I have a thing about where I shop, preferring small shops run by local people where we have a chat that nicely passes the time.
But, today, I popped into a Tesco Metro for a few items: it felt like a heinous crime…and even more so when a security guard approached me wagging his finger and accusing me of ripping open the wrapping round a roll of black rubbish bags. (Are you with me?) I mean! What he saw was me feeling the quality of the bags, assessing their strength for the job I had in mind. Well, they were as flimsy as an excuse for missing work on a sunny Monday. What he didn’t see was me tearing open the paper wrapper because somebody else had already done that. I was incensed and suggested he consulted the CCTV for proof of his error. So incensed that I spoke to the manager about what had happened. He, naturally, toed the party-line and apologised, assuring me that he would pass on my complaint to the security guard’s company. Because, of course, the guy is not employed by Tesco. He’s a sub-contracted serf, bored out of his mind and passing the time by finger wagging at middle-aged women wearing sun hats. For gawd’s sake.
Another thing: I’ve been told by two shop-owners that we are in an un-declared recession. Barry told me this about a year ago. He and his two brothers have reluctantly sold the retail business they happily ran together for 20 years. ‘People aren’t spending like they used to.’ And, Rosie, has agonised about the permanent closure of one of her shops while scrambling to keep the other one viable. ‘There’s a recession,’ she said, ‘but no one’s acknowledging it.’
Don’t shop in stores with security guards: they don’t know how to pass the time in a pleasant way: that’s what I learnt this week.