Ladies and Gentlemen, you just can’t make this stuff up.

My household up to this point has not gone to Costco since March. I went today to see about some meat to restock the freezer with and pick up some other odds and ins if they had them.

I was actually quite surprised to see two things:

  • The sheer number of people there without any sort of PPE whatsoever.
  • That the place seemed to be stocked as usual with very few exceptions.

I was honestly impressed. I expected it to be still pretty low on stock of most things. It wasn’t. It was almost as if Covid-19 had never happened.

Until check out time.

If you will all remember, I posted this picture the last time I was at Costco when the warnings for Covid-19 were first making the news:

Costco Mall of Georgia line for self checkout.

For the record: I’ve always like to self checkout at any grocery store I go to. The main reason is my anal retentiveness; I can’t stand someone squeezing my bread like it’s a squeaky toy and stacking my burger buns on their side so they crush one another.

And that’s just for starters. But that’s not the real reason I went to self checkout today.

In this age of Covid-19, the fewer number of hands you subject yourself to, the better. Any chance you get to serve yourself and keep your distance, you should be doing it.

But, surprise-surprise, Costco will no longer permit you to do that. It’s against their company policy. I’ll get to that in just a moment.

So there I am in line and I’m noticing that some employees are ringing people out at the self checkout. I simply assumed they were asking, “Would you like me to ring this up for you” and the customers were saying, “sure, go ahead” and that was that.

I watched though with slowly-creeping-in horror that not only were they doing that to everybody but they weren’t changing gloves or sanitizing anything in between each customer.

I was shocked.

And then a lady yelled over to me, “Sir, that register at the end on the left is open.”

I said thanks and moved on to the register. I went to scan my card and start ringing out my items when the lady stopped me. The exchange went something like this:

Me: What’s the problem?
Her: We have to ring it up for you.

Me: Why?
Her: It’s Costco’s new policy they’ve implemented.

Me: Why? I mean, does it not seem completely counter-intuitive to you?
Her: I don’t understand.

Me: Look, I’ve picked up my items. If I take them from the cart, I ring them out, and I box them and put them back in the cart, that eliminates one possible source of virus transference, right?
Her: Well, yeah, but it’s our policy.

Me: It’s your policy to spread Covid-19?
Her: No. Of course not. It’s to keep you safer.

Me: And how do you recon, exactly, that another person, you for instance, handling everybody’s items that come through here, most of which aren’t wearing any PPE at all and adding to the chain of “hands on” with each passing customer helps hold down the spread of a deadly virus?
Her: I don’t know, that’s just the policy. Let me get a manager or supervisor.

So it’s at this point that some other fellow tries to say something but the manager shows up.

Manager: What’s the problem?
Me: Well, at this stage of the game my primary problem is you are apparently trying to kill me.

Manager: How’s that?
Me: Look, why can’t I just ring my own items out, pack them myself, eliminate the chance of any sort of cross contact with anybody and go home?

Manager: Because that’s now our policy.
Me: So I’ve been told.

Manager: Look, somebody had to touch that stuff to put it on the shelf, you know.
Me: I’m well aware. When?

Manager: I beg your pardon?
Me: When did they touch it? Last night? Yesterday morning? Two days ago? Last week? Is your point that you actually want more hands to touch an item in the hopes of spreading Covid-19?

Manager: Don’t be ridiculous, of course it isn’t.
Me: Then you obviously haven’t thought this through: You’ve got these people standing here ringing out everybody handling everybody’s items. Most of these people aren’t wearing gloves, masks, anything at all.

So now your employees handle this persons items with heavy gloves. In fact, they’re all wearing heavy gloves and they aren’t changing them between customers.

So now they all, for however long they’ve been wearing those gloves, managed to touch at least 100 people’s items, most of whom are not wearing any sort of PPE and then you want me to sit idly by and watch them handle my items as well?

As I was saying that you could slowly see the horror creeping into his eyes of exactly what I was talking about. It was equally obvious that neither he nor anybody else in the area had even thought about it. Everybody was looking around like they had just woke up.

He was speechless. I then said, “You have to admit, that’s about the most stupid, brain dead policy implementation possible, isn’t it?”

The manager said he couldn’t discuss company policy. He did say though that I could go to a regular line and unload and load my own stuff.

So I did that. I spent two hours cleaning everything when I got home, including myself.

Some other small points: they only needed you to hold your card out for them to shoot with the gun. Why wasn’t it like that before? It’s much easier.

Also, the cashier checked the order as they rang it out and black lined your receipt right then and there.

Why didn’t they do that before rather than making you stop again at the exit and queue up to have it checked out after it had just been checked out?

Obviously, the folks at Costco are inventing procedures to make it look like they’re doing something about Covid-19. The fact of the matter is, they’re not.

By having a group of people handle everybody’s items that come through that store when the vast majority of them are using no PPE at all is a recipe for disaster. You’re passing along everybody’s hands with each passing customer.

And they’re doing it without changing gloves or sanitizing areas at all.

It’s the most ridiculous and dangerous state of affairs I’ve ever seen. And Costco actually created it. It was far safer before.

All they had to do was station an employee wearing PPE by the register to scan the heavy items left in the cart (which they already did) and have that employee do a spray sanitize of the table and scanner in between customers.

It would take 20 seconds and be far safer.

Social distancing, especially in retail, demands that the fewer people you can have involved in a transaction, the better.

Costco on the other hand believes that the more people they can have touch your items without sanitizing or changing gloves in between is the way to go.

They quite literally want to “pass along the savings”; or Covid-19 from the customer five people in front of you as it were.

You just can’t make this stuff up, folks.

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