Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Virgin Experience #2: Grocery Delivery

 

You might have read the post about my virgin experience of pizza delivery. You would think it would have prepared us for our first adventure into grocery delivery. Not hardly.

We finally convinced ourselves that grocery shopping in a store with potential coronavirus zombies disguised as real human beings was not a good idea. Many people insisted that having our groceries selected and delivered by strangers made more sense. Since I am very picky about the food I buy, I was skeptical. Selecting raspberries that aren’t moldy or strawberries that are ripe at the end of the season are iffy propositions. But I finally relented.

Ordering online was actually fun. It took two of us to do it; we knew that Publix was likely to substitute our preferences with ghastly choices. But surprisingly we were promised almost everything we wanted. No toilet paper, of course, but we were well-stocked. At that point, our cart was full and we were notified that our groceries would arrive in the next four hours.

Now you need to understand, especially those of you who haven’t ventured into grocery delivery, that your cell phone and messaging app are critical to the success of this process. Yes, I am able to receive messages, but sometime in the past I stopped the annoying “ping” that came with every text, even though I rarely send or receive them.

Uh-oh.

Something made me glance at my phone and oh my gosh there was already a message! I clicked on the message icon, and Brenda had sent me a message already! I clicked on her message, and there was a link—what? I quickly clicked on the link, and there was a photo of a different almond milk than the Silk I’d requested—Blue Diamond! I hate Blue Diamond almond milk. So, I sent a text back telling her that.

Wrong.

I was supposed to either “approve” or “reject” the substitute.

Too late (I discovered later).

Suddenly, as I was peering down at my phone, another message appeared! The store didn’t have Dawn dishwashing soap. This time I pounded the Reject button. No way I was taking their substitute.

I finally realized I was going to get all kinds of undesirable products if I didn’t figure out how to put the “ping” back on my phone. As I searched my Sound Notifications, another message popped up! Oh no! I found out how to get my “ping” back, but then I realized that I had to respond rapidly to the messages.

Okay! Now I get it! This is like a game show! When the bell goes off, I’m supposed to race to my phone, find the button, pound it as fast as I can, and reject if I must! Woo-hoo! I won the prize behind door #1!

Ahem.

I also realized that I had to be able to be a fast draw, so I put my phone in my pocket. When the “ping” went off, I drew that phone out in record time and raced through the instructions! I must have cut 10 seconds off my GRT—Grocery Response Time. Now I was getting the hang of it.

I was exhausted.

Brenda showed up toting our groceries, and following the detailed instructions of @westernchauvinist, we sterilized our stuff. My husband was thrilled to learn that the store not only had his Tostito Corn Chips/Restaurant Style, but they had the Party Size! He couldn’t wipe the grin off his face.

So now we know the rules of the road. We are better prepared to have our groceries delivered, and have toned our shopping muscles.

Maybe I should try out for “The Price is Right?”

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  1. Front Seat Cat Member

    That’s hilarious! We used to have this service for free when I worked at a consulting firm in Boston years ago. They showed up and put the stuff in the trunk of your car. It was really nice. I haven’t used it since. 

    • #1
    • April 5, 2020, at 8:34 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. JustmeinAZ Member

    Don’t you have an option to reject all substitutions across the board?

    BTW, four hour delivery is really fast! In my neck of the woods the stores are overwhelmed with pick-up and delivery requests. It’s a matter of days to get delivery. We just gave up and continue to go in person.

    • #2
    • April 5, 2020, at 8:41 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Don’t you have an option to reject all substitutions across the board?

    BTW, four hour delivery is really fast! In my neck of the woods the stores are overwhelmed with pick-up and delivery requests. It’s a matter of days to get delivery. We just gave up and continue to go in person.

    I don’t want to reject substitutions across the board, because sometimes I don’t care what they send. So I will remain vigilant! Yes, we are lucky that it remains available and quick!

    • #3
    • April 5, 2020, at 8:51 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. The Reticulator Member

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Don’t you have an option to reject all substitutions across the board?

    BTW, four hour delivery is really fast! In my neck of the woods the stores are overwhelmed with pick-up and delivery requests. It’s a matter of days to get delivery. We just gave up and continue to go in person.

    I think here you get a time slot that’s assigned in advance, but it’s harder to get the time slots now. At least that’s the way my son describes it. Last week he had despaired of getting a time slot, then all of a sudden one opened up, not at his usual time, and he had to put in his order quickly to take advantage of it. So he was more rushed than usual. It wasn’t his ideal time slot as it was at a time when he was at work, but we were able to take care of the order when it arrived. His mother did the usual disinfecting routine.

    He was still able to handle all the substitution issues that Susan describes, but I don’t think he had many.

    • #4
    • April 5, 2020, at 8:52 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    That’s hilarious! We used to have this service for free when I worked at a consulting firm in Boston years ago. They showed up and put the stuff in the trunk of your car. It was really nice. I haven’t used it since.

    I could get used to this service, FSC! I’ll just need to see how it plays out. It’s not like I normally have a busy life, so it’s hard to justify it most times.

    • #5
    • April 5, 2020, at 8:52 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    He was still able to handle all the substitution issues that Susan describes, but I don’t think he had many.

    That would be tough to manage, especially when a person works. We have lots more flexibility for time of delivery. That’s sweet that you and your wife could help him out, @thereticulator!

    • #6
    • April 5, 2020, at 8:55 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. The Reticulator Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    He was still able to handle all the substitution issues that Susan describes, but I don’t think he had many.

    That would be tough to manage, especially when a person works. We have lots more flexibility for time of delivery. That’s sweet that you and your wife could help him out, @thereticulator!

    We’ll get back at him, because we’re going to start piggybacking some of our own items on his orders. I see that my wife has a list in progress.

    • #7
    • April 5, 2020, at 9:01 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    He was still able to handle all the substitution issues that Susan describes, but I don’t think he had many.

    That would be tough to manage, especially when a person works. We have lots more flexibility for time of delivery. That’s sweet that you and your wife could help him out, @thereticulator!

    We’ll get back at him, because we’re going to start piggybacking some of our own items on his orders. I see that my wife has a list in progress.

    That seems only right! Who’s gonna pay for your stuff, though?

    • #8
    • April 5, 2020, at 9:02 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Mark Camp Member

    I was laughing out loud from beginning to end as I read this to Kate. 

    Thanks, Susan.

    • #9
    • April 5, 2020, at 9:56 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    I was laughing out loud from beginning to end as I read this to Kate.

    Thanks, Susan.

    I’m so glad to hear that, @markcamp!! You’ve made my day. Too much darkness demands an abundance of light!!

    • #10
    • April 5, 2020, at 9:59 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. The Reticulator Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    He was still able to handle all the substitution issues that Susan describes, but I don’t think he had many.

    That would be tough to manage, especially when a person works. We have lots more flexibility for time of delivery. That’s sweet that you and your wife could help him out, @thereticulator!

    We’ll get back at him, because we’re going to start piggybacking some of our own items on his orders. I see that my wife has a list in progress.

    That seems only right! Who’s gonna pay for your stuff, though?

    We’ll pay for our own stuff, but he’ll have the hassle of putting in our order and responding to the text messages. It used to be that one had to pay for an annual contract to get this service. They did away with that requirement shortly after our son renewed his annual contract. So we could easily order our own, now. But the issue now is the shortage of time slots for delivering an order, so we’ll combine ours with his.

    • #11
    • April 5, 2020, at 9:59 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Kay of MT Member

    Ah Susan, I started laughing as soon as I read you were going to have a delivery service. Good luck with that! I have had a delivery service since last June. The way it worked here was to put in your order on Thursday, and it would be delivered on Friday about noon. A lot of times I would say “brand doesn’t matter” or “if not available, forget it.” But these lovely shoppers would do their best to either save me money or get me a good deal. Or substitute a different brand, as after all “one is as good as another.” I didn’t give them a bad time as was so grateful for the service, so some things I couldn’t eat or use wasn’t sent back, but my neighbors lucked out.

    The delivery service ended March 13th, so will have to find another source.

    • #12
    • April 5, 2020, at 10:00 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    We’ll pay for our own stuff, but he’ll have the hassle of putting in our order and responding to the text messages. It used to be that one had to pay for an annual contract to get this service. They did away with that requirement shortly after our son renewed his annual contract. So we could easily order our own, now. But the issue now is the shortage of time slots for delivering an order, so we’ll combine ours with his.

    Sounds like a perfect plan! Everyone benefits!

    • #13
    • April 5, 2020, at 10:00 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Kay of MT (View Comment):
    The delivery service ended March 13th, so will have to find another source.

    I hope you can find another as accommodating, Kay! They sound wonderful!

    • #14
    • April 5, 2020, at 10:02 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Kay of MT Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):
    The delivery service ended March 13th, so will have to find another source.

    I hope you can find another as accommodating, Kay! They sound wonderful!

    They were really wonderful, and volunteers from United Way. However, they only used one market, and I wasn’t excited about their fresh produce. Most of the shoppers were elderly themselves, so when most of the victims were determined to be elderly United Way shut down the service. I’ve been trying to get someone to take me to the store just so I can see what is available. The online ads will say “different varieties” but some of them will have soy in them. Difficult to shop for me because of my soy, and other allergies, the shopper has to stop to read the labels.

    • #15
    • April 5, 2020, at 10:23 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Kay of MT (View Comment):
    Most of the shoppers were elderly themselves, so when most of the victims were determined to be elderly United Way shut down the service.

    I don’t understand their reasoning, Kay. Why would they not want elderly delivering to elderly?

    • #16
    • April 5, 2020, at 10:36 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Full Size Tabby Member

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Don’t you have an option to reject all substitutions across the board?

    BTW, four hour delivery is really fast! In my neck of the woods the stores are overwhelmed with pick-up and delivery requests. It’s a matter of days to get delivery. We just gave up and continue to go in person.

    The four hour delivery caught my attention too. I don’t know about delivery here where I live, but I know the curbside pick up at the store is generally being scheduled 3 – 5 days out!

    • #17
    • April 5, 2020, at 11:28 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Full Size Tabby Member

    Susan Quinn:

    I also realized that I had to be able to be a fast draw, so I put my phone in my pocket. When the *ping* went off, I drew that phone out in record time and raced through the instructions! I must have cut 10 seconds off my GRT—Grocery Response Time. Now I was getting the hang of it.

    I was exhausted.

     

    Maybe you need a holster. (-:

    • #18
    • April 5, 2020, at 11:31 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Great post, Susan! And you can choose your text sound. I use “bamboo”, which was the default on my phone, and it’s not obnoxious at all. I was actually awakened this morning by a text coming in, and I checked it right away, in case it was from my boss or the company. Nope, just a co-worker friend, who thought today was Easter!

    We still do our own grocery shopping, but I told Ray that I am going to let him do it for now. I’d like to have a mask to wear when I go out, but we don’t have any, and don’t have the materials or skills to make our own. Do you have any suggestions about how to find them? We know they are on shortage everywhere, and are being reserved for medical care personnel anyway.

    • #19
    • April 5, 2020, at 11:36 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Full Size Tabby Member

    Mrs. Tabby and I still do not like the idea of someone else selecting our groceries. We make too many decisions on the fly (not about product category – we go with a full list, but about package size or maybe flavor variation). Plus, if a particular item is not available, I want to be able to pick the substitute because some substitutes are more palatable for us than others.

    But our son and daughter-in-law have used curbside pickup for quite some time, and they say the substitutions are relatively rare and they rarely find the substitution objectionable.

    Friends of ours who live in a large city have used Amazon grocery delivery for years (mom is one of the most organized people I know, but they have four small children and dad works long hours, so finding time to go to the grocery store is a scheduling nightmare). They are occasionally surprised by a substitution but value the time saving more. 

    • #20
    • April 5, 2020, at 11:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    Do you have any suggestions about how to find them? We know they are on shortage everywhere, and are being reserved for medical care personnel anyway.

    Thanks for the kind words! I’ll look for the bamboo!

    There was a piece on TV about making your own. Something about folding a t-shirt and adding rubber bands. I think the Surgeon General was demonstrating. I’ll bet you can find it on Youtube. We have some masks that Jerry bought years ago for working outside due to his allergies. They’ll work for us.

    • #21
    • April 5, 2020, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  22. Kay of MT Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):
    Most of the shoppers were elderly themselves, so when most of the victims were determined to be elderly United Way shut down the service.

    I don’t understand their reasoning, Kay. Why would they not want elderly delivering to elderly?

    Because the claim was out that the elderly were more prone to catching the virus than younger folks. Not all the delivery’s were for handicapped elders. So they think they have stopped that problem. At least in this neck of the woods.

    • #22
    • April 5, 2020, at 1:28 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    My question Susan is how many times can you be a virgin? First the pizza, now this. Hmmmm.

    • #23
    • April 5, 2020, at 1:34 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    colleenb (View Comment):

    My question Susan is how many times can you be a virgin? First the pizza, now this. Hmmmm.

    Oh, picky, picky, picky. What do you think, @colleenb? 😊

    • #24
    • April 5, 2020, at 1:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. jeannebodine, Verbose Bon Viva… Member

     I started to use Instacart a few weeks ago. It’s a real treat for me because I get to buy from Wegman’s which isn’t all that close to my home. In the beginning, you could get a delivery time either withing 4-5 hours; second choice was 3 days in advance. Now it’s about 5-6 days in advance.

    I’ve had a fantastic experience with it. When you place something in your basket that they determine is a potential low stock item, they give you the option of “no substitutions”, or they allow you to choose what substitutes you’d accept. If you allow substitutions, you get a pop up of suggested substitutes. If you don’t choose either of these options, it defaults to whatever the shopper thinks is the best substitution. All this is done well in advance of your shopping day, so no pressure your delivery day. I think you can enable a chat if you want to allow discussions but I don’t do that.

    They do a fantastic job! I haven’t been disappointed with a single item. After the transaction, you’re asked to rate the experience and among the categories rated is what you felt about the quality of the substitutions. My only problem is that lately the app says, “no delivery times available” when you start an order. Although you can fill your basket, you have to check back several times in a day until you can find a date available.

    • #25
    • April 5, 2020, at 2:26 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    I tried it with Fry’s our usual shopping place in Tucson. We are frequent flyers so the selections offered were our usual. All went well until we got to the end where we chose the hour and day for delivery. The web site froze with no options and we could not change to pickup. I finally called customer service and was told I had to call another number for the “Instacart” delivery service which is another company. I called and got a recording that wait time for an answer was 128 minutes.

    So much for delivery. I found almost everything I wanted at Safeway, which we usually don’t use because they are about 20% more expensive.

    • #26
    • April 5, 2020, at 4:59 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. E. Kent Golding Member

    Our grocery store has a menu for pickup. They are swamped, about a 5 day lead time for pickup. If they don’t have what you requested, no text, no substitute, no item, no charge. I am having a hard time convincing my wife and daughter that the food we already have is quite healthy if less flavorful.

    • #27
    • April 6, 2020, at 3:07 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. E. Kent Golding Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    colleenb (View Comment):

    My question Susan is how many times can you be a virgin? First the pizza, now this. Hmmmm.

    Oh, picky, picky, picky. What do you think, @colleenb? 😊

    Go to confession, confess, ask for forgiveness and POOF! you are a virgin again. It’s a miracle.

    • #28
    • April 6, 2020, at 3:08 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    I am quite comfortable going to the store to shop. I am high risk at age 82 and pulmonary fibrosis and my wife has an immunodeficiency plus COPD from smoking in spite of asthma as a child. However, we have a supply of hydroxychloroquine and I wash hands and use hand sanitizer at the store. I think masks are probably useless unless you have symptoms and are protecting others. I wore masks for 50 years as a surgeon to protect patients from me.

    Now the stores are better stocked, for which I thank the staff and truckers, etc. Costco last week had an enormous pile of toilet paper the size of a moderate living room. Delivery is off our plan right now.

    • #29
    • April 6, 2020, at 3:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    I am quite comfortable going to the store to shop. I am high risk at age 82 and pulmonary fibrosis and my wife has an immunodeficiency plus COPD from smoking in spite of asthma as a child. However, we have a supply of hydroxychloroquine and I wash hands and use hand sanitizer at the store. I think masks are probably useless unless you have symptoms and are protecting others. I wore masks for 50 years as a surgeon to protect patients from me.

    Now the stores are better stocked, for which I thank the staff and truckers, etc. Costco last week had an enormous pile of toilet paper the size of a moderate living room. Delivery is off our plan right now.

    We’re continuing with delivery. They were out of some stock, but nothing we were actually out of yet. My husband, at 74, has bronchiectasis, and we don’t have hydroxychloroquine on hand; I might feel differently, @michaelkennedy, if I did. I’m so glad that you do.

    • #30
    • April 6, 2020, at 4:06 PM PDT
    • 1 like