Friday, 2 January 2009

Supermarket stories

Someone once told me I had a face that says "tell me!". How did I come to have a face like that? I thought I just looked like me.

It's been a while since my 'tell me' face last appeared. I wrote a post about travel tales and pondered why people see it fit to randomly babble on planes and other modes of transportation, but don't tend to do the same in supermarkets. Well, today, I take that all back.

I popped out to the supermarket this afternoon, as we had run out of bread. It was going to be a quick shop: just bread and a couple of other basics. On the way in, I noticed that cherries were now 40% cheaper than they were at Christmas a week ago. These ones looked great, so I started selecting a few. As I was filling my bag, a woman stood next to me and looked for labels, then started to lament the "terrible" food available in the North Island, which is really hard when you're from the South Island and used to having good fresh food and produce, but just can't find it when you're away ... all in a very broad English accent, I might add. (Unless England is now in the South Island? It must have happened while I wasn't paying attention.)

I could see she was expecting some kind of response from this North Islander, so I pointed out that she didn't need to buy the cherries if she didn't like them.

"Oh, I know," she replied, "but I keep on doing it and hoping it will get better and that things will be as good as I remembered, but they never are." Hmm, I said I couldn't help her with that. She agreed, and wished me a happy new year, all the while muttering to herself about the state of all the fruit around her. I continued shopping.

A few aisles along, I came across a woman complaining to a staff member about the number of products running out and not being replaced in the store. He sympathised and said that sometimes there were extra supplies "out the back", and they were replenished as soon as possible, but on this occasion it was unfortunate that they didn't have what she needed, blah blah blah. She said it wasn't just on this occasion, but every occasion she shopped there ... you get the picture. I gingerly sneaked between them to grab a soap refill pack, which happened to be the last one of its type on the shelf. I had inadvertently stepped into the web; I now became the centre of "see, another product which has run out - will you be replacing it, or will you just leave it and not bother?" ... how do I do this?? I quietly made my escape.

Sometimes it's best not to think about things too much, so tonight I plan to wash my hands with my new soap and eat my cherries, selfishing enjoying them without giving a thought in the world to the poor South Islanders on holiday in the North Island and being forced to eat our substandard food, or the fact that there may be someone somewhere who is in desperate need of a honey and jojoba flowing soap refill. Indulgent? You bet! ;-)


Random Thoughts said...

Some people need an outlet for their complaints... It is too bad they choose strangers in the market to be their sounding board.

Sab said...

That's too bad... especially that you had to be in the middle of it. I like when talking to people in the mall and they're nice... I often start fun little conversations with people... but complaining is never fun.

Evelyn said...

Ah, if only that woman in the grocery store could just HEAR herself!

I do hope you enjoyed your cherries (I'm drooling, as it's winter here in the U.S.A, and I cherries are just simply not in season.