For years, my neighbors have been getting their groceries from Fresh Direct. The boxes pile up in the lobby, and I wonder how they can be so busy they cannot walk the three short blocks to our local supermarket.
In the time of social distancing, however, I do not want to go to the store. My supermarket now has a shopping hour set aside for those of us extra-careful of our health, but it’s 7-8 a.m., a time I am usually still asleep, and not being a morning person, I hesitate to try this.
So yesterday, I decided to try the online order world and have that local store deliver. I registered for an account and started scrolling through the choices. It was strange. Nothing was organized like the store, that is, items that were the same but different sizes or different brands were not grouped together, so what I at first thought were duplicates I realized after a while were just different package sizes or brands. Also, there was no way to know whether the items showing up on the webpage were indeed in stock. There were Chlorox sanitizing wipes, so I clicked on them, but they did not arrive. Neither did the Hass avocado or the pound of flounder filet.
Most annoying, the rotisserie chicken I wanted (okay, I could have roasted a chicken myself, but I’ve done enough cooking in the past two weeks, and this store’s rotisserie chicken is quite good), I could not find it in the Prepacked Food selection. I called the store, and the woman I spoke with said she saw it on the second page. I went to the second page. It was not there. Fortunately, she said she would add it to my order, which I had already placed. And BTW, when I placed the order around 5 p.m., the only delivery time I was allowed to click on was the next day, though I was given a lot of time slots, of 45 minutes each, for delivery.
At 9 p.m. last night, the doorman buzzed. My delivery was there. I unpacked, so the missing items were not charged, and everything else was there, including the rotisserie chicken. However, one of the two cans of tomatoes was badly dented, and while organic, they weren't the low-salt variety I wanted. (I’m not sure I could have chosen them from the webpage.) Also, I didn’t know I was ordering organic lemons and limes. But all the fresh produce looked good.
The verdict: ordering online is better than nothing, but not an experience I am likely to continue after this pandemic is over.
I’m participating in the 13th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 26 of the 31-day challenge. It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about. Join in!