Home > Uncategorized > Quarantine Diaries – Day 43 (Sam’s Club)

Quarantine Diaries – Day 43 (Sam’s Club)

samsclubWe had to stock up. So a trip to Sam’s Club was required. Sometimes during a dance marathon you gotta waltz with the devil.

So we loaded up. Masks. Check. Bottle of hand sanitizer? Check. Disposable wipes? Check. Sanity? Well…

It was around noon. On a Saturday. Things could get ugly under normal circumstances at a Sam’s Club at noon on a Saturday. These were not normal circumstances. I’m sure you’ve heard.

Also, we actually needed the gold, frankincense, and myrrh of pandemic life.

Yes. Toilet paper. Paper towels. And hand sanitizer. This could be bad. I felt like a soldier heading into battle.

(You need to understand that I despise Sam’s Club. I despise Wal-Mart. I hate crowds and the Walton family with equal intensity. I always feel like I’m exploiting about 298 groups of people when I’m there. I always shop local. But we needed the bulk stuff, and our local store was out of it. And things are just really weird right now. So….judge not lest ye be judged and all that.)

We arrived and gently navigated the bumper-cars that is the parking lot. Chaos. But pretty general Sam’s Club chaos. There was no waiting line to enter, as I was expecting. People seemed to be filing in and out. Pretty normal stuff. We found a cart, waved our card at the membership-card guy, and entered the belly of the beast. I expected…..I don’t know. Something bad. Something apocalyptic. Mass panic or brawling over soap. I expected to write about it. I didn’t expect I’d be writing this.

What I found was as close to normalcy as you could ask for. The place was packed (probably over-packed, legally speaking, but I have no idea how you determine this on some sort of ad-hoc basis), but folks did their best to socially distance. For the most part it was impossible, but we tried, almost comically clinging to one side of the aisle as somebody did the same coming in the other direction. And I only saw one person not wearing a mask. Just one. She was a miserable looking boomer all by herself, scowling as if daring somebody to call her on this breach of covid-etiquette, and the law itself. I quickly lost track of her. Probably a good thing. I wonder who she’s voting for?

All variety of masks too. Bandanas. Scarves. Stretched socks. And the professional, official looking ones I’m still not sure where to find. Nobody was being whiny about it. It’s amazing what you can get used to, isn’t it?

Nobody was bothering anybody else. Everybody minding their own business. Nobody acting like a tool. The employees were very helpful. The place was reasonably stocked (except for hand sanitizer….not a drop remained). Toilet paper and paper towels were in abundance. Nobody was hoard buying or anything dickish like that. So there seemed enough for everybody.

Our cart was piled so high with Sam-sized stuff it was hard to navigate. We eventually managed to make our way to the check-out area, where more employees were stationed to direct traffic. Self check-out? Stand over here. Regular check-out? This or that line. Tape was on the floor, measuring out the 6 feet boundaries. When it was your turn they unloaded your cart while you stood back. While waiting you could wash your hands at the portable sink they had set up. It was like a finely tuned military operation. The commander stood behind us, a roving eye out for any delay at any register. If she spotted one, she was quick to call in re-enforcements. Things kept moving. I suddenly wished her in the White House.

People get all pissy and stop cooperating when they detect that there’s no plan in place. When they feel like they’re left to fend for themselves.

But today….everybody sensed that wasn’t the case. We all did what we were told, because we could see that what they had in place was working. It was working for the staff. And it was working for the customers.

And the folks in charge? Probably making what….$12 an hour? This was heroic stuff. I was watching the doors. A steady stream of people leaving….and entering at the same time. Somehow they made it all work. It was, dare I say it, inspirational to see. It made me think that maybe….just maybe….we can pull together when all this is over and find some common ground.

To the staff of the Dickson City Sam’s Club, thank you.

I’m sure you don’t hear that enough.

In a bit..

–tf

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s