The school district I sub for is closed this week. It's officially closed for two weeks, but this could go longer, depending. So, I'm off for the duration.
However, last week was business as usual, so I do have some subbing stories for Thursday and Friday. And I can probably dig up some stories that haven't been posted for the next couple weeks. Or I might go on "summer schedule". It'll depend on my mood.
As we left campus on Friday, we thought it would be business as usual Monday. I even had gigs scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week. As I drove home, the order came down from the governor to close the schools. I didn't hear about it until the sub caller gave me a call to let me know. That's when I checked my email and found the official word from the district superintendent.
It was a couple hours later that my roommates and I started thinking. Perhaps we should make a quick grocery run? Just in case...
Yeah, us and every other person in the city.
I've never seen such a thing before. There were no shopping carts, so we retrieved a couple from the parking lot. And the shelves were mostly bare. We got there about 4 PM (totally should have gone earlier, but this was when we thought of it).
I'm not great at panic buying, so I went to look for the two things I knew I needed: milk and eggs. And I was able to find them.
After I got through the line, which wasn't bad, I went to sit at the entrance and wait for my roommates. And it was fascinating.
There was a constant stream of people coming in and going out. I had been there a couple minutes when the store manager came in with a dozen or so shopping carts. Those were taken by incoming shoppers in about a minute. This process was repeated several times while I sat there. Every time the manager came back, all the carts he had brought in before were gone.
At one point, the manager came back in to find that the rugs near the door had jammed the door. He calmly fixed it. And people kept coming in and going out.
There were families. Plenty of mothers with children. Older people. Some went out with a couple items, but many had full carts. (The person in front of me in line spent over $300 on her groceries.)
There was a station with wipes for the carts. As a customer left, he found it empty. I shrugged that that was to be expected. He said that it wasn't empty when he came in.
It wasn't much later that a woman found an employee and pointed out the empty wipes thing. The employee filled that thing right up, and was pleasant to the woman as he did it.
I swear, the grocery store employees are heroes. I can't imagine the crazy they'd been dealing with (and I worked for the evil toy store, now defunct, for eleven Christmas seasons). Yet, they were all very pleasant even though they must be so very stressed out.
The manager returned with another batch of shopping carts. A woman noticed his name tag and that his picture was on the sign as "store manager". She needed to talk with him.
She told him that the shelves were empty. The manager admitted that they were. She wanted to know where the food was. He just kind of looked around at all the people passing by and shrugged. She asked if they were going to restock. The manager informed her that they were expecting a shipment later that night.
This wasn't good enough for the woman, but she didn't cuss him out or anything. She seemed genuinely perplexed.
Eventually my roommates made it through the lines, and we left. While it was a strange experience, I'm glad we made the trip. I think I needed to see this for real, not just hear about it online. Because, wow.
Stay safe out there. I wish you all good health.