This is not the end of the world as we know it

Even though you wouldn’t be able to tell it if you happen to venture out to the grocery store. We’ve all seen the stories about how toilet paper and hand sanitizer, among other things, are out of stock. Why has this happened? Because people are acting like they’ll never be able to get to the store and by anything ever again.

In other words, people are reacting and not thinking.

Yes, Covid-19 is serious and we should take certain precautions. But don’t be the woman I saw yesterday waiting for curbside delivery of her groceries. She drove a mid-sized sedan. The young man who brought out her groceries could barely pull the dolly, it was loaded down so heavily. Mom and I watched as he filled her trunk and then started filling the backseat of her car. We watched for probably five minutes as he tried to organize and arrange so she could see out the back window. He was still working when our three bags of groceries and three 12-packs of Diet Coke (because we had to buy three to get the discount) were brought out. The gentleman who loaded my order for me told me their meat and vegetable departments were almost stripped. Two of the items I’d ordered were out of stock. People were crazy–he said it nicer than that but the implication was clear.

Half an hour later, I got a firsthand view at how the idiocy of people was translating to those trying to keep our store shelves stocked. I unpacked my groceries and realized I didn’t have all the meat I’d ordered–I was short on pack of pork chops and one roast. I checked the receipt and it showed they should have been there. The two items out of stock were listed and noted out of stock. So I did what anyone would. I called the store.

This is where my temper almost got the better of me. Once my call was put through to the department handling curbside pickup, I was told they didn’t have time to deal with order problems. They “might” call me back Saturday–today. Then the guy hung up. No confirming my name. No making sure he had my phone number. No getting my order number. Just “we’re slammed” and the sound of the call ending.

I waited until this morning to try again. At 0636, I called. Same song, second verse. They were slammed. They didn’t have time to talk. They’d call me Monday or Tuesday. Call ended without confirming name, number, nothing.

Part of me blames the store because steps should have been taken immediately once they saw they were getting slammed with orders. Other stores already have done so. They’ve put a limit on the number of in-demand items that can be purchased at a time. Not just toilet paper and hand sanitizer but staple goods as well. These same stores have cut down on the number of customers they can handle on the curbside of things because orders are larger and take more time to fill and then to get out and into the customer’s vehicle.

Part of me knows the end result of this will be I’ll remember the frustration with the store long after I forget about why things got so out of hand. The only reason I’ve not marched myself up to the store to ask my questions is they have yet to send the charge for the order through to my credit card company. Think about that. The policy on curbside pickups is you are charged before you get there. It is now more than 12 hours after I picked up the order and almost 24 hours since I placed it and the charge has yet to go through.

And all because people are panicking and being stupid.

Here’s where I ask each of you to stop and think before putting yourselves out in public. Here in the DFW area, our schools have been closed for the next 2 weeks. A number of events, public locations, etc., have been canceled or closed. Yet, if you are in Dallas County or similar locations, you can go to work or to the movies. The key is any gathering over 500 people is a no-no. This allows movie theaters, those huge multiplex buildings, to continue operating because of the size of the individual theaters inside. Sounds good. But now think about how many people you will be shoulder to shoulder with, toe to heel with as you wait at the concession stands. Or what about your job in the high rise building. Your office may only employee double or triple digits but you still have to get in the elevator. How many people are in that small space with you?

I’m not saying don’t go out. I’m saying take precautions. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Be aware of your personal space elsewhere. Wash your hands.

Stay safe. Stay smart. Don’t panic. Check on family and friends.

And don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

4 Comments

  1. “We’re All Going To Die From AIDS”.

    “The Y2K Bug Is Going To Destroy Civilization”.

    Only two examples of the nonsense I’ve heard during my life. 😡

    1. Yep. Frankly, I was more worried after 9/11 then I am now. But I am more worried about idiots not being smart about self-isolation, etc., when needed. That’s one reason I am not too bent out of shape over most of the closings.

  2. Y2K was probably the last time I saw anywhere near this type of panicky buying, and even then I don’t remember it being this bad. People are losing their minds. People I know who are reasonably intelligent are losing their minds. It’s really weird.

    I’m more concerned about our economy over the next few months than I am about the actual Wu-flu.

    1. Same here. I think we’ll come through it, but businesses are going to hurt and those that have been operating on the edge very well might tip over.

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