Brilliantly Creative

Grocery Store Search for Bean Sprouts Befuddles Sarah, Ethnic Section Not the Obvious Choice

Have you ever wandered around a grocery store in search of one very specific item and found yourself wondering where the logic lies in arranging the grocery store? Inevitably, I can never find what I’m looking for when a) I’m in a hurry or b) I’m tired.

Tuesday night I was both in a hurry and tired, so it was no wonder it took me 20 minutes to find bean sprouts. I searched the bean aisle three times before giving up and returning to my regularly-scheduled shopping, and finally, on my way from the milk to the register it occurred to me that bean sprouts would probably be with the Chinese food and that the Chinese food would be in the ethnic aisle not the bean aisle. Had I called my husband and asked him where the bean sprouts were, he would’ve said the ethnic section right away, but no, I asked the teenage boy who worked at the grocery store, and he told me the bean aisle. I wanted to shove my newly-acquired can of bean sprouts somewhere unmentionable.

And in my frustration, I found myself imagining a grocery store that functioned like a web browser. Instead of asking unhelpful employees where the bean sprouts were, I could have typed Ctrl + F and searched for ‘bean sprouts,’ much like I would search for the phrase on a page in my web browser. Or instead of looking up and down the bean aisle for twenty minutes, I would have found a sign that functioned like a hyperlink and said, “Looking for bean sprouts? Try the ethnic food aisle!”

Do I spend so much time online that I take for granted the simple usability the Internet offers me? Am I such the web developer that I treat my environments like extensions of the World Wide Web? Do I need to spend more time in the real world and come to accept these usability problems?

What have I become? I’m a crazy twentysomething that rants about the location of bean sprouts in her grocery store. I have a feeling it’s all gonna be downhill from here.


4 thoughts on “Grocery Store Search for Bean Sprouts Befuddles Sarah, Ethnic Section Not the Obvious Choice

  1. Ten years from now you’ll be so busy you’ll find it hard to get any blog read let alone ramble about why you can’t find the “bean sprouts”. Next time ask someone else and keep asking until you find what you need or have them show you where the products are. If nothing else it educates the employee for the next customer that wants that product and you make them feel needed. That’s something we all need.
    Happy shopping!!

  2. I think the Internet has changed the way we think about the world. It took our un-hyperlinked world and made us realize how quick and easy locating information can be (sometimes!).

    I had a similar experience after playing Paper Mario on the Wii. If you are unfamiliar with it, it is very unique because it allows Mario to essentially switch between two different dimensions in his 2-d world, from the normal L to R dimension we are all so familiar with to a “parallel” “flipped “dimension (“parallel” not in the Star Trek sense, though) never before seen in Mario’s 2-D world. I was having trouble getting past a certain section, so I went to the Internet, and all of a sudden I wanted to “flip” the web page I was looking at to see if I could find more information.

    So, what I’m trying to say here is that I think new technology often makes us see our old environment from a new, different viewpoint. But your mom gives some good advice too, although I don’t think you were rambling at all! 🙂

  3. Thats the difference between women & men. We will search all day for “bean sprouts”…men will glance around and then just forget about it. Even if the “bean sprouts” are the most crucial element on the list 🙂

  4. Maybe I should just stockpile cans of bean sprouts, so anytime I need them for this recipe, I won’t have to go to the grocery store. Or maybe I just make Chris find the bean sprouts for me since he’s the grocery store genius.

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