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A cheesy dilemma.

I love to cook.

One result of my loving to cook is wanting to grate my own cheese. I think it tastes fresher and better that way than pre-shredded cheeses. This precludes buying chunks of cheese from the deli to shred myself.

Now, I don't have any prejudice against grocery store workers. I've worked many jobs in my life including cleaning bathrooms and doing laundry in a hotel. But the fact that every time I go to the grocery store I inevitably have the same problem makes me really start to cast doubts on this job in general.

Each time I ask, simply, for a block of cheese. Not slices, a block. Take a cheese wire and cut off a chunk. I even know (pretty accurately) how many inches from a given bulk block it takes to approximate half a pound or a pound. Chunk of cheese. Not a big deal? Right?

Yet, every time, I come home with a bag of mangled cheese pieces and slices. The employees look at me like I am crazy. Who ever would want a block of cheese? Didn't I mean thick slices? The cheese slicing machine cannot make a big chunk. Despite my protests they stick it in there anyways (they are supposed to use it afterall!) and crumble and destroy my cheese.

Today, whilst putting away my groceries, I looked sadly at my bag of garbled cheese, worse than usual. It reminds me of many other experiences I have had with corporate workers who cannot or will not step outside the bounds of the repetition to think about what someone is asking for two seconds and solve the problem. Is what I am asking for really so crazy? Am I the only person in the world who wants bulk cheese in chunks?

I guess this is what I get for shopping at massive grocery stores. But we don't have a local, little cheese market. It makes me wish I lived closer to Nelson, that's for sure.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 8th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Can you hit up a specialty store? I know that Whole Foods sells Cheese in chunks.
Apr. 8th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
We don't have any in town, we don't have a whole foods. We have a sort of similar store but it's very small and doesn't have deli cheeses, just very expensive pre-packaged stuff.
Apr. 9th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
I'm guessing you're referring to Culinary Market? I did a little poking around and I came up with Pine Cheese Mart at 5231 East Frontage Road (Across from Menards North). This looks like a good possibility, perhaps?
Apr. 8th, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
If I'm getting this right.. the deli workers at the store, put the cheese in a slicing machine, which garbles the cheese. But what you would want is for them to use wire to cut it into a block, or something other than crazy slicing machine. Correct?

As a former deli worker, I can tell ya one thing. Our rule was, the customer was always right.. unless they ask us to do something we were not allowed to do. For example, cutting anything without using the slicing machine. We had to use it for cutting meats and cheese. No exceptions. We could get written up or fired if we did it without the machine.

I suggest talking with the deli manager or the store manager about it. If it's in the rules for the deli, they can't do anything. You might get lucky though and find that they just have lazy, dumb workers who don't want to hand cut it.
Apr. 8th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
Yes, I figured it was probably something like that. I do ask them to just cut it or use a wire but they usually give me an incredulous look and put it on the machine anyways. But I can *see* cheese wires hanging up in the background, looking like they are never used.
It's very sad when corporate rules overtake common sense. : /
Apr. 8th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
We had many items in our deli we were never allowed to use. Which confused me. So much food, machines, wire cheese slicers, and such we NEVER touched, because we weren't allowed to. I just did not understand why.

man, I hated that job. They did SO many things that I am SURE were health violations. They fired me when I fell down the stairs in the back room and dislocated my shoulder. Couldn't work, because I had to be able to lift 50lbs. So they fired me. Only job I've ever been fired from. And very illegally fired from, I might ad.
Apr. 8th, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
Man, I'm sorry. :/ I am ridiculously spoiled by Whole Foods and their whole blocks and wedges.

Maybe speaking to the manager and explaining what you want, exactly, and for what purpose, would help?
Apr. 8th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
You're the victim of a lazy, indifferent employee who doesn't give a crap about their job. The type of person in general that should never be employed... and definitely not the kind to have working a deli counter. (Not *safe* to have that kind working anything with exposed foodstuffs involved!).

Talk to the deli manager or watch the employee slice the block you want. The one great thing about buying at the deli counter is you can be picky. A good deli counter wants you to be happy. Barring that, the deli manager certainly does. If not.. find a new source.
Apr. 8th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
I would have gone back to the store and asked for the manager and politely asked why they sent it through the machine rather than using the wire to cut it.

They could be one of two things... Lazy, I-don't-care-about-the-dumb-customer's-wishes kind of employees; or they aren't allowed to do as you're asked. You might want to go to the deli manager, or even the store manager if that's the case, perhaps they can help you out.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 9th, 2009 12:11 am (UTC)
Unfortunately I live a few hours away from the Twin Cities - there's a very limited selection here when it comes to some types of shopping. :>
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 12th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
I used to be up there, but I've been down south for about eight years now. :) I do miss the cities (mostly their great restaurants and grocers!)
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 12th, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
When you guys come out again we'll totally have to go. :)
Apr. 9th, 2009 02:33 am (UTC)
Cheese. I <3 cheese.
A chunk of cheese should be 1 chunk, agreed. it's bizarre that they would do that.
Apr. 9th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
Unrelated, but I'm thinking of going down to Rochester to do some photography around town sometime next week or early into the week after (up to the 21st of April) As of right now, my schedule for doing it is pretty flexable- it's mostly to get out of the house and such (I took photos down in Northfield the other day and rather enjoyed the trip)

Would there be a particular date or time that would work for you and mbala for a visit perhaps? I've forgotten the address as it has been close to a year now- but you could let me know over e-mail at yarrickwulf@yahoo.com if there would be a time during the 13th-21st that you might be free for an evening or something.

Let me know!
Apr. 12th, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
I'll drop you an email :)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )