“There’s a certain quietness in the grocery store. It’s relaxing compared to the noise of daily life.” Detroit shopper Dan S. knows a thing or two about the hecticness of daily life. By day, the college administrator in student affairs juggles work with studying for his second graduate degree. By night — and many an early morning — he’s a regular in Meijer stores across Detroit. In the spare moments in between, he’s a dad to rescue dog Lola and an avid baseball fan. Dan shares his #MyShiptStory, from learning to think like a customer to navigating the baby food aisle.
Life Outside Lane 12
A couple weeks ago, I was in Meijer shopping for myself after a vacation and the cashier in lane 12 asked me where my green shirt was. She works overnights and is used to seeing me come through her checkout line as she’s ready to get off at 7:00am. I had to tell her, ”believe it or not, I’m not always in lane 12 every morning!”
Shipt gives me the flexibility to take on extra work while also juggling a full-time job as a college administrator and full-time graduate studies – I get my master’s in December, hopefully! Each day is unpredictable, and always requires a lot of energy. I spend early mornings, nights, and weekends shopping. It’s nice to be able to wake up or unwind after a long day with Shipt, and still do the things I need to do on my own time, like be a dad to my rescue dog, Lola.
Sometimes if I’m grabbing a shop right after work, I almost forget to take off my tie and put on my Shipt shirt. It’s one of those moments where you forget that you’re transitioning from one aspect of your work life to another. The pieces just fit together so well.
A Different Kind of Energy
There’s a certain quietness in the grocery store. It’s relaxing compared to the noise of daily life. After a long day at work where I’m interacting with a lot of college students, it’s nice to have a familiar task – to walk in with a list on my phone and relax in the quiet of the overhead music, just doing my job. Just me and the list against the clock. It’s like walking or running, but instead of going outside, I just go through the store at my own pace. It’s a different kind of energy than my day job. Produce doesn’t talk back!
Shipt shopping is a unique experience. You’re looking for a bunch of items that you’ve maybe heard of before in a limited time frame and then deliver to a new person’s home. You’re required to think on your feet and be adaptable, because you never know what products are going to be out of stock.
You also need to be able to think as if you were the customer: What would I do if the ingredients I needed or the products I needed weren’t in stock? I shop with that sensitivity because you’re delivering to someone who would want you to have the same kind of expectations for their delivery that you have for your own. You want to be able to give them the same service as if they were sending their son or husband to the store with the list. You have to come home and get it right.
The Ins & Outs of Baby Food
When you shop for yourself, you tend to be a creature of habit and get things that you’re familiar with. I’m a single guy with a dog, so I really didn’t know what to anticipate for families or elderly customers. I had no idea that there are about 10 million varieties of baby food. You have to be very particular about whether or not someone will want a different kind, because babies are very picky. You’ve got to make sure that you know what – and who – you’re shopping for. You learn a lot about a grocery store when shopping for Shipt, way more than you ever thought you would.
The “True Blessing” of Community
Doing this work is also a service opportunity for me. I delivered to a woman the other night who had injured herself and couldn’t go shopping. Her family was out of town. The ability to have groceries delivered to her was really something that she found to be a “true blessing,” in her words. My dad is a stroke survivor, and I know what this service means to all those who need it. And when you go through the seasons of life here in Michigan, you also see people at the holidays, in snowstorms, in many different situations where they need your help.
To be able to make that difference in someone’s day is so rewarding. You don’t get to do that in most service industry jobs. People don’t want to hug you when you’re working in a restaurant. Yes, you’re getting paid for doing what you do, but to be able to impact someone’s daily life in a simple way is just remarkable.
Interested in becoming a shopper? Learn more about how you can live the #shiptlife.