or - Institutionally reinforced stupidity, incompetence, and massive fail
Once again, forecasters have called for snow in Philly.
And once again, the denizens of the area do not disappoint.
It's been a few days since we got word there will be a major storm up the east coast at the end of the week. The Forecasting Folks are saying that since all the methods of forecasting show snow, it's a certainty. Forecasts go up to two feet in places.
So the wife calls me at work, asking if I could pick up a few things for dinner.
You know what's coming, right?
I figured that since I work early, I could get to the store before the dinner rush started.
The joke, as we know by now, was on me.
I should have known by the extreme lack of parking spots, forcing me to leave the car in the next shopping center. By the time I made it to Giant, there were four carts left. Uh-oh.
You see, Philly goes into a MAD PANIC when they hear the word snow. If a quarter of an inch of snow were forecast, schools would close (in fact, schools did close once on the mention of snow - that didn't occur). Food staples would be wrenched from shelves. Snowblowers would go out of stock. Salt would be impossible to find. Girl Scout cookies, if you could find them, would actually cost MORE, if you can imagine it. Parents pull their pets off the streets and throw their kids out. Dash off to the station to get snow tires or chains put on. Making arrangements to watch the kids when school closes. Buying new gloves, because you can't find the ones you used last time. And recalling the words of your parents when you were young - "Don't forget to wear your rubbers."
There are cities that get REAL snow. You know, a foot at a time, then a foot the next day. The streets get cleaned and people go to work, no big deal. In Philly, no matter how much notice is provided, the cleanup crew never seems to have had enough notice. It's always a surprise. Then there's not enough salt. Then not enough staff. And in Philly proper, no streets get cleared anyway. Trash isn't collected for two weeks, which is actually an improvement. No able-bodied children exist to shovel, even though they could make a killing (they're inside, watching the Kardashians and taking selfies).
Entering the store, I looked over in horror to discover that every checkout lane had at least six carts in a line. This is in contrast to weekends, when there are only three lanes open (because it's a surprise that people shop on weekends).
The bread section runs half the length of the store. Huge blocks were emptied of their contents. Oddly enough, the aisles were full of food and empty of shoppers. All the people and carts were waiting in line. And by the time I got to the line, with six items, there was barely room for people to get in lines.
I got in the express lane, which is usually expressly closed. Of course the sociopath two carts up had a cart FULL of goodies, because rules and signs do not apply to her. I think they should have shaved her head and thrown her out of the store but apparently the manager does not feel this way. She probably drives a BMW and cuts us off at every light.
Speaking of Giant, the name should ideally not reflect the size of the cashiers. Or the one with the dead animal on his head, who was completely bald last week.
They (whoever They are) tell me to accentuate the positive, so here I go: last year, when I approached the automatic door, it wouldn't open. This year, it does.