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Pittsburgh’s “Culture of Complacency”

Filed under: , The Future Of,Food and Restaurants,Pittsburgh — jet @ 19:35

On the way home tonight I stopped at a PCLB store (state owned liquor and wine but no beer store) to pick up a bottle of cheap sake. Good sake is hard to find here, but at least PLCB stocks Sho Chiku Bai Nigori, a fine table/drinking nigori. The PLCB I stopped at has a history of having “something other than gekkikan”, so I was checking out the good stuff and considering maybe trying a new ginjo or two.

Then I noticed bottles of Sho Chiku Bai Organic Nama Nigori on the shelf.

Yeah, you read that right. “…Nama Nigori on the shelf”. I don’t know that non-refrigerated sake is bad for you, but it’s probably going to taste pretty foul.

What happened next is a wonderful example of what I think of as a culture of complacency.

Me: Excuse me, but there’s a problem with some of your stock.

Manager: What?

Me: This sake. It’s nama sake, it’s unpasteurized, and if it’s not refrigerated it will go bad. It’s probably not safe to drink either, I don’t think spoiled sake is something I’d want to drink.

Manager (showing no interest in looking at the bottle): They ship me stuff, I put it where they tell me.

Me: Right, but they apparently didn’t tell you this needs to go in the fridge.   

Manager (still no interest in looking at the bottle): Look, I told you, they ship me stuff, I put it where they tell me.

Me: Ok, but it even says on the bottle to “keep refrigerated”. If it’s gone bad, or if it’s a health risk, you aren’t going to at least take it off the shelf?

Manager: Nobody’s returned any of it yet.

Me: Well, you just started carrying this. I’ve been living here 3 years, this is the first time I’ve seen nama anywhere in a state store.

Manager: I’m telling you, they ship me stuff, I put it where they tell me. You don’t have to buy it if you don’t want it.

And yes, I’m notifying the PLCB and ACHD including store and date/time of visit…

I’d like to think that if I went to a manager/owner of a privately owned store and said, “hey, one of your products is definitely gone off and might be bad for someone to drink” that their response wouldn’t be “so?”

[tags]complacency, pittsburgh, plcb, sake[/tags]

1 Comment »

  1. I’ve read about state operated liquor stores but had very little experience with them. No such thing here in Wisconsin and from what it sounds like, you can keep them.

    It does sound like you have more choices for sake out there, though.

    Comment by Jeffrey — 2009/08/09 @ 11:01

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