Monday 1 September 2014

A tale of two shops.....

A day spent trying to get my papers together for my tax return, which meant doing masses of filing, was never going to be fun.  I thought I would cook something different for supper as a reward which meant a trip to the shops.

This isn’t with the zeitgeist but I do most of my shopping at the nearest supermarket which happens to be Tesco.  I have the loyalty card and regularly get money off vouchers which, most of the time, I forget about until too late. I also get air miles which means I would have to spend about half a million pounds to go anywhere (OK a bit of an exaggeration but not much).

I don’t use the self-checkout.  If they offered me a discount to check out my own shopping then I suppose I would. I quite like a bit of human interaction and worry that one day the humans may all be replaced by machines.

However, today I only needed a few items (which were quite exotic and difficult to locate) but I did.  I then thought I would use the self-checkout.  Firstly the terminals that were free had a message “take your receipt” – there was no receipt dangling free.  Someone came and cleared one for me to use.  Sorted out the bagging area etc and scanned the first two items.  Third one was a bit challenging but I managed.  The fourth one (a bag of semolina) came up with a message to say that “this product has been withdrawn, ask for assistance”.  The assistant came over, read the message and then tried four times to rescan it – surprisingly getting the same message each time.  All she had to do was offer to replace it with a different brand.  I lost the will to continue at that point and left her and my shopping in the bagging area.

I then walked a couple of blocks to a Middle Eastern shop where the lovely chap managed to understand me, translated all the labels, found everything I needed – all surprisingly cheap.  When I told the cashier I had forgotten the coriander she said not to worry she would charge me and I should just pick up a bunch on the way out. (Note: they even sold the chicken already cut up and skinned for my tagine. It was delicious!)

One slightly curious thing I did see – a bag of Knorr stock cubes with the label “Nigeria’s favourite stock cube”.