I thought I'd NOT derail the soy thread but still continue the discussion, particularly my past involvement with the Jewel supermatket.
Perhaps it is not a universal phenomenon, but my store was rather horrible. Since someone mentioned the purchase of one of those fake butters, I'll start this thread off with some insights into the dairy department at my former place of employment.
When shipments would come in, there would never be enough room in the dairy coolers for the deliveries, so the product would sit out in the back rooms for 20-30 minutes minimum (often quite longer, perhaps even several hours).
As you know, the product cannot be taken out to the floor on the original wooden shipping pallets, so the dairy workers would "break down" the load onto carts. These would be stored in the coolers and taken out one at a time (or so was the plan) to the floor to be stocked on the shelf.
Just like the original pallets, these carts would often be left sitting in the back room for hours on end (while the employees wandered off to do who knows what). These carts would have cheese, butters, yogurt, juices, etc. You name it; they left it sitting in the HOT back room.
Before the carts even made it out to the floor, product would often fall off of the carts and spill on the floor. 1-2 sheets of paper towel later, the mess would be smeared around on the floor, and then the carts would be run over the mess (ie. they'd drag the yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. all over the store).
In the event that someone was motivated enough to actually stock the shelves, they would pull the cart out onto the floor and begin stocking. In all likelihood (by this time), it'd be the right moment for a break, a run to the W.C., or just a chance to hide in the back coolers and read a magazine from the checkout lines.
So, what does that mean? It means that the cart (full of disgusting product) gets to sit on the floor for an additional 20-30 minutes while the employee is off doing something else. In all likelihood, the employee will come back and ignore the cart on the floor. He'll grab another from the back and start the whole process again.
To give you an idea, I'd often see carts of yogurt sit on the floor for 3-4 hours minimum on a regular basis with nobody attending to them. That is if the managers aren't yelling at us to put them away. Sometimes, they'd be there for my entire shift 6-8 hours, and nobody would be doing anything with them.
Well, thank you very reading the first installment of "Insights of a Former Jewel Employee."
Until next time!