Lately, I do a lot of shopping. Meaning: I drive from one store to another hoping to find bread, beans, disinfecting wipes (for basic household clean up), toilet paper, paper towels, multi-surface cleaner, and butter.
These are all items that have been disappearing from store shelves, along with pasta.
Pasta. I already have pasta.
Everyone has become a survivalist living in the wilderness, or they have developed OCD.
It’s very frustrating.
My son has severe OCD.
He actually functions in this weird reality where he “needs” cleaning products. There is one he uses that has a lot less chemicals and so I prefer to buy that brand. But they are sold out EVERYWHERE. People panicked-bought his basic sustenance.
Because I am on this neverending search I spend a lot of time driving between a couple of cities and visiting certain stores more often than others.
I used to work at Target, and so I tend to go there. I also stop by and say “Hi” to old friends and co-workers.
This is what I have found out.
If you want to get COVID-19 go to Walmart. They are set up for maximum contagion. You walk in Walmart and it’s every man and woman for him or her self.
Let’s just get on with it:
Target vs. Walmart
Battle of the Pandemic Titans
First is the initial walk into the store.
At Target there is a friendly greeter cleaning every inch of cart or hand basket with disinfectant. They greet you and happily pass over the cleaned product for ultimate anxiety relieved shopping experience. They are even wearing a mask and gloves.
Walmart. You walk in. There is an overly used bottle of disinfectant cleaner hooked onto a bucket with a bunch of what looks like “used” rags.
Clean the cart yourself.
The man in front of me grabs the bottle, coughs and looks unkempt, sprays his cart in a rapid and frenzied set of arcs, coughs some more and then places the spray bottle back on the bucket, after wiping his nose with the back of his hand – the same hand that held the bottle.
I glance over to the other couple waiting to walk into store at a safe distance of around six feet.
We uncomfortably glance to the carts, the bottle and one another.
We are both wondering who wants to risk touching that over-handled bottle with newly spread corona virus on the handle.
I decide I don’t need a cart and walk past and head inside. I’m desperately looking for just ONE bottle of multi-surface cleaner, a small container of disinfect wipes, or possibly a small bag of black beans.
I’ll settle for just about anything at this point.
I don’t need much… and possibly a set of indoor slippers now that I’ve found out you carry COVID-19 on your shoes when you walk into the house.
Initial Entry – Target
Next, Comfort While Shopping
Walking through the Target over the loud speaker a gentle voice announces every 30 minutes to an hour a reminder, “Please, during this time, to keep one another safe please stay a safe distance of around six feet from store employees and fellow patrons to keep one another safe.” Or, something to that effect. It was a very calming and gentle voice and a good reminder. We all smile as we shop, feeling comforted and reminded to not get too close.
Walmart. I walk in and there are people rushing across the aisles, some try to bump into me and get to where they want to go. The workers look haggard and worn down. I feel heavy breathing behind me and can sense someone rushing up quickly and invading my personal space.
I am walking a little faster, and I can hear they have picked up their pace.
I finally, as I can almost feel their breath on my neck, take a hard right and hide between some clothes, as that person rushes past me.
He was just some upper-middle-class looking guy who had no clue that you need to stay away from others when in a store, and really wanting to buy something fast.
But then, there was no announcements. You walk into Walmart and you are on your own.
Comfort While Shopping – Target
Feeling Safely Distant
There is a new thing at Target where they have marked the flooring with bright blue “X’s” on the flooring near the cashiers to help guide people to stay a safe six foot distance from one another within the checkout lines.
Smart idea. It is just another little addition to help shoppers keep their distance and make everything easier – taking the burden off the cashiers to remind people where to stand, and to keep the people in the lines feeling comforted they are at a safe distance from one another.
Walmart – nothing. They are all up in your face, especially that guy who was rushing through the store and has no idea what is “personal space.”
You just need to brave your way through the checkout line in a timely manner and hope the people around you are not dumb dumb idiots.
Safety in the Checkout – Target
Target has a person right there, telling people to wait in the line, as they disinfect anything that had been touched by the person previously. They spray the reader, the credit card machine, the touch screen, and all the areas bags were placed.
And then, with a smile, guide you forward with a gloved hand. We all stand on our blue “x’s”.
Walmart, the worker looks lost, much too elderly to be working during this time, as they stand there with an overly used set of gloves on and wishing they were at home, and almost unsure why they are stuck standing at the checkout lane.
(I wish I could have taken a photo of the frightened looking elderly man who I am sure had English as a second language.)
I go to buy my product and the reader and scanner all looks disgustingly dirty and has not been cleaned for a day or two. I bravely scan my item without touching anything, shooting it into the bag, paying as quickly and with as little touch as possible, and then escape this COVID-19 heavy store.
Self-Checkout – Target
Target has placed it’s employees of a certain age (over 60 or 65 – can’t remember), pregnant, or with any medical vulnerabilities, that would make them more susceptible to the COVID-19, a paid leave of absence (LOA) for at least 30 days.
I spoke with my old boss in regard to one of my dear friends who was nearing 80, and she assured me she had been placed on LOA for awhile. I was thankful.
Walmart… hires more workers. You need a job. You might die. But that’s okay, you’ll get their low paid job at this very necessary time.
Employee treatment gets a big win for Target!
End Result – Target Wins!
Does that mean anything? Let’s face it, they are all being overworked in a hazardous situation. So, please don’t be a jerk. At least, give them a smile… at a safe distance… and say “Thanks.”
Target is also spending more time disinfecting the entire store consistently. I have not seen the same at Walmart.
So, its up to you to decide. This is my experience from stores I actually shop at, and I’m sure you shop at your own places. Please let me know in the comments if you’ve noticed stores that go out of their way to comfort their patrons or even go out of their way to diss their patrons. I’d love to hear about it.
At the End of the Day
I walk in my door, wash my hands, and then place my new slippers on, relaxing and hoping I don’t have to go out again for awhile.
Now, this experience happens to me with maybe five or six stores when I do go out, if not more, in my search for items.
I just wish people would buy only what they need and then there would be enough for everyone else. I truly am concerned for people with babies who need diapers and baby wipes, women who need feminine products (I am at an age where I do not need these), or people who have a limited income and can’t stock up or hoard needed every day items.
I don’t buy some of these certain items but have noticed those shelves or baby or female products are glaringly empty at a lot of stores.
I just have an OCD son who is having to learn to survive on less cleaning products, and in that way it is helpful.
Please enjoy your day of seeking and searching and finding what you need – quite literally. 🙂
Love you Grace, sleep well! 🙂 ❤