basket is a package of dog chews.

“What kind of dog do you have,” the guy asks.

I decide to try a little verbal jiu jitsu and say “We don’t have a dog. You ever try those things? They’re really good.”

It doesn’t even slow him down.

“Do they clean your teeth?” he asks. “I bet they do. We’ve got ’em in mint flavor, you know . . .”