There’s a first time for everything, right?
Welcome to my (somewhat) scandal of (somewhat) online grocery shopping!
After selecting items for my virtual cart, including a carton of whipping cream, I chose an hour timeframe to pick them up that evening and logged out. Then my daughter realized we were running low on certain girl products, so I created another order for a certain type of those girl products. At this point, I actually had the following text conversation with a friend who is an online grocery shopping professional:
Me: Just submitted my very first online grocery store order. Taking a bow. Thank you. Thank you.
Her: You’re gonna love it!! (laughing with tears emojis)
Me: Except I forgot one item after I submitted the order. Pantyliners. So I did a second order just for that. Welp. Hope a teen boy doesn’t have to fulfill that one!
Today happened to be the last day of a job I unexpectedly resigned from a couple weeks earlier and I was recovering from the mental roller coaster of being there for one last hour. I quickly stopped by the house to unload my box of belongings that had accumulated in an office cubicle for the past 6+ years. Then I followed the text instructions from the grocery store saying my order was ready for pick up, but they didn’t have the ½ gallon of 1% milk on my list. Dang. That’s basic.
I pulled into space 4 and called the number on the sign, gave the representative my name and he said someone would be right out.
I saw other people parked with open trunks so I went out and opened the back hatch on my vehicle. Moments later, you guessed it … a teen boy shows up and puts my order in the back. He looked at a paper in his hand, repeated my name and said ‘You’re all set’. I thanked him, not realizing what he had placed in my car, then added, ‘I got a text that said you didn’t have any milk?’ He looked at the paper again, very confused and muttered something like, ‘I just show that we substituted something. You’re all set.’ Thought: Hmmm…that was a fast transfer of bags. I got out to shut the hatch and saw one lonely plastic bag with a box in it, a different brand of pantyliners than what was ordered! Ohhhhh … now I see why he looked like he wanted to run away when I started asking questions. Probably not an item he wanted to have a convo about. Hopefully he wasn’t the one who shopped for it and had to choose a substitute brand too!
Lesson #1: Go ahead and tell the representative on the phone that you have 2 orders to pick up!
As he quickly walked away, I let him know there are groceries under my name as well. He nodded. I called a friend to pass the time … the 20 minutes of time! I looked over at the door where the employees were loading carts and saw the teen who had been basically mortified with my order moments earlier; it appeared he was leaving for the day! I called the number again and politely mentioned that I had been waiting for another order. This young man apologized and after another few minutes, delivered the second, and much larger, round of items. It was either an apparent shift change issue, or the first young man was NOT going to return to my car for obvious reasons. haha I said nothing about it and just thanked him. He proceeded to say that because of the inconvenience, $10 would be taken off my order. Bonus!
Before he left, I asked about the missing milk. ‘Oh, we didn’t have that size,’ he replied.
Lesson #2: It’s probably better to leave the ‘allow substitutions’ option open, like I accidentally, but fortunately did on the second order! I could have avoided what happened next…
I casually informed him that I didn’t have a mask (recently ‘required’ in the city due to COVID issues and I’m not a fan), but I still wanted the milk. ‘If I go into the store, will they say anything?’ He says, ‘No, the employees won’t, but the customers might!’ Good point, and the reason I tried online grocery shopping to begin with. I found a new parking space, left my groceries in the hot car, walked in with the infamous substitution paper over part of my face and bee-lined it to the back of the store. Clearly, they restocked the 1/2 gallons of 1% milk since someone fulfilled my order because there were plenty available. Ugh. I grabbed two of them and quickly moved through the self check-out process.
Finally on my way over 30 minutes later, I realized While in Reality, I could have by-passed the entire online process and completed a good ol’ fashioned grocery shopping trip in the same amount of time. Too late!
Upon arriving home, I unpacked the whipping cream for the layered crepe cake my daughter saw a recipe for on YouTube (her new online teacher since school has been out for so long). ‘Oh, that’s not enough,’ she said. Really? I grabbed my phone and looked up the closing time for a gourmet (i.e. expensive) grocery store across the street from our house. I had 10 minutes. After a long day, it was getting dark and I didn’t feel like tipping the disappointment scale of a 13 yr. old female, so I got back in the car and attempted to sneak into another store maskless. Whatta ya know? Cartons of whipping cream were on sale and cheaper than the regular grocery store. Another first. I’ll take two again.
Lesson #3: Plan ahead a bit more and place the online order a day prior, review quantities with family members, and modify the order as needed up until midnight the night before pick up!
As I’m paying for yet another missing dairy item, the young cashier and I started chatting about his day. ‘Oh you know, just workin’ and pursuing my dreams,’ he said. ‘What dreams would those be?’ ‘Well, I’m into music so I write rap songs and someone told me the other day that what I said in the lyrics really helped him emotionally because he could relate.’ I smiled, which he could actually see with the lack of a mask, and mentioned that God can use anything to encourage someone. Then I added, ‘Keep speaking truth.’ He smiled (from what I could tell by the upper portion of his face) and seemed very appreciative of the friendliness and interest about his life.
At least the latter interaction was uplifting to the clerk at end of his shift, unlike the embarrassment caused to the one earlier!
Well, there you have it, my first (somewhat) online and (somewhat) scandalous evening of grocery shopping. Certain girl products back in the house and my daughter’s layered crepe cake a success. Whew! Not bad for an amateur. Did I love it? Let’s just say it was fun to write about.