Costco Kata

Costco, hai!

Costco, hai!

By necessity, I found myself in an unfamiliar Costco faced with the task of purchasing all my bulk food items for a three day shoot in under an hour. I’d made myself a list and broken down my budget so I knew more or less what I had to get and how much I could afford to pay for it: the real problem was going to be time. I had exactly an hour to park, shop, load and get on the road if I wanted to avoid rush hour traffic. And I wanted to avoid rush hour traffic.

Water was my first concern: for a three day shoot, I didn’t dare have less than six cases of water which meant that I was going to have to make two trips- one with a cart full of nothing but water. This seemed like the obvious thing to do first since it would involve minimal searching, checkout time, and mental arithmetic. It was, however, going to require going the maximum possible distance into the store from the entrance. Much farther and I would have found myself back out in the parking lot. A disadvantage for efficiency (Costco is full of large, lumbering, unpredictable human obstacles) but an advantage for getting the lay of the land. The water run was going to be my dress rehearsal.

All in it took about fifteen minutes.

Suitable convinced that I could complete all my remaining shopping in the next forty minutes (with five minutes of grace time) I dove back in for a second pass. I believe I may have earned my yellow-belt for wholesale shopping today, such was my intense focus on moving from item to item as quickly as possible.

Snacks. Nuts. Crackers. Baked goods. Fruit. Eggs.

I got hung up at the bagels behind an indecisive couple, and again when I couldn’t find the cheese (if you ever want to feel like a mouse in a maze, search for cheese at Costco), but I never lost my mental tally of my expenses (my estimate was within four dollars of the final total) and I never got distracted by the dozens of sample handouts on every aisle. I got out of the store on time- maybe even a little early- got everything loaded, and was in the van on time. VICTORY!

For all this whirlwind  focus and energy, it was a nice Costco, which is good because it is going to be our new local store. It was good to know that even on a busy afternoon in an unfamiliar store that it is possible to get in and out quickly and still get everything needed. If only I could be this efficient all the time.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on August 11, 2016.

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