Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday afternoon shopping - fraught with dangers

I know I SHOULD be more organised and do the groceries basically any other day of the week. I work from home, I SHOULD be able to work around a grocery trip - but every week it gets to Saturday and every week I get to the realisation that I will have to stock up or feed my family soup until Monday and therefore every Saturday I do a little list and get shopping - with varying degrees of success.

On the good weeks, I meal plan, organise my pantry, consult the specials brochures (online and paper form) and have a cracker list. We get to Softball, go to the library and then do the health food shop (always fun), the big smoke supermarket, the fruit & veg shop and the 2 local supermarkets and somehow manage to keep within budget and get nearly everything.

On the not so good weeks - we go to softball and get home, when I panic. I figure what we will eat based on what I see in the shops, I double up on things I think I might need and completely forget what was absolutely necessary, I am limited to the 2 local supermarkets and the budget gets blown with only enough good stuff for 2 days.

Guess which one yesterday's was?

It wasn't that dire - however little shops like that will strangle whatever financial sanity you have, and add a nearly 10 year old into the mix...

My gripes with the shopping yesterday, however, weren't about menu planning or meat specials or other customers lack of consideration of aisle usage or old beans.

They definitely weren't about the cutest little kids abounding on a Saturday afternoon at Local Supermarket Number 2 (the blow in). I don't think it is cluckiness, I think there just happened to be a mother-lode of cute little kids at that particular time at that particular place. One little boy was so chatty, he struck up a conversation with me whenever I was anywhere near - even though I declined his offer of a drink (he has worked out all the smooth moves before the age of 3!).

It wasn't about the gorgeous, slinky young things in backless togs and towels in the toiletries aisle - they looked to be having fun together far too much for me to work up a full grump about frumpy matrons, it just made me smile.

It wasn't the fact that my "oh my goodness how much is she growing up" girl disappeared on me for most of the shop for "her favourite aisle" (she is a stationery junkie), reappearing at opportune moments to ask "can I have some money?" (the answer to that is generally no, but she still has to try it), "what is my allowance this week?" (a sliding scale where we hope she aspired to get 100% of, and often receives less - unfortunately she remains happy at getting whatever, and so the bribery is not as effective as it should be - I blame relatives (who do not read this blog) (I hope) who blow our economy with gifts of 3 figure amounts making the 100% of our weekly aspiration look paltry)... I am loving the fact that, in Paradise the supermarkets are not so big and faceless that she can't track me nor I her and she does get a little bit of liberty... Sob, my girl is getting so grown up.

It wasn't that last week's lotto didn't give us the $400,000 I was sort of banking on to solve all financial dilemmas and build a few of our dreams, but I did invest in another chance for fate to step in and do so for us this week. The only guarantee with lotto is that if you don't enter, you will NEVER win.

It wasn't even the fact that a lady in Local Supermarket Number 1 (the original) said "excuse me" in the stock and gravies aisle and then laid her hands on the bump and rubbed - I am far more perplexed by this strange behaviour than outraged, although the whole "personal space" issue can be a bit of a hurdle for me, especially when coupled with the transgression by complete strangers (it freaks me a little when closer acquaintances do it) but she obviously felt it was important enough and did apologise beforehand.

However, there was ONE EVENT that tipped me over the edge yesterday afternoon during the shop - and I am ashamed to say I did not do what I should have done at the time about it.

'Salina had found an object of desire fitting into her budget and was quite excited by the prospect of being the owner of this object (a new notebook - just her kind of candy). I suggested she go into the express aisle for her own purchase with her own money and she was more than happy to comply.

The store was staffed - sparsely - with all very young things - nothing wrong with young things if they do their jobs, and in general there is a certain amount who do and a certain amount who don't - but it is important to note there was not one person working there who I would have called a senior staff member. It comes into play later in my melodrama.

Paradise is made up of mainly by retirees and holiday-makers - families are definitely the smaller third group. 'Salina waited patiently while a few elderly and a few out-of-towners were served. Just as her turn arrived, two teenage boys reached over her to put their purchases on the counter, and Gra#me* served them.

'Salina turned to me to say "did you see that" and I did say out loud (which can be quite) that I had seen that and it wasn't on - and for all the effect that passive aggressive action had on the young thing staff I may as well have been talking from within a plastic bubble - or at least, outside of theirs. Thwarted.

I took her under my wing and put the previous notebook amongst my purchases, scanning the store for someone senior to place a complaint with - but my search was in vain.

My own personal young thing serving me was diligently avoiding any eye contact should I wish to complain to her, and by the time I was at liberty to tackle Gra#me, he had a queue to serve and I stayed silent, defeated into seemingly mute acceptance of this display.

However... However, Mr C, the local owner of Local Supermarket Number 1 (the original) will be receiving a letter, and because Mr C is neither Young nor seeking the admiration of teenage boys above loyal customers I am truly hoping that my Saturday afternoons shall not be ruined by any Gra#me's in the future.

BTW - to those who saw my desperate Twitter last night, inspiration answered my plea and the risotto was fantastic!


Leenie said...

Write that letter. Hope you get some satisfaction from it. It is surprising how rude some people are and how ignorant they are of their rudeness. Best wishes for a better weekend next week.

Jen at Semantically driven said...

We had a sort of similar situation on Friday afternoon. JJ was waiting at the deli counter to ask for his smiley fritz with number and all, and an elderly woman came up after him and was served first (after the server asked who was next). The person serving him didn't ask for a number but the woman who pushed in must have seen us. If I had have been more on the ball I would have said that we were!.
Then the damn woman took bloody ages and no-one else was serving.

But I'd write that letter if I were you.

BB said...

That sucks... I'd love to have been there to be a rude stranger and point out the 'mistake' made by Gra#me. Perhaps this is one of life's little lessons for Salina? The Lord helps those who help themselves (or The Lord helps those who say "EXCUSE ME... I was here first!"). Or perhaps the lesson was that (in the scheme of things like gorgeous babies and stupid women touching strangers bellies) it wasn't really that important? And that those boys would face bigger and ruder shocks in their lives because their attitudes stank.

Still - write that letter. Draw that line. Someone, somewhere, needs to understand that Manners Matter. Especially at the checkout queue.
((hugs)) to my niece...

Debby said...

No. You write that letter. You know why? Because watching us is how our daughters learn not to roll over and play dead every time that life is unfair. You are teaching Salina the right way to handle an unfair situation.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I agree - write the letter. It's matter of principle.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely write that letter for Salina as well as for other young people. And I also cannot believe that that woman felt it was OK to touch you. What is it about a pregnant mother that others think she is public property? Also relieved to know I am not a three figure relative! I know my place!
BTW my verification is 'thili' which is not what the above ith.

Melody said...

Come and live in the UAE. Arabs find it perfectly acceptable to barge in front of you at the supermarket ALL THE TIME. You dare not say anything as the chances of GOING TO JAIL are too high. I'm serious!!

As for tummy rubbing I didn't get any bar one (Aussie) neighbour who would just come up and rub it! Lucky for me she moved back to Oz back in June so I didn't get any more belly rubs. *phew*

Mary O. Paddock said...

What Debbie said. Write that letter.

I guess I'm just familiar enough with teenage boys that I would have (and have been known to) say something to the young men (using my best teacher/mom's voice. I promise you, they weren't thinking. I've been surprised by how often kids like that will apologize and back off.

Jayne said...

Write that letter and let everyone know what the store is....coz bad publicity will get back and they will HAVE to pick up their game.
Consider each and Every.Single.Shopping trip a critical review and see yourself as a critic.
If they treat you like crap, they reap the Karma they sent out but likewise if they do good tell people about it ;)

♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

Though it is nothing significant in the big picture it matters.

I agree with everyone - write that letter.

Gra#me should learnt that manners matter and the etiquette (?) of ignoring an important customer (like Salina) leads to consequences apology at least.

I did mystery shopper a few times and most shops really do want to know honestly the shopping experience good & bad so they can lift their game.

It's not making a big deal but

MissyBoo said...

I agree too - write the letter.