It’s impossible. No, seriously. It is.
Why do you think people whine about it all the time? Why is there no information on how exactly to bypass the “Sorry there are no sessions available at this time” sign on their website? Well this post tells you exactly how to do it.
If you want to ruffle some feathers and engage New Yorkers in fiery, judgmental conversation, talk about the Park Slope Food Coop. People hate it. Everyone does. Most especially people who have never been there and only regard it as a place where freaks roam.
And they do! But that doesn’t mean I don’t LOVE the Food Coop. A lot of my recipes’ ingredients are sourced from there, I work my shifts quietly and do my shopping even more so. The prices are unbeatable, but do not expect any hand-holding. I was given a fair warning during orientation a few years ago: Nothing about the coop is convenient. Not the orientation, not the shopping, not the working, not the people, not the office. Nothing. You only go for the food.
This is probably how most members feel about it. To me there is an added sense of community, not that I mingle with other members but you kind of get the feeling that people have joined the organization to have a greater say in what they buy and eat. I do really enjoy seeing firsthand that most items in the produce section are restocked at least once during my 3-hour shift. I also feel more confident that the choices the coop makes on my behalf are the best decisions for me, and not to maximize profit or to fit a business model.
Are they nuts? Yes. The coop is choc full of crazies. But you know you want in. That’s why you’re reading this, right? Okay so here we go.
HOW TO GET A COOP ORIENTATION SLOT
1) Make sure you are qualified and really want to join the coop by reading this page.
If you still want to join the insanity, create a user account. Do not skip this step. This will save you time later on when you are fighting for 3 remaining slots.
2) This screen will become your friend. Normally you will always see this message:
Sorry, there are no sessions available at this time.
Don’t focus on that. Focus on the first paragraph that says that slots are opened exactly two weeks before their scheduled date. There are three orientation slots per week:
Monday at 7:30 pm
Wednesday at 10 am
Sunday at 4 pm
Choose which one you want to attend.
2) Mark your calendar exactly two weeks before the date and time you want. For example you want to attend an orientation on May 15th at 10 am. Mark your calendar to be in front of your computer on May 1st by 9:55 am.
3) Beginning at 9:58 am, refresh that page repeatedly until the clock strikes 10 am. Any remaining slots will be opened to the public at exactly 10 am. If there are any, you will be directed to log in with your user name and password for your account (the one you created in Step 1).
4) Sign in and secure your spot quickly as there are people awaiting the same orientation slot. If no slots are available then that just means others beat you to it. Try again and follow the steps above for another time.
5) Good luck and welcome to the insanity! Hope I bump into you buying kohlrabi in the near future!