The phone vibrates and I pick it up. “Hey, Patrick,” I say before I hear a word.
“Hello, Karen. Your order is ready early, if you want to come get it. Also, was there anything else you needed?”
Out of all the things that COVID-19 has brought into my life, the biggest change for me has been curbside pick-up.
Being immunosuppressed, and with multiple health conditions that put me in the “extreme risk” category, has meant that I stay in my house, or in my car, or on a beach a quarter-kilometre away from anyone else (save members of my household and a certain friend with his dog). Curbside pick-up began as a necessity for me, but I will not be giving it up when things are a-okay again. I simply load the dog in the car, drive Buzz (my little red Suzuki SX4, AKA the mobile bubble) up to the store’s curb, make a phone call, open my trunk, and watch as things are loaded in. It’s magical.
Do I need groceries? Curbside pick-up at the Superstore. Some white-out and more paper for my mini photo printer? Curbside pick-up at Staples. Out of washi tape or wooden craft discs? Curbside pick-up at Michaels. Need a new windshield wiper, a toaster oven, dog treats, and treadmill lubricant? Curbside pick-up at Canadian Tire.
I didn’t realize just how much I hated shopping (and searching for specific items) until I could play with an app before going to sleep, and someone else who knows the store much better than I do takes the time to find things. It’s like elves, or something.
Patrick at the grocery store is not an elf — he is a full-grown young man likely in his early twenties — but over the past 51 weeks since Covid arrived here, he has been one of the few friendly faces I see on a regular basis, and I am grateful for his conversation as well as his help.
Just ask those at head office who read my weekly survey responses.
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