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Significant Incident #3: The Coop*

No one drives a 2009 Subaru anymore.

*Being a satirical (and possibly completely made up) story of events occurring in a rapidly-growing mountain town during the unprecedented year of 2022. **

Honey, is that you?

Mom? What are you doing? I told you not to call me at work.

I know. But I’m a customer today. A member. Want me to give you my membership number?

M-o-m. It’s not like I don’t know our membership number.

So, you’re at the customer service desk today?

Yes.

Alright then. We’re fine. I’m just another customer. And I’ve got a complaint.

Mom. You have got to stop doing this.

What? Doing what. You want me to stop speaking up? Haven’t I taught you anything?

Fine. Mom. What’s your complaint?

I don’t recognize anyone in the store anymore.

Here? At the Coop?

Yes! I mean, it’s not like I can afford to go anywhere else after shopping there. Remember when we used to go there when you were little? After dance class, we’d go have a snack and a steamed milk, and I’d have a coffee, and people would come to the table and chat? We’d stay for ages, and we’d see everyone we knew. I mean everyone.

Mom, did you have more than one coffee today? You know that makes you kind of nuts, right?

Listen to you. Didn’t you say they trained you on how to handle customer complaints? Is that how you do it? Gaslighting?

No, they said to ask open-ended question to diffuse the complainer’s strong emotions.

Well, that’s patronizing. But go ahead.

Go ahead with what?

Go ahead and ask me an open-ended question.

Fine, Mom. Fine. Fine. Okay…What do you mean when you say you don’t recognize anyone at The Coop anymore?

It’s like this pandemic happened and our whole town changed. Like, I used to be able to go to The Coop, even just sit on the bench outside if I was feeling like a chat, or like being sociable. I’d always run into a friend, or at least an acquaintance. And now I never see anyone. It’s like all new people moved into town while we were in isolation. Who are they? And they all drive these fancy electric cars. No one even has a 2009 Subaru anymore.

Oh my God, Mom. Are you even serious right now? Are you sure this isn’t about how you can’t figure out how to wear a mask without fogging up your glasses, so you’re basically shopping blind and don’t recognize anyone anyway? Or how you stopped colouring your hair, so no one recognizes you? And you know Dad and I keep telling you to go to the eye doctor.

There you go again, blaming me. Is that what they taught you to do there? Blame the customer? This is a real problem. Our town is changing.

Mom. Towns change. Places change. People change.

Yeah. Like your sister. She changed.

They, Mom. They changed. We talked about this. You have to keep up.

But what if I don’t want to? All these new people. It doesn’t even feel like our town anymore.

Mom. It was never our town. We just live here.

I don’t like it.

What are you going to do? Talk to my manager? You have to stop being such a Karen, Mom.

I know. You told me that already.

Mom?

Yeah, honey?

I have to go back to work now.

Okay. Okay. I get it. Sorry. Oh, wait. Dad wants you to bring home some of that sauerkraut he likes. The dill one. Can you use your staff discount? Can you do that?

** Satire. Remember?

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