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calendar   Friday - March 20, 2020

Things Have Changed

I could have written this short post pretty much at any time over the past 5 years, but I’m doing it now because today was the worst of it I’ve ever seen.

We have one grocery store in town. We used to have 2, but the A&P went out of business.

I had my first real job, actually my first real career path, in the grocery industry. I started out as a cashier, eventually went full time, became a manager, and spent 13 years there.  But when I was a cashier, way back in 1977, we had to be fast. And I was the fastest. There were no scanners; you pretty much learned the prices of everything, even though in those Carter days of wild inflation they changed constantly.

Now there seems to be a rule that whoever is the slowest, most dimwitted, most nearly dead employee they can find becomes the Express cashier. WTH?

~~~~

We raced in to the grocery store to get a card because her sister is getting married this afternoon. That’s another FUBAR I don’t want to go into, but there have been tears, yelling, phone calls, constantly changing plans and venues ... and the bottom line is, that wedding will take place on the deck in their backyard with just a couple guests, because you can’t have even a small crowd not even in a church, the Justice of the Peace is closed over at Town Hall, and the preacher they did manage to get at the last second is having and Abundance Of Caution and won’t even go in their house. And us, the other 2 guests, but with my wife’s coworker out sick and waiting for EIGHT DAYS now on her coronavirus test results from CDC, neither of us knows if we were exposed. And her dad will be there and he’s in his 80s with various medical conditions. Oh yeah, it’s been so much fun here. A regular stress factory for over a week, with the dial turned up to 11 24-7.

So we’re in the grocery store, got a card and a few things while we’re there, and we go to get on line. But there’s a line director (!!!) who shunts us off to the back of the remote line. Which starts in the dairy aisle, wraps across the frozen food zone, down the far side, across the back, up the other side, back out of the dairy zone, and then all the way down the nearly empty bread and toilet paper aisle. Had to be at least 100 customers, all doing Social Distancing. We’d be there for hours. And the front end has just 3 registers going and no baggers. Because it’s 1:30 in the afternoon and that’s the slack time usually.

To Hell with this.

So I was a good former grocery store boy and put the meat back. We left the rest in the cart and went across the lot to Walmart. Which wasn’t very busy because 1) they have almost no food in their mini-grocery area, and 2) while they had NO cashiers on duty, they’ve converted the front end to have about 16 Self Check stations. She got the exact same card and was out in 3 minutes.

And now the rumor is that NJ is going to shut down the liquor stores like PA did yesterday. What fun!!

At least I have time to grab a shower and get my clothes through the dryer. Then we can drive an hour, go watch the ceremony while wearing masks and gloves, toast the bride and groom from a distance, and then drive home. In rush hour.

[ hours later ] And we’re back. Actually we were there for 4 hours. It was very nice. The sun came out and the weather was perfect. We had a couple of pizzas delivered for the wedding feast and washed it down with champagne. It was just the 5 of us, and we had a great time talking - well, nearly yelling - as we all stayed a good distance apart on their large deck. And J and G are now happily married, so three cheers for them. We got back, changed clothes, and took a nap.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/20/2020 at 01:12 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifePandemic Pandemonium •  
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