A tale of two stores

The store giving me the aggravation a couple of weeks back was ASDA and I shall wait until after Easter then handwrite a full letter as to why they’ve lost a customer forever. Enough on them.

The store today was superb, a bit inefficient in some ways but superb overall. Yes there was a queue stretching way back but I was in the store inside 15 minutes and here’s the thing – it was civilised and cordial, no sign of the officious ones from the office above – staff were more than helpful and the shelves were mainly stocked, at least with what I needed.

The best part was how few people were about and I’m thinking, you know – this is not a bad way to do it – have us queue and then we can go where we want without bumping into anyone.  I loved it and customers were relaxed, chatting with each other for goodness sake!  Plenty of haddock, chicken, turkey, cured ham [was sick on ASDA tinned pulled pork last night so ditched it], thought I had Cv.

Then came the girl at the till and she was excellent in many ways.  All the tills were womaned and one manned.  On the way out, I asked one of the senior staff how one does the opposite of complain and she was taken aback, she scrambled to get someone from the office above down and that’s where the inefficiency came in. It’s them up there who don’t care, would never hurry themselves, good at ordering you about though.  I had a car waiting.  Got home, tried to phone, they’re taking no calls. No matter.

Store is Morrisons, where the genteel who do not wish to pay Waitrose prices go and the ground floor staff are great.  Mind you, were there a Waitrose, of course, I’d go there but there’s none in our Labour area.

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24 comments for “A tale of two stores

  1. Andy5759
    April 3, 2020 at 21:21

    I do like Morrisons, the staff are more my generation and probably share a similar upbringing. The range of produce suits me fine. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a schlep for me, a bus there and a cab back home. Therefore I limit myself to the town centre M&S, a smallish Tesco and the corner shop. I can get anything I want there, just like Alice’s Restaurant! Tesco have queues outside, I’ve heard that they are rather strict. We English don’t really take to being ordered around so I don’t go there that often. M&S is much more relaxed and business as usual. The corner shop is happy to take cash, which is important because my shopping trips can’t be traced digitally.

    The air is cleaner, people are still smiling in adversity. How long this will last I don’t know. As I walked tongue corner shop this afternoon I passed two houses where I heard raised voices. It must be very difficult for families cooped up. Singletons like me are happy bunnies right now. It won’t be long before pub gardens will be open, maybe with table service.

    • Andy5759
      April 3, 2020 at 21:42

      Sorry about the autocorrect there, I walked to the corner shop to buy beer, so maybe my tongue was hanging out.

    • April 4, 2020 at 00:13

      Those things are important.

  2. Stewart
    April 3, 2020 at 21:33

    I’ve been shopping exclusively each morning in the little local five-aisle CoOp on my way to work, and it’s lovely – well-stocked shelves with a decent wine section, everybody happy chatty and relaxed. Open doors with no queues, people using the self-service checkouts to let the staff get on with filling the shelves.

    Then this morning I went to the big Tesco supermarket as the CoOp had no frozen pastry (am I allowed to go to two shops in one journey?), and it was nightmarish: a haze of alcohol hand wash everywhere; absolutely packed even at 07:30; the fresh and frozen areas cordoned off with customers issuing futile orders to Tesco’s dispatch runners within the cordons for non-existent bags of frozen chips. They didn’t have what I wanted anyway (the girl didn’t even know you could get frozen pastry), so I just walked out. The clinical atmosphere that Tesco had created seemed to have a really strange effect on people: backing cagily away from one another like wrestlers stalking each other round the ring, quite bizarre to watch actually.

    • Andy5759
      April 3, 2020 at 21:45

      I used to buy the Jus-Rol pastry blocks and freeze it in quarters. Enough each for a pie. It would keep frozen for weeks. I used to get it from the small Co-op on the estate when I was looking after mum.

    • April 4, 2020 at 00:13

      I avoid Tesco for a reason – horrible place, everyone goes there.

  3. Wolfie
    April 3, 2020 at 22:17

    We’re not using supermarkets now.

    Bake own bread (local miller sourced), eggs next door, milk & butter local milkman/dairy, veg local farm shop, meat local butcher, fishmonger. Cupboard store supplies from Costco visit a month ago (9 months supply).

    It’s more work but the food is much better quality – the girls love the daddy food. The homemade pizza is the biggest hit.

    • Andy5759
      April 3, 2020 at 23:10

      It sounds like you’ve made a rod for your own back Wolfie. Your girls will accept nothing less than daddy food in the future.

    • April 4, 2020 at 00:14

      Doing similar in terms of baking own, except yeast ran out.

      • Wolfie
        April 4, 2020 at 01:49

        Quite a shortage in yeast and good flour now, lots of stores out of bread makers too. Can’t see all those people going back to supermarkets after this either.

        • April 4, 2020 at 09:08

          No, it’s been an eye opener. I really need that yeast too.

          • Wolfie
            April 4, 2020 at 12:31

            Plenty on ebay still.

          • April 4, 2020 at 12:41

            Clearly I have to rethink this thing.

  4. Mark Matis
    April 4, 2020 at 00:05

    Publix and Winn-Dixie are local and well stocked for most. Publix is “sanitizing” carts in their anteroom. Winn-Dixie not yet, but the only cases in Brevard county so far are in the south end – roughly 60 miles away. We do not get that many snowbirds from the Big Craphole here, although there are plenty in Orlando which is about 50 miles to the west.

    • April 4, 2020 at 00:16

      Noticed Plod are not as present round these parts, nor are invaders, they shy away from this area. Like it.

      • Andy5759
        April 4, 2020 at 01:32

        So far they have been noticeable by their absence here in the Holy City of St. Alban. They may be congregating in the Verulam Park hounding dog walkers, or on the estates sniffing out race meets on the empty streets. They’ve got to have their fun too, plod I mean. Imagine blue lighting these days, very few witnesses and what were they doing out at that time, eh?

  5. Distant Relative
    April 4, 2020 at 12:13

    On this side of the ditch the skies have not been this clear and blue since I can’t remember when. Several years at least! The cherry blossom which is usually gone in a couple of days has been staying around for over two weeks now – beautiful! Bees are having a beano.

    On the food front there’s still plenty of it but past passed laws see to that. Last Monday there was no fish at all. Wouldn’t buy fish on a Monday anyway as it might have been hanging around since Saturday when the shops were last open but its absence was noted. Cue fishermen in uproar next and covering gubermint buildings with stinky stuff.

    Meat counter was also a bit sparse. Chocolate is in short supply – at least the brand I favour. Catastrophe!

    Store managers are being creative protecting their staff. Polythene screens, bubble-wrap screens, perspex screens, masked and/or gloved cashiers, wet-wipes at the ready for the card machines. At one store was asked to disinfect hands and apply gloves which they provided and later disposed of. Some stores such as pet shops are only open for short periods but supplies are aplenty.

    Of note at the cosmetic section – many men holding up bottles of shampoo and such like carefully reading the packaging whilst on their phones presumably to their missuses! Learning curve? 😀

    Post Office (civil service) took it upon themselves to reduce their working week to 3 or 4 days but gubermint told them to get off the backsides and resume services as people in isolation and possibly without the benefit of interweb need a life-line such as – erm- lecky bills? 🙂

    Deliveries from UK (John Lewis) are far more reliable than those within France. Strange that, innit?

    Keep on keeping on!

    • April 4, 2020 at 12:43

      … reading the packaging whilst on their phones presumably to their missuses! Learning curve?

      Definitely, not a bad one.

      • Mark Matis
        April 4, 2020 at 13:06

        Wonder if any of them were brave enough to refill the shampoo bottle with depilatory?

        • Distant Relative
          April 4, 2020 at 18:19

          Well that’s one way to resolve the new phenomenon known as “lockdown hair” for ladies (or gents) with no access to hairdressing establishments.

  6. Ubermouth
    April 6, 2020 at 14:58

    I had to laugh at you being ill from pulled pork but thinking you had CV.lol I have CV every other day so can relate.
    Jamie Oliver has no yeast bread recipe….
    How’s Boris getting on?

    • April 6, 2020 at 18:46

      Nearly dead.

      • ubermouth
        April 7, 2020 at 02:28

        Lol that’s wicked.I love that big oaf !

  7. April 7, 2020 at 15:55

    Tas is as normal. Coles, Woolies, corner stores (Salamanca, owned by a middle-Eastern family – quite nice and civilised folk) etc all well stocked with everything, including oodles of fresh veggies. Yes we did have a bit of a run on that which is needed for the runs, but apart from that, all seems well. Even that is back on the shelves.

    I bought a bottle of hand sanitiser today from the Lark (Whisky) distillery in town. All very civilised. Nice smell too.

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