Overreaction Wednesday: GNC – Hell on Earth

22 05 2013


Well it’s been about a month since the mime’s been in action, and for that I, your fearless mime leader, apologize sincerely. It’s clear that our once steadfast promise to deliver the most premium written entertainment daily is a distant memory. I feel kind of like the deadbeat dad from Angels in the Outfield. Like I know my kid needs me, but I’d rather huff glue with drifters and make hollow promises about being a good dad the day some shitty ball club wins the ship instead.

Now, that doesn’t mean I can’t stop by my son’s school once every blue moon and pretend like I care. So consider this post a quick deadbeat blogger drop in, I’ll probably yell at you for listening to your mother too much, chug a Natty Ice tall boy and chances are I haven’t showered in a few days.

Alright enough with the lousy comparisons, let’s dive right in. Today I had an experience some might call “traumatic”. An experience that left me pissed off enough to hop on the world wide web and vent to the universe. That experience, if you can’t tell by the clever title of this post, was a fifteen minute trip to GNC. Yo, JD, why are you going to GNC in the first place? Need fish oil vitamins for high blood pressure or what? Nope, my blood pressure is legit. Actually, I go there to occasionally purchase protein powder. Hardy, har, har, laugh it up all you want. Here’s the deal, I like to keep it tight and keep it right, so naturally, I pump iron a few times a week. I Figure, hey, if I’m hitting the weight stacks regularly, I might as well chug a few protein shakes too, keep things swoll. But my protein intake to lack of muscle ratio isn’t important. What is happens to be the location of where my protein purchases often happen – a magical place called GNC.

Place is by far the single worst retail shopping experience you can get. I alluded to it in my Occupy This posting from way back, but I felt like today is a good time to expand on my hatred. If you’ve visited a GNC store in your lifetime, surely you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. Here’s how a shopping trip to hell typically goes:

1. You walk in. Chances are you’re the only customer and there can be anywhere from one to five employees waiting to pounce. If you somehow walk in unnoticed, do a victory dance and then sprint as fast as you can to what you want to purchase, throw a couple twenties on the counter and walk out. Don’t even bother getting change. Trust me.

2. An employee will ask you, “what brings you in today?” and usually end it with a “champ” or “bro” or “buddy” since they’re automatically your new personal nutritionist/best friend.

3. You’ll say, “Just grabbing some protein real quick” and will head directly towards where you think said protein is located.

4. Employee McTool will more than likely follow you and immediately critique the shit out of your selection…”Awww dude, we’ve got this new double whey mega blast powder that’s WAY FUCKING BETTER than what you’re looking at”.

5. If you’ve been there before you’ll probably shrug this comment off and head for the register. If you’re a GNC rookie you’re officially sucked in to the never ending selling vortex each GNC employee utilizes.

6. After what could wind up being an hour or two of running through all the “better deals” they have to offer you’ll head to the register to check out.

7. At this point you probably think you’re in the clear to pay and get the hell out of there. Noooo way, partner. Saddle up.

8. Cashier will ask you if you need any multivitamins, supplements, energy chews, omega 3 licorice ropes, hair softening breathmints, the list goes on and on.

9. You’ll say no, or maybe yes, depending on your exhaustion level and ability to comprehend each nutritional product.

10. They’ll start to ring you up…and STOP. Do you have a GNC gold card?

11. If you do, congrats, you better hope its the first week of the month or your gold card is useless. If you don’t, get ready to sign the fuck up for one.

12. You’ll sign up for your gold card. Chances are, its the 22nd of May and the card is useless, so you’ll pay for the fourteen items you suddenly realize you’re about to purchase.

13. Cashier will probably ask if you want to try one of the free mocha energy chew samples on the counter. Go ahead and try it, but be warned they taste like total ass.

14. Slide your debit card, sign your receipt and SPRINT TO YOUR CAR.

I wish some of that was an exaggeration, but unfortunately folks, it is not. At this point a number of you are probably thinking, JD if it sucks so much why don’t you go elsewhere? Or online? Good thought, reader. Problem is, I’m lazy and whenever I run out of protein, I scramble and go to the nearest shop which almost always happens to be a GNC. Plus, instead of waiting 5-7 business days for an online order, I like to drive there after work, because c’mon, my muscles can’t atrophy guys. My body is a temple, remember?

All in all, I think it’s safe to say GNC needs to switch up their methods. You’ve got damn near a monopoly on the nutritional supplements category, just ease off the suffocating sales pitches a little bit and I bet you’ll still do just fine. Oh and whatever SOP that says all employees must be muscular dickheads, yeah maybe burn that.

That’s all I got for this OW everyone.





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