Confessions of a Door Monitor (or: How I’m thriving during the pandemic)

Perhaps you’ve seen me on door duty at Karma, where I put in one shift a week (down from 2 during the sunny weather).  I’m the old guy (pony tail, beard, goatee, all tastefully grey) who always has a book.

I was one of the original members, and dropped out for about 25 years – and am I glad I returned.  During the pandemic, Karma is my most important community, and so much more than a food store.

John on one of his door shifts.

How are you spending the pandemic – deprived of intellectual stimulus or access to people in whom you are interested?  Not me (at least not during my shift).  I have all these terrific conversations with the likes of you and the staff.  Plus I get to read to my heart’s content, without lingering guilt over reading during the day.

Not only that, but I get to discuss my reading likes with many of you.  I daresay I have influenced some of you to track down my favourite books.

But it’s not all about me – my presence takes some of the pressure off our beloved hard-working staff, who shouldn’t have to worry that too many people are in the store, or they haven’t sanitized, or they’ve forgotten to mask.

There is a downside:  sometimes I feel like the absurd gatekeeper in Kafka’s The Trial, if there is no one on duty before me, and/ or no one to relieve me.  (Secret:  being old, I’m ‘retired’ and don’t have to put in hours.)

How about you?  We are a co-op, not a commercial store.  Please, sign up for door monitoring, and say ‘hi’ to me when I relieve you, or you come to relieve me.  You’ll be performing a mitzvah.