Dear PoPville – Anyone Know What Happened at the Columbia Heights Giant Last Night?

by Prince Of Petworth April 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm 26 Comments

Dear PoPville,

I took this picture with my phone around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. It’s at the Giant in Columbia Heights. There was a massive mess in one of the aisles, so big that at least three employees were cleaning it up. It also seemed like an entire set of shelves was removed to help get rid of the mess. Any idea what caused this?

Anyone happen to know what happened?

  • Grand Funk

    Could’ve done without the butt crack in the photo

    • Reminds me of that hilarious SNL “ad” for coin-slot cream.

  • Michael

    They have been disassembling the shelves for the last few days and doing some other maintenance (which is really annoying if the stuff you went to buy happens to be on one of the shelves that is disassembled). It looks like that was not a spill but just the dirt and other crap that has accumulated under the shelf over time.

  • Anonymous

    I almost forgot what a filthy store that Giant is! So glad that’s no longer the grocery store closest to my apartment. Bleh.

    • 17thSter

      Soviet Safeway is also nasty. The milk section smells rotten.

    • Anonymous

      I think any Giant (or probably any grocery store for that matter) would look like this if they ripped out the shelving. The yuppie suburban Giant I used to go to looked like this when they did a similar reno.

      • anon

        As someone who once dealt with this sort of thing as a Wegmans in Upstate NY, I can say that Anonymous 2 p.m. is correct: When you rearrange shelves in grocery stores, this is what the floor looks like.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, but look at all the floor filth that is *NOT* in the areas where the shelves once stood. It’s pretty easy to see that this store’s floors are disgusting.

  • Anonymous

    They split the produce rack at the entry door and left a gap. Very useful to alleviate the bottle neck that occurs all the time.

  • phoebe

    My brother was once in an old 1960s-era grocery store that new owners were remodeling. He said they had removed a long, low freezer aisle and underneath it was a literal carpet of cigarette butts. So maybe it could be worse? (I bet the area underneath my refrigerator is not the cleanest part of the house.)

    • jay

      People *smoked* in grocery stores in the 60s?!!

      • mk

        people smoked in doctor’s offices in the 60’s.

      • Anonymous

        Hell, people smoked in grocery stores in the 70’s and early 80’s, even!

  • Why didn’t you just ask one of the employees while you were there?

    • dreas

      Yeah, my thought, too. If you’re standing there for long enough to take a photo, and you’re interested enough to write an email to PoP asking about it, why not take five or ten steps forward to ask the one of the guys who’s cleaning up the floor?

      • molly

        oh my gawd I know. why are people so hesitant to talk to other human beings?

    • parkviewj

      Seriously OP, please answer this question. Why do you have to make a blog posting out of something that is simply about asking the Giant folks. They’re not monsters.

  • John

    Can I just point out that this has to be most obnoxiously passive way to get an answer to something? Why didn’t you just ask the Giant employee standing there?

    That being said, having worked in a grocery store I will confirm that the “undershelf” does in fact get pretty grimy after even a few months. Grocery stores try to limit these cleanings to once a year, preferably when a store is closed. However, it’s not unusual for them to have to clean under shelves if a potentially smelly liquid is spilled (pickles were the worst offenders, followed by milk and salad dressing)

  • Joe

    As other have said, probably a spill that got under one of the shelves or regular cleaning. If the mess extended beyond the footprint of the shelves I’d say probably a spill (when I worked at a Target a few years back someone dropped a gallon of milk and it burst open, the puddle went under the shelves as clean and pure as…well…fresh milk, came out the other side as a vile brown wave of filth).

  • Anonymous

    There’s a bunch of equipment being stored at the far end of the 2nd level of the parking deck (and some in the loading dock as well). Maybe they are replacing / remodeling a bit.

  • I ran by Giant last night for about five minutes. The walls were being repainted a pastel yellow and what sounded like a jackhammer was being used in the produce section near the seafood counter. It’d be fair to guess that they’re remodeling.

  • BW

    I am so glad I don’t have to go to this 9th ring of hell anymore. Feel for those who still have to.

  • Thatsmygiant

    Ask an employee at the Giant?? Yeah great idea if you want a face full of attitude. I have gone into this place a number of times in a great mood and just been pissed off by the employees. Maybe I should be a little fair and say cashiers. It’s like the manager of this place hires folks with the worst attitude and then places them in a position where they come in contact with the most people. I have had cashiers not say one word to me while checking out. I have had cashiers that would text while scanning groceries. I have seen cashiers GIVE AWAY stuff that the “customer” left in their cart. I was so happy when Target started selling food. Once the Trader Joe’s opens on U street, this place can kiss my ass – I’ll never go back. If they are in fact doing a renovation, they may want to also take a serious look at their employees. There are still folks out there without a job who would happily step into the shoes of someone who simply “won’t” do the job they were hired to do.


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