“Dialing for Dollars-Redux”

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When I was growing up there were a number of promotions that required you to dial in from the telephone. Sometimes it was for money if you knew the password of the day. Other times it was to get a chance to dedicate a song to your secret crush.(This occupied much of my fifth grade after school times with my best friend.) Then there was the “lucky caller number seven gets a chance to win tickets to….” I was often caller number six it seemed, that is if I ever got through to the person answering. There was no rapid redial feature on those phones. One had to patiently dial a digit, wait for the dial to return to home, then dial each additional digit in turn. It took a long time to call back. And you had to call back over and over, hoping to have someone pick up the phone.

This practice came back to me lately as I have been trying to get through to the grocery store on-line service. I am using the computer this time, rather than the telephone, but the process is very nearly the same. “No delivery times available. Times for delivery are released throughout the day,” says the helpful web page for one store. “No delivery times available. Try again later,” says another. Sometimes by the time I have filled a cart with my desired items the available time slot has disappeared.

Yesterday by some miracle of modern science, I not only got a time slot but my basket didn’t empty before I checked out. And even better, it allowed me to add more items until the shopper began my order. I quickly called a family member and said to add things before it was too late. Last evening a very lovely young couple arrived and placed our purchases on my sidewalk, six feet away from my front door as I requested.

In this dreadful time, I am taking my thrills where I can find them. Right now it is “dialing for groceries!” You can hear my victory chant across the neighborhood when I score.

35 thoughts on ““Dialing for Dollars-Redux”

  1. I remember all those call-in things for radio and tv, and even Dialling For Dollars. They used to feel like a legitimate chance to Win somehow, even though I am sure some were honest and some were rigged somehow.

    It’s good you’re able to get delivery. We possibly could, but I want to buy what is available and so I go in once a week or two with mask and plastic gloves and buy what is there, like the cheapest best organic vegetables that day, or if something goes on sale etc. I actualyl saw something on sale today for the first time since the whole mess began, some salad dressing. The mountain of canned catfood at home for the Royalty got increased, but the cat litter is still not available. There seems an imbalance there!

    I was delighted to get a 30% discount on organic decaf coffee online at a nice organic ethical place caled something like Java Love and bought a five-pound bag of that. It was delivered to the post office and would have come to the house if I wanted it to. We do our best. Stay well!

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  2. I haven’t tried delivery, and probably won’t, for several reasons. First, if the store is out of something on my list, I may find a suitable substitute if I’m at the store. Second, I want to inspect items like bananas or watermelon to avoid over-ripeness or other issues. Third, I may have coupons I want to use, especially if the expiration date is near. Some of these reasons may not be important to others, but one of our family members has long-term health issues which require careful food choices.

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  3. I have never shopped online for groceries. Even now, with the current panic, I can get all I need by driving to the supermarket, and following their new ‘rules’.
    But I know many people for whom getting a delivery slot is almost as good as winning the lottery.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. I have one winning call in story. Back in the sixties the local radio station – KJR – had a ‘name it and claim it – game. The song would start and the first one to call in with the name, got the record, plus a charm bracelet. My older sister and I went to a phone booth to make the call and as soon as it started we knew what it was – “I got you babe.” Sonny & Cher. She got the record, I got the bracelet. 🙂

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  5. I remember the dial in calls. Once in 1973 I made it on the air to complain about something. The announcer wondered why I was named Lauren. He was disappointed when I told him in my religion it is customary to name a child after a deceased relative. My one minute claim to fame. LOL

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  6. We can’t use a delivery services as the deliveries are for in three to four weeks time which isn’t very helpful. We are going out shopping with masks and gloves. It feels like something out of a sci-fi movie doesn’t it? I remember those phones.

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  7. Very glad you were successful….I’m not having any luck so far, but luckily I can piggy-back on a neighbour’s order as she seems to be successful with slots

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  8. We have had the same challenges with our grocery delivery service and have essentially given up. They are booked 2-3 weeks out and you’re meant to log in in the morning and see what new ones have opened up. But still people are so fast. So we walk to our local store and get as much as we can. Without a car, we can only get so much so we go a little more often. But stores are kept empty and lines to get in aren’t bad and respect social distancing. And mostly they’re well-stocked with necessities.

    I also remember doing those things when I was younger. I remember once I even called a radio station and asked them if they could play a song at a specific time so I could be sure to put it on my mix tape. I did win something once – two free tickets to a George Carlin concert back in 1988. I’m so glad I got to go see him. (and I wonder what he’d make of the state of things today…)

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      1. It really is convenient. I’m going out to loan an e-reader to a friend (sensibly distanced, sanitized and handed off) and then to the grocery store. Putting my panniers to good use at the grocery store. They’re not just for touring anymore!

        George Carlin was a favourite of mine. I’d love to hear his take on current events. I totally miss him.

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  9. I haven’t tried online shopping for groceries yet but three days ago, I ordered veggies online, it was quick. This morning, I placed an order of Vit C capsules and green barley. I don’t when it would arrive.

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  10. Life was so different back then. I remember the trunk calls and the amount of time we had to wait and when the call came through most of us tended to shout 🙂
    Appreciating small and unexpected things in the time of Corona 🙂

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  11. Woohooooooo! You made it Elizabeth. Thankfully, the local grocer is a friend and we gave his personal number. So, we can text him or Whatsapp him the list and it gets delivered! Ahhh the things you can do in a small town.

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