Supply & Demanding, Part 2

, , , , | Right | August 21, 2020

Ever since the start of the health crisis, we have been out of things like wipes, toilet paper, and rubbing alcohol. As things get better, we start getting in more shipments of these essentials. Things like toilet paper are starting to stay on the shelves for longer periods of time, but things like hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol are still flying off the shelves, even with strict limits in place. This conversation has happened way too often.

Customer: “Where’s your alcohol?”

I work in a grocery store. The store sells the kind of alcohol you drink. I learned I have to clarify which kind people want, especially if I’m not anywhere near either kind when they ask me. This person just doesn’t get it.

Me: “Which kind? Rubbing alcohol or the stuff you drink?”

Customer: “Alcohol.”

Me: “Which kind did you want?”

Customer: “Alcohol? Where’s your alcohol?”

Me: “The stuff you drink is right over there; rubbing alcohol would be in that corner by the pharmacy, but we’re out of that.”

The customer turns towards the beer and wine section.

Customer: “No, not that kind!”

Me: “We’re out of rubbing alcohol.”

Customer: “You’re out? When will you get more?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Customer: “You don’t?”

Me: “No. We won’t know until it comes in on a truck.”

Customer: “What about toilet paper or paper towels?”

Me: “Again, we won’t know until it comes in on the truck.”

Customer: “You guys need to order more toilet paper, then.”

Me: “The manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the increased demand. We can order it all day long, but our warehouses are empty and every store in the country has suddenly quadrupled the levels of product they’re selling.”

I feel like a lot of grocery workers used the drinking alcohol to get them through the panic-buying. Supply and demand, people. It’s not that complicated.

Supply & Demanding

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