Sunday, March 20, 2011

Food Co op FRENZY or, Take That Mango and Shove It...

Today was the second food co op pickup since it started and let's just say the idea has REALLY CAUGHT ON. There are only 93 baskets, so imagine, if you will that there were 93 basket owners coming to pick up their loot.
We were indoors, since the wind might have blown the lovely Swiss chard away, but you get the idea.

Volunteers can come an hour early and help to sort the fruits and veggies into baskets and share general goodwill. We arrived and patted each other on the backs for our altruism. Then we waited. And waited some more. We shifted our feet. No truck arrived. We read magazines and shared how we had prepared the last of our turnips. Still, no truck arrived. Babies tied to mothers looked at the crowd.

The volunteer organizer fretted and made several phone calls trying to hunt down the truck. The group of people grew as those who didn't volunteer showed up like birds with their beaks open and merged with the waiting volunteers. Several announcements were made about the impending arrival of the mystery truck. We were asked not to beat the driver when he arrived.

Babies cried.

This group was much testier than the Willie Nelson ticket line I waited in a few weeks ago...

Finally, mercifully the truck arrived.......... and could not get into the long, skinny lot.

People begrudgingly moved their vehicles. Eyebrows became tensed. Sighing was heard. It took approximately 12 hours for them to open the truck doors; OK.. 12 minutes.

I decided not to wait in the 15-deep line to haul in crates of goodness. I told myself my sweet baboo and I would wait inside because we could be of more assistance there, rather than because it was kind of cold and windy out there and I was feeling wimpy. We got right to work. Or tried to. NO ONE had any idea where things went or where to start. Except one person, and she was out at the truck. My inner micro-manager twitched, but I pushed that thought down.

If there is such a thing as too many volunteers we were definitely there. It was hectic. The Baboo and I waded in and grabbed a box of tangelos. There were numbers written on a white board, indicating how many of each item to put in the baskets. We felt renewed as we got to work, and we developed a system. Everyone else did the same and for a few minutes, it was relative peace and harmony.

Until the tangelos ran out.
And the cantaloupes.
And apparently, there was some drama with the cauliflower.

There was way too much celery. Mayhem ensued. The gathering crowd watched us snarkily, irritated to be kept waiting. We snarked back, since we had already been there an hour and they were watching us work.

Others who could not quell their inner micro managers started talking about how this SHOULD be done differently. When the organizer started giving away extra fruit to the waiting crowd (instead of the hardworking and helpful volunteers) the bitching really ramped up. I admit, I participated in my head for a minute and then got to work taking one, and later two oranges out of 96 baskets to redistribute to the baskets who didn't have any.

In the end, I got my loot and only felt a little guilty for picking a basket with a damn large bunch of Swiss chard.

Don't judge, I VOLUNTEERED!

I think the food co op may have gotten their $15 bucks out of this old girl this week and my sweet baboo too. Incidentally, he charged me $5 for his Japan relief fund for his efforts. I told him next time he will have to wear a hairnet.


Sandra said...

You need to get a t-shirt that says: I volunteered and all I got was this lousy large bunch of Swiss chard!

i'mtransplanted said...

Just reading this had me super irritated. Next time, I think you should send out a little something like this gal did for Thanksgiving:

Nicki said...

What does one DO with all that swiss chard?