Even though I am the acting news director for WPMG-TV in western Pennsylvania, we all are human.
I arrived at the Staple’s store on Wednesday (March 25th) to purchase a printer after mine had abruptly quit working. The black ink cartridge practically exploded, causing the ink to form a gel-like substance on the inside which shorted out the one component.
After speaking to a sales representative and choosing a similar printer, I walked to the checkout and noticed that they had red and white tape lines on the ground, indicating the estimated 6-foot clearance needed for “social distancing”. As the gentleman in front of me started his checkout process, I noticed a Pennsylvania State Trooper vehicle swing in front very quickly. Suddenly, a trooper got out and was practically running in.
As he approached the door, I heard the brakes squeal from another vehicle and recognized it as an additional Pennsylvania State Trooper. He got out and made his way into the store.
The troopers then demanded to speak to the manager in-charge, which was at the register I was about to approach.
Numerous questions were asked, such as “Why are you still opening this store against Tom Wolf’s order?” and “Who made you a supposed essential store”.
I quickly tried to rush through checkout considering this was the only store who had such a valued printer for the features, and I did not want to get “booted out” when I was just so close to finishing my payment.
The one trooper demanded to see the letter from corporate, which was promptly provided by the store manager. I overheard the trooper laugh a bit and say “You guys sell toilet paper and snacks here?”. I giggled under my breath because even I knew they sold those products for at least a dozen years to offices.
My payment method was then approved and I tried to squeeze through the troopers who refused to practice to “safe social distance” as I tried to leave. I said a loud “Stay safe troopers” as I left, to which I heard a solemn reply “You too man!”.
As I got outside, another trooper arrived and started to walk into the store.
As I peered to the right, I noticed two additional troopers in their SUV’s parked, waiting.
Governor Tom Wolf has definitely made it a struggle to obtain basic supplies needed for us essential workers.