Dear PoP – Props to Petworth Safeway


It’s not often I get emailed props for the Petworth Safeway, in fact this may be the first one, glad to hear it!

“Dear PoP,

I was at the Petworth Safeway (3830 Georgia Avenue) last night around 8:30 PM. While waiting in line, a checkout clerk opened up the register next to mine and called me over to his register. As I was coming around, someone else rushed in front of me, even though I only had one item. As I was allowing the annoyance to settle in and decide what to do, the clerk reached back to me and told the other person that he had asked me to come to his register and that I was first. The other person was pretty rude, but the clerk kept his composure despite offensive comments from the first person, and just told him, politely, that I was there first and he would take care of him in a minute.

What the clerk didn’t know, is that I was buying hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in my dog at the advice of ASPCA poison control. He had eaten onions, and in fact it was very important for me to get home as soon as possible. (Many people don’t know this but onions are extremely toxic to dogs, more so than chocolate, and even a small amount can cause great harm).

I didn’t get the clerk’s name but he is a middle-aged thin black man with a mustache, I’ve seen him there before, and I just wanted to recognize his professional behavior which stands out in a world where I’ve gotten used to often apathetic and sometimes downright rude behavior from checkout clerks.”

32 Comment

  • It’s refreshing to hear a story about good, considerate customer service – and at the Petworth Safeway, no less!
    I hope your dog is OK!

  • He’s a very bad dog but at least he puked when he was supposed to. So he should be fine 🙂

  • Before I stopped shopping at the Petworth Safeway,( I gave it 4 tries, honestly) I actually found the cashiers to be pleasant and the lines short. However, the reason for this is because the place in general is a gigantic HELL HOLE filled with rotting food that fills the air with the stench of death and vomit – so no one visits and the cashiers have less patrons to contend with. I have been to 7-11’s that had more to offer. Shop at the Petworth Yes! Organic Foods!

  • That’s literally the only time I’ve heard something positive about that store in over a decade. The cashier should be elevated to manager or CEO. FYI rotting food is common at the DC Safeways, I cajoled DC government to do inspections for a while and then gave up. The Safeways are the only grocery stores in many areas and can basically do whatever they want and make tons of money. What disturbed me most was DC gov’s continual “we’ll look into it”. Had they just told me no I would have been happier. I now shop at Safeway in MD, for the record, vastly friendlier service and no rot. The big drawback is they don’t sell wine or beer, which is so DC.

    The problem with your dog is he’s too small! I got a 50 pounder so she could eat dumb things and survive easily 😉

  • I live about halfway between that Safeway and the new Giant and while I shop at Giant more, I go there a lot if I don’t need much because it’s usually a lot faster.

    I lived near the Adams Morgan Safeway in the early 90’s and certainly can sympathise with safeway-hate. But I haven’t found the Petworth one to be as bad as all that. If I’m going to buy a ton of stuff I’ll definitely go to Giant for the much better selection, but I have never found the fresh stuff there to be a lot different than any other non-gold-plated supermarket.

    Of course I used to shop at Bestway in Mt. Pleasant too so maybe my standards aren’t very high. And I would rather eat dirt before paying $4 for a pepper at Whole Foods or some other yuporganic market.

  • Grocery store checkout trifecta now in play…

  • saf

    “I now shop at Safeway in MD”

    Why? Seriously, they abuse your neighborhood, your city, and you still give them your money? Giant, Harris Teeter, Super Fresh – all of them treat the city MUCH better. Reward them with your shopping dollars.

  • My only other option nearby is a Whole Foods, which I do on occasion. I do the MD Giant in Hyattesville when I need to hit the Home Depot there too.

    If anything I hope that by transferring the use of my Safeway card from the DC Safeway to the MD Safeway without changing my address, I hope some dedicated data hound at Safeway HQ notices the change and decides to dig a little deeper. Hmmmm, yesssss, its all coming together. Mwahahhaahhhaaaaa.

  • I always thought the checkout folks at the Petworth Safeway were nicer than average too. (Also high marks to those at Rhodman’s and the old Magruders in Cleveland Park.) My Petworth shopping formula (this was pre-Yes!) was to pick up non-perishables at Safeway (cheap) and hit the Giant if I needed meat, or any quantity of fresh fruit or veggies.

  • I generally do not understand why the Safeway is Petworth has such a bad reputation. I go there quite a bit to pick up small items, items I forgot during the big shopping, or quick items for meals. I have found their employees to be much, much nicer, more helpful, and more polite than the employees at the Giant in Columbia Heights and most other grocery stores for that matter.

    I think I know which clerk the e-mailer is talking about. That guy is always very polite at the register.

  • @Pennywise, now you are clearly a DC hater. There’s a Home Depot in DC. In the same place as a Giant. And Hyattsville depot is, perhaps, the only one worse than DC.

    In all seriousness, DC Depot has gotten a lot better. I go there very often, it’s not that bad any more.

  • Poster: Get the clerk’s name and send an e-mail (or better yet, an actual letter) to Safeway store and corporate management. It’s nice to herald him here, but even better to people that can provide rewards in compensation and advancement.

    And thanks for posting something good…

  • I live up closer to MD than Rhode Island Ave, though I confess I stopped doing the Rhode Island Depot long ago after getting almost swept up in an employee brawl there. The employees were feral at least back then. Basically, its faster to Hyattesville and I don’t do Depot that often (Strohsniders is my place). Apologies if my shopping habits offend you, I tend to really hate giving my money to places that treat me like dirt or expect me to lower my standards. Its called a market economy, and thank goodness for it. And I stand by anything that denies money to DC government, which is somewhat like giving money to the Soviets, you never know how it will get people killed (or maintained as a permanent underclass). But I won’t disagree with being a DC hater, I hope to get out of here next year after 16 long, long years.

  • That clerk ensures that justice is done in line at the Petworth Safeway all the time. Its great to see someone else note and enjoy common courtesy we often do not extend to one another.

  • I hate the DC Depot with a passion. I either pick up stuff at the depot in Rkvl or I cave and pay at Fraeger’s. Dc Depot getting better is like saying Iraq has gotten better. It may be, but I’m still going to Florida for sun.

    The Giant there is actually worth shopping at….

  • The customer service there varies widely. I imagine it is hard to keep people employed in such a smelly work environment.

    The safeway up at piney branch and georgia is nice. Much better shopping experience than the CH Giant or Petworth Safeway.

  • I cant speak for Super Fresh as I have never been, and while the Teeter near Adams Morgan is nice I would hardly say that building a supermarket in an established neighborhood after essentially ignoring the city is treating it well. If you think Giant is so nice to DC then you should check out their location at 9th and O, just as bad as the Petworth Safeway, gross.

  • About six years ago at the 9th and O Giant a rat came running out the back and into the produce area. A couple women screamed, and a stocker said “Don’t worry, its just a baby, it won’t bite no one!” True story!

    Okay, enough blathering from me on this thread. Sharp stuff, Mr. Mystery Clerk. Keep up the fight.

  • saf

    Rob – I disagree on the 9th and O store. And actually, I am not really pleased with how they have treated us since they were sold to the Dutch. When they were locally owned, they were great.

    Harris Teeter didn’t come this far north until quite recently. I think coming into the city is a good thing. I just wish that Wegmans would come downtown. Makes me nuts that they don’t do cities any more.

    None of our grocery stores really make me REALLY happy. And so I do some shopping at Giant, some at HT, some at Yes, and as much as possible at farm markets. And Safeway will never see another dime of my money.

  • The people who work at Harris Teeter are so nice! And we went to the 9th and O Giant for a while, henceforth referred to as Slow Giant because it takes for freaking ever, and is gross.

  • the DC depot is radically better these days than it was a few years back. the home depot executive team got cleared out and obviously the new team is making a big difference. people smile, greet, help, etc, things that never used to happen.

  • Isn’t that Leroy? You should have seen how angry he was the other day when the lady came to the express line with like a zillion things in multiple voucher order. He kept his composure then too, barely. Helped me keep mine as I was next in line.

    Thicker steak cuts please!

  • Aren’t there plans to totally redo the Giant at 9th and O?

    Wish Pennyswise hadn’t shared that about the rat, as that’s the closest store to my place… yuck.

  • thanks for a great article about the petworth safeway and it’s employees!glad your dog is ok jamie!!i had to try that peroxide trick with my dog before too!

    i really wish that the petworth safeway didn’t smell so bad or have entire aisles where my shoes stick to the floors! i love the old building and it is close to where i live, but totally stinky!

    the safeway farther up on georgia avenue near walter reed isn’t much better either. i really don’t understand why they can’t use a rag to wipe off the conveyor belts.

    i prefer cleaner places and non-stinky places when i am purchasing food for the week!

  • btw jamie love your allegro pics! i live there!

  • Hmmm a grocery store thread — are you sure this isn’t the PQliving Blog?

  • oh hey this guy cut in line top story

  • Maybe I’m special, but I’ve been going to that Safeway for ten years and I’ve always found that the ONE thing going for it is that the checkout staff are always really polite.

    The place is pretty crappy in almost every other respect, but I can’t think of a single instance of rudeness or even indifference.

  • I agree with Geezer. Please write a letter to the store manager so that they employee can be recognized.

  • Agree w/ TokenPositiveComment,

    The Petworth safeway is not great in terms of selection and perishables, but I am always pleased with the courtesy shown by the staff.

  • I either pick up stuff at the depot in Rkvl or I cave and pay at Fraeger’s.

    I’ve found most of what’s at Frager’s to be comparable to the prices at Home Depot. The last time I rebuilt a deck, they actually had cheaper lumber than Home Depot’s, which was rotten, warped, and generally of the quality you’d come to expect from one of America’s worst retailers.

    And by shopping locally, you get the added benefit of not being a fucking community-destroying shit-nozzle.

  • The last time I went to the Petworth Safeway and asked them to use the cloth bags I brought instead of plastic the cashier just looked at me funny and started tossing my items on the belt behind him.

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