Saturday, February 9, 2013

On Weekday Shopping, Senior Discount and Dodge Em Cars

The first full week of my retirement life is now behind me. One thing I've learned is that the days slip by so much faster than when I was working!

The first few days of retirement were quite busy since I had scheduled a presentation for my local genealogy society last Sunday. So I spent the first days of retirement finishing up the slides and handout. We had a great turnout and as a result, I learned how to use the Slideshare web site to upload slide shows and documents.

Monday was my first weekday grocery shopping experience as a retiree. My goodness, I got a parking space right by the entrance. THAT never happens! The store was nearly barren of customers, which was definitely to my liking. A couple guys were stocking the frozen processed meats cooler and I happened to spot chicken fried steak (Dad's favorite), which I had never been able to find in this store before. So I asked them where I could usually find this product. One of the men explained that this was the location where it's always stocked, but that sometimes customers move things around, so you need to look behind some of the other products to find it. And he kept on chatting. Employees NEVER chatted when I went there on weekends or after work.

As I roamed through the store, the manager and other employees I encountered all spoke and asked me if I was finding what I needed. This NEVER happened when I went there on weekends or after work. Maybe shopping for groceries is no longer going to be a task that I loathe!

Sadly, the sacker still put leaf lettuce and eggs in the bottom of the grocery bag, with much heavier items on top. I've ranted about this on another blog, so I won't repeat myself here. There's a couple checkers and sackers who I know will do a better job than others and I will usually wait in a longer line if they are working. But I wasn't that fortunate on Monday.

Even so, it was VERY nice to navigate the store without it being crammed full of other customers. I'm pretty sure I can get used to that.

Wednesday was Senior Discount Day at ShopKo. I've been shopping on Senior Discount Day ever since I was eligible at age 55. But going to the store mid-morning was an entirely different experience than it had ever been when I stopped in after work. The ONLY shoppers in the store were Seniors! And it seemed like they all knew one another. This clearly appeared to be an event that my fellow Seniors embrace every month.

Unfortunately, the 15% discount offered on Senior Day does not apply to the two departments I shop in most: household supplies and electronics. Even so, I picked up the paper supplies needed and tossed a few more items in my cart. When I reached the checkout, I remembered that I had forgotten my $10 off $50 purchase coupon. The checker told me that I couldn't have used it with my Senior Discount anyway. She then proceeded to go into great detail about how I COULD use the coupon, buy more items, bring in today's receipt showing the items that weren't eligible for Senior Discount, go to customer service and if my purchases hit the $50 mark, I'd get the $10 off. Never, in all the years that I've shopped at this store, has a checker taken so much time to talk and explain something. And there were several more people behind me in line. I complimented her on being "very informative."

The parking lot, however, was like driving in the old Dodge Em cars at the State Fair when I was a kid. The Senior drivers weren't really paying a lot of attention which direction they were driving and seemed to ignore whatever was in their way. Not that I'm stereotyping older drivers, mind you! Well, perhaps.

When I returned to my car, the driver who parked to the left of my car had left only about five inches between our vehicles, so there was no way I could enter from the driver's side. I went to the passenger side, lifted up the arm rest, moved my other stuff around and did my best to scoot over to the driver's side. Thank goodness I don't have a floor shift! Note to self: next time, remember to park even farther away from other vehicles in the parking lot.

Thursday was lunch with a friend. Clearly, I'm already losing brain cells as I didn't turn on the street where I should have and I hesitated a little too long at a green light before moving on. I don't recall ever being so unfocused! I must have caught something at ShopKo the day before. Is Senioritis a viral infection? Or maybe it was because I hadn't gotten to sleep until 4 a.m. thanks to the Starbucks frappucino I had at 8 p.m. the previous night. I told my friend it was perfectly fine for her to be a backseat driver that day. Note to self: no caffeine drinks after 12 noon.

Clearly, I haven't quite found the "new normal" yet. But I think I'm going to enjoy looking.


  1. Your writing is so entertaining, Susan. I really enjoy reading of your adventures as a retiree. I had to laugh that the Senior Discount didn't apply to electronics. They'd better catch up to the times...there are plenty of us "Seniors" who shop that department. I am just so excited for you that your time is your OWN now. What a blessing. I'd love to check out your Slideshare page.

    1. Thanks, Becky. I'm glad you are enjoying the blog. They USED to discount electronics and household supplies, but I think too many of us were making use of the discount on high end gadgets and toilet paper!

  2. It all sounds extremely pleasant (except for the Dodge Em cars). Like the way life should be. I've been retired for a few years, and I also really treasure the chance to say a meaningful hello and trade a few words with the clerks. It's like no one ever passes the time of day with them, because everyone comes through on "rush hour." At home I'm one of those people who always has too much to do, but when we retired folks get to the store, it's very relaxed. How did we ever meet all those deadlines? Enjoyed your post!

    1. Thanks for your comments, Mariann. Everyday just keeps getting better and better!