Home » Grumbles and Groans » The Early birds………….

The Early birds………….

Whilst doing our weekly shop last Sunday, I was very nearly driven to actually hitting someone with one of the items in my basket, either that or suddenly losing control and charging willy nilly into every shopper in sight with my trolley screaming my head off. (they would have come to take me away, but it would have been worth it.) There was a time when K and I were the only shoppers (well apart from perhaps one or two more) who did our shopping on a Sunday, but lately we have been joined by  every man, woman, nattering child, screaming infant, and yes, even the occasional dog who now pile into Tesco’s every Sunday morning.  We badly needed a cunning  plan.

We needed a cunning plan because the final straw for me occurred last Sunday when, whilst trying to reach for some item or other from one of the shelves, a very portly man actually walked between me and the said shelves complete with his trolley. I was only stood a foot or so away from the shelf! I kid you not. Then to add insult to injury, as I gave him one of my ‘thunder looks’ (as my youngest refers to them) he had the audacity to give ME a dirty look back AND make some sarcastic remark to his wife about me!  It’s very easy for a pedestrian like me to tell which shoppers are car drivers simply by the way in which they expect every other shopper to make way for them as they travel down the aisles with there trolleys. By far the worst shoppers though are those who stand slap bang in the middle of the aisle with their trolley to one side or the other, usually next to someone else who has decided to do exactly the same thing.


What they are meant to be doing there blocking the aisle is anyone’s guess because they don’t actually seem to be attempting to purchase anything by getting items down from the shelves. Me?  I KNOW what I want, I do my shopping here every week. I KNOW where everything is. I can zoom around the whole supermarket in a flash. (Well I could if it wasn’t full of other shoppers getting in my way!)  The worse times are when there’s a ‘trolley jam’ down the aisle where you really must go to get that purchase that simply can’t be left until the next shop. Usually caused by some shopper or other who has met someone they haven’t seen for god knows how long and simply must tell each other their whole life history bang in the middle of that all important, you need something desperately aisle.

On top of all that, you have the staff themselves. Have you ever noticed how they always seem to be filling up the shelves at the exact spot where you need to reach something? Of course, you can’t get to it because its blocked by their pallets full of produce. Either that, or they themselves are stood in the way.  We did have that particular incident occur today, despite the fact that there were only us two and another few half a dozen shoppers in the whole supermarket. Two members of staff, (both young guys) emerged from the back storeroom with a pallet full of items and then promptly began a conversation with each other. K ended up dancing a sort of ‘waltz’ around  them both trying to make her way past them and their pallet in order to reach her pasta salad.


Mind you, despite being early and one of the first shoppers to be stood waiting for the doors to be opened this morning, I thought that Technogran’s Law had struck again when the store assistant couldn’t get the doors to open.  If he tried once he tried a thousand times. Each time they would open so far and then abruptly close again. This would have no doubt continued all day, and we would still be stood there watching the doors half open and close had not some beady eyed shopper stood with us noticed that there were some stacked baskets stopping the doors from opening fully. Sigh.  We’d have looked well wouldn’t we? Getting up at the crack of dawn to make sure that we had a peaceful and quiet shopping trip only to find ourselves still stood there hours later waiting to get in accompanied by the usual throng!


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11 thoughts on “The Early birds………….

  1. Modern life is definitely not the easy glide that people would have us believe … I’m not saying it was all much beter in “the od days” but at least you could talk to the people causing problems ….. I love the old village shops … and still do most my shopping in personally owned shops. OK, there is the risk of paying more, but the service, care and after sales service make it well worth while …… not to mention the freshness of the produce …

  2. I couldn’t agree more Tricia! Remember when you went into the shop, were served by just one person who got everything you wanted for you? Is Supermarket shopping really so much easier to do? Or faster? Its evolved purely and simply to serve the car owner. If no one used cars, we would still all be enjoying the personal service of our small corner shops.

  3. I’m discovering a whole new world in Italy, where the shop keepers will give you recipes and take pride in their produce!!! And they remember what they sold you and then ask how it was … !!! Simple food, but tasty and different … whether it is fish, veges, wine, they really seem to care!!
    The extra gift is the freedom from supermarket trolleys, lack of service, and being run down and blocked by other shoppers. Sometimes it means going a little further to find the local cheese maker, but the result is well worth it ….. and the human interaction a bonus.

    PS Well done Nadal ….!!

  4. Its the rent-a-shopper mob! Supermarkets rent them by the hour to make themselves look busy. I know this cos we have exactly the same bunch in my local supermarket (though they rather cleverly put on different faces and different clothes). But the tactics are identical!
    Either that or there’s some sort of secret school somewhere that teaches people how to be real irritating in supermarkets.

    And what about the checkouts then? Why is it I always seem to get stuck behind the person who’s always managed to find the one item in the whole shop that isn’t recognised by the barcode reader, and have to wait ages and ages for someone to tell the cashier what the price of the item is?

    • Oh Yes Mike! I had left out the supermarket check outs! Or you get the one that is just packing up for her break, or the only one with less people has someone in front of you with enough items to last you a year. I was behind a woman once who, after taking about a quarter of an hour to search in every area of her purse, her bag, her pockets etc, couldn’t find her credit card and had no money on her.
      Or you are behind the elderly guy who insists on packing himself, then spends half an hour packing a few items into each bag.

      • Oh too right. Here’s a little tale for you though… few years back mate Darren and I were wandering around the supermarket doing our weekly shop (used to share a house at the time so we generally did our shopping together) and it was one of those days such as you’ve described, plus it seemed that every single brand of whatever I wanted was curiously out of stock whilst they had loads on the shelves of their “own brand” stuff.

        Final straw came when, at the end of it all, we wandered into the cafeteria for a nibble and a coffee to soothe my frayed temper. But the very thing I wanted, the thing I really liked there… jam doughnuts… they’d sold out!

        So when we reached the cashier with just our coffees I of course have a bit of a moan. Not a full-blown rant you understand. Just a bit of a whinge. Almost tongue in cheek in fact. Cos the cashier was only a youngster… quite pretty too (and I’ve always been a sucker for a pretty face). Anyway, a few minutes into this moan suddenly she bursts into tears and rushes off… leaving us stranded at the till!


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