Friday, 27 February 2009

Oh, Dia

Ever since we moved to Madrid, I've been doing the shopping at the local Dia. This is a super-cheap supermarket brand that belongs to Carrefour, and I sometimes think they get the crap that Carrefour can't sell. They certainly have an interesting employment policy: anyone with any trace of charm or positivity is either not hired or given some kind of programming to make them miserable, rude and unhelpful - or maybe it's the shite wages. They also have an interesting attitude to queues: they will only open a second checkout when the queue at the first has reached thirty or forty people. And they don't like to keep money in the tills in case somebody steals it: whenever a till has more than 200 Euros in it, the 'manager' comes and takes it away to put in the safe. This means, of course, that the next person in the queue who presents a fifty Euro note to pay for ten Euros worth of purchases (and it's always me), gets a mouthful of abuse from the checkout operator, who then has to go and find the 'manager' to get some change. In short, I hated it. If there's a worse word than 'hated', I did that too.

So, a month ago, they closed it. For refurbishment.

This was slightly inconvenient, because the next nearest supermarket (also a sodding Dia), is at least twice as far away, and it's half the size. Although they do manage to keep their queues down, and there is a rather nice Irish bar close by.

The local Dia re-opened about a week ago. It's nice and shiny and fresh and clean. They seem to have an expanded range of stuff, and they sometimes have more than one checkout open at a time. The staff are still not exactly wonderful, but I no longer dread my little shopping expeditions.

So I guess the only loser is the guy who used to open the street doors in the hope that you would tip him (as if: these people shop at Dia, for God's sake - that means they have no money!) - it now has automatic sliding doors.


MADrid REDS said...

I used to detest that place Keef, though it is the closest and have not been back there in a long time. Only any good for the basics and terrible service and queues as you say.

Have since been getting the Metro two stops to Callao to shop in El Corte Inglés (which has it's own entrance to the Metro, but I can never find the exit from the Metro right into the store). It's less walking, but expensive of course. In these times of crisis, I might give Día another try if it has improved.

When they finally finish the hole in the ground is our local market "refurbishment" - I'll be back in there of course. They're opening an OpenCor in it as well, but they aren't the cheapest as you know.

PS. I think it's time to get tough with our landlords - the building is looking terrible and we have no doorman and no reduction in the rent.

Troy said...

Aww, give Dia a break. It is easily some of the most interesting people watching in the world. The queue jumping is simply outrageous.

I remember one of the typical Spanish women with the Carmen Sevilla hairdos, pearls and the de rigeur fur coat walking out once and the alarm went off, giving her a scare and thus dropping the 3 bottles of Vodka she had stashed in her coat, all to a crashing end.

Better than the cinema for my penny pinching Euro.