While the entire community (in fact, the entire world) was busy for the last year or so with freaking out about masks and judging each other, the Finland Co-op store has quietly instituted revolutionary changes that will affect the entire future of our town. Staff observed the workings of the store, shopping patterns, common questions, etc. and decided to take matters into their own hands to make a serious and unprecedented change.
“It’s really weird and disorienting,” observed long-time Co-op shopper and Finland resident, Toivo Salawaki, “I visit the aisle in the store where breakfast cereal has been for the last hundred years, and instead, I find trash cans, and housewares. I don’t know what to think.”
Salawaki was observed by this reporter just standing in front of the trash cans, blinking for a good 20 minutes. According to store employees, his behavior hasn’t changed, just the organization of the items for sale in the aisles.
“He used to do that when the breakfast cereal was in that spot, too,” said one of the cashiers, “He only comes into town once every couple weeks to stock up on Lucky Charms and other necessities, just like he has for the last hundred years. We knew that rearranging the aisles might come as a shock, so we were prepared, but it doesn’t seem to have affected him.”
Another long-time Co-op Shopper, Kimi Räikkönen, feels the reorganization of goods is necessary in order for the store to keep up with the changing times.
“I know I still feel nostalgic about the red and white siding with the green letters that we used to have at the Co-op, but this time around, I really feel that moving the fishing poles is ok,” Räikkönen commented, “I get extra exercise wandering around the store looking for things. I find things I didn’t know I needed! And sometimes I even ask the employees and they tell me where things are!”
There are early signs that others in the community are adapting to the change as well. Customers have been overheard saying things like, “I guess there’s no reason why all the clothing COULDN’T be in the same aisle with the gloves and boots and stuff,” as well as the most common comment about the change, “It’s not too bad.”
The top comment by tourists has been quite different, of course: “Do you sell gasoline?”
And as a comforting sign of community stability amidst all of this upheaval, one of the Jensens was recently observed pulling a 20 foot log down Highway 1 behind a four-wheeler.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Welcome to Finland.