COVID-19 Senior Shopping Hours: Foodland Farms A Slap in the Face?

COVID-19 Senior Shopping Hours: Foodland Farms A Slap in the Face?

by Dr. Anton Anderssen

I set the alarm for 4:30 am, so I could arrive at Foodland Farms at Ala Moana Shopping Center by 5:00 sharp, for their very first “senior shopping” exclusive hours, which premiered last Thursday. The idea was to protect the Kupuna from being exposed to Covid-19.

Although the idea was noble, management made the experience an unmitigated mess. Some customers were carded upon entry, others were not. Sometimes one employee screened potential customers, other times there were two standing guard.

I overheard one floor employee call the door employees “idiots” because the door screeners did not understand the older and vulnerable were allowed to take a caregiver for assistance. Of course, there were also the self-absorbed, unaccompanied people in their 30s who attempted to scam their way inside. Fortunately, they were refused entry.

All I really needed was pasta, but shelves in the pasta section were woefully bare. I felt betrayed because many shelves in the store were negligently bare – management failed to have them stocked before the seniors arrived. I did not need meat but was appalled to find one meat section completely wiped out.

The checkout line was insane. I counted 43 people in line, and 2 cash registers open to ring their purchases. Thank goodness these were seniors who had manners and didn’t create a scene when confronted with the fiasco. The express lane had mostly unmanned registers.

Foodland designated 5 am to 6 am on Thursdays as a special senior hour. It was intended to show respect toward the kupuna. Instead, it was one big slap in the face at Foodland Farms Ala Moana. And the young people who tried to horn in on the senior hour were the very incarnation of selfishness.

After waiting what felt like an eternity to reach the checkout register, I was happy the cashier automatically gave me the senior discount, which applies each Thursday. Often, even if I ask for the discount, they forget to give the discount, and I’ve never received it without specifically asking for it.

I always watch the cashiers very closely when I purchase items at Foodland Farms, because 90% of the time, there is a mistake of some kind. On this shopping visit, the cashier rang 6 heavy-duty tote bags instead of 5, because she was sloppy in counting.

The entire experience showed how sloppy management carried out their first “senior shopping” hour. I hope they take note and make some improvements.

Photo © Marco Airaghi

Photo © Marco Airaghi