However, this morning I needed to buy a chicken for tonight's Sunday dinner. I was outside "Lidl" on Chesterfield Road before opening time at 10am. To my surprise, a queue was already forming and I was fourth in it. When the doors finally slid open, there must have been thirty other shoppers behind me and more cars entering the car park.
I grabbed my chicken and a few other bits and pieces. By 10.20am I was at the checkout. standing on a two metre social distancing floor sticker. Ahead of me was a woman of my age or slightly older.. She was in fact beyond the next sticker so more than two metres ahead. She turned to me and spoke through her face mask.
"You are supposed to be two metres back!"
"I am two metres back!"
"No you're not. You are endangering my safety."
"What do you think these floor stickers are about?"
"Just get back will you!"
"I am two metres away from you. Do you know what a metre is?"
"Of course I know what a metre is! Don't patronise me!"
"Well don't tell me to get back when I am already two metres away from you!"
"You're upsetting me now!"
And then the pink-haired checkout boy butts in with, "Isn't it a bit early to be arguing like this?"
As he deals with the complaining woman's shopping, I notice that he is comforting her as if she has somehow been wronged and I take this up with him when my shopping has gone through. Meantime the woman, who has been filling her shopping bags on the side bench, passes me on her way out. She is maybe two feet from me.
Why do I allow such things to get under my skin? Why do I relive them? Why do I get upset? It's always been this way. Hypersensitivity. One of my demons.
Needless to say, I shall stick to late evening shopping in future. Crowded supermarkets cause tensions that I can well do without.
You should have gone to "Waitrose" YP. Nobody would speak to you.😊ReplyDelete
When we lived in the posh village in Cheshire near Manchester airport. We would go in Lidl in Wilmslow and the middleclass customers would place their shopping in M & S carrier bags. True story.
Northsider, I, too, lived in a posh Cheshire Village (without a Lidl) but with similar 'tendencies'. It amused me no end last year when a friend parked her Vauxhall Corsa next to a Rolls Royce (yes really) at the Lidl in the St Rolox complex in Glasgow. I wanted to blog about it but she didn't think to get a photo.Delete
Thanks for that Graham. It was weird living in a posh Southern village up North. I heard stories of people getting Littlewoods catalogue van's dropping goods off up the road so nobody knew they bought things on the never never. I believe also most properties were actually rented and not owned by the residents of the village with the Coronation street actors and Manchester footballers. We rented too.Delete
You rented too Dave? Does that mean you were a rent boy?Delete
An ex farm labourer's cottage would cost a kings ransom in those parts. Yet it was so close to Manchester. Gentrification I suppose?Delete
I have heard that some women who claim to be in "the wrong body" opt for gentrification.Delete
I'm with Northsider. Waitrose at it's Saturday busiest and, when I was at the tomatoes, three people all two metres away and duly masked waited whilst I chose and beetled away. Hypersensitivity to things like that is hard to live with.ReplyDelete
You have lost me Graham.Delete
The first and second sentences were not related. Sorry.Delete
And in case that is still confusing I meant that hypersensitivity to which you referred was hard to live with.Delete
I went into Aldi yesterday afternoon (early Monday morning is my normal time). It was AWFUL, people breathing down my neck and reaching over me. There were far too many people in there, as well...Be grateful that your lady wanted to be more than 2 metres away!ReplyDelete
Early in the pandemic many shops had a limit to how many shoppers were allowed inside. Now they don't seem to care.Delete
It's a crazy hard time for many of us. I am just so very grateful not to be working in a position in which I'd have to deal with the public. Things would not go well.ReplyDelete
Maybe your hair would turn pink too!Delete
Wow. I wonder why she was arguing with you. I have given people dirty looks but wouldn't argue with anyone, especially someone who was 2 meters away from me. Everybody is stressed though, I know that.ReplyDelete
I gave an old man, probably only ten or fifteen years older than me so not really old, a hard time because he stopped his vehicle in the middle of the road so that his wife could load up the groceries and get into the vehicle. His window was open and I said, I can't believe people just stop in the middle of the road. That upset him.
Stress isn't bringing out the best in us, that's for sure. It never has. We all get our backs up. I don't think you're hypersensitive. She was being weird.
To respond to your comment about hiring a lawyer, my son was asking for unsupervised overnight visits, we felt it was worth the cost of a lawyer to protect our grandson. My son is a drug addict and alcoholic and I don't trust him at all. He would put my grandson at risk of harm and I won't have that. And it breaks my heart to do that but I won't have more lives destroyed.
What I meant was that your son with his self-centres view of the world has put you in the position of having to hire a lawyer. But it should not have been necessary. He has given you another financial hit.Delete
He has cost us thousands and thousands of dollars but money for a lawyer to protect my grandson is money well spent.Delete
Let's leave aside why you would buy a chicken from Lidl. As good as many of Lidl's/Aldi's lines are, their chicken (like most supermarkets') is a bit pale. Can't bear the thought of mass produced off the factory line chicken. As Northsider and Graham Edwards have already touched on, it's Waitrose where it's at. Not just because you can procure a Duchy of Cornwall reared happy chicken at an eyewatering price but because you really do get a "better" clientele. Both my M&S and Little Waitrose (the latter part of our local John Lewis Store) are oases of calm and manners - at any time of the day.ReplyDelete
May I recommend that, rather than go to Lidl in the evening, you'll go there in the morning. First thing. Few will be there. The shelves well stocked, everything fresh, nobody has breathed over the open produce (yet). Early bird catches the worm . . .
As to you being hypersensitive, I have no answer, YP. Some people are, and some - like yours truly - have the hind of a rhino, the water of a duck's back and generally just smile. Until my eyes flash. Which, being patient by nature, doesn't happen often but when they do flash in anger, so I am told, they flash. I don't even need to say anything.
I'm glad it wasn't you in front of me in the Lidl queue Ursula. Those famous killer eyes would have sent me screaming from the shop clutching my £3.60 chicken.Delete
Don't worry, YP. Even I don't have eyes in the back of my head.Delete
"Hell is other people". Sometimes.ReplyDelete
There is a lot to be said for being a hermit.Delete
I'm surprised you are hypersensitive after all those years teaching. I try not to let people upset me, it's not good for my blood pressure.ReplyDelete
I relive episodes like this one over and over and it was just the same in teaching when things went wrong such as classroom indiscipline or arguments with colleagues. I wish that I had been more thick skinned.Delete
Distancing brings out the best and worst in people. I have been shielding and getting online supermarket deliveries for months, but last week happened to be in the High Street, so felt courageous and went into Lidl for a few things. As we were queuing for the cashier, a woman literally stood so close behind me she was almost acting as a human backpack.I turned round to say something to discover her mask was under her chin and she was animatedly talking on her phone in what sounded like an Eastern European language, spraying me with her breath, completely oblivious to my existence. I tried to edge forward and, as I was paying the cashier with by contactless card method, this woman moved up to "hug" me again this treading on my toes. She clearly had no concept of 2 metres nor where her mask was supposed to be. I vowed to steer clear of supermarkets again. It's too risky.ReplyDelete
That sounds awful - especially when I consider how you have protected yourself through these difficult months.Delete
We have virtually stopped going shopping because of incidents like you describe.ReplyDelete
People have turned into horrors with this b virus.
I have a weekly delivery from Asda and have recently found out that the co-op delivers within a couple of hours for £1.99, have used them twice now for extras that I had forgotten. Funnily enough this ties in with your recent comment on my blog. They use deliveroo to bring the shopping to you. lol
Do they bring fox food?Delete
It sounds to me like that woman was wrong, but I guess in the end she was just trying to be safe. It's a shame she confronted you so argumentatively. If she'd said, "You know, I'm nervous about distancing, is there any way you could step back more?" you might not have felt so determined to hold to your space.ReplyDelete
(Oops -- had to delete my earlier comment because I left an edited-out text fragment at the bottom! Sorry!)
As she spoke to me a shopper with a trolley went through our two metre distance and she said nothing to her.Delete
You could have just given it a good shrug and replied to that woman with something along the lines of 'no speakee good english'; give her something completely other to get wound up about. Just think what that's going to do for her blood-pressure (and she probably doesn't have blogging for an outlet.)ReplyDelete
....or feign deafness....Delete
Ha-ha! That's funny Tigger but on the spur of a moment one reacts instinctively.Delete
"I grabbed my chicken and a few other bits and pieces." If that's your trolley, I dread to think what a full week's shop would be.ReplyDelete
Yes, I thought that too!!Delete
I don't understand this line of thinking.Delete
I think hypersensitivity is another side-effect of this virus, and one that may sometimes require more than 2 m distance... ;) My own main irritation with people not keeping distance so far has usually been with all those insisting on walking side by side and refusing to break up their "wall" formation just because they happen to meet someone (=me).ReplyDelete
I know what you mean about those walking "walls" Dawn Treader.Delete
I don't think you are too hypersensitive. That encounter would have bothered me too. Around here more people are likely to not follow the rules. The grocery store requires a mask and will even give you one if you need it so everyone wears a mask but that's about it. They used to have the one way signs on the aisle floor but very few paid attention to them. I still feel like we are living in a sci-fi movie when I go out and see all the masks. I always wear my mask but somehow it doesn't seem real.ReplyDelete
I wish it were a sci-fi movie - just arriving at the final credits.Delete
With the covid devil you have to be as cautious as possible. Now there are some people who get quite irrational. that's what you met. There's very little reasoning that can go on with an irrational.ReplyDelete
Wise words Red. Thanks.Delete
Way back when the virus was very new I had a woman in the supermarket have a go at me for being too close (i wasn't) then she walked back in the other direction and was shoulder to shoulder. People are scared and irritable, they see no sense but their own warped variety. I find it a lot easier to deal with when I remind myself that it's fear talking but I wish people would keep their manners.ReplyDelete
Having said all of that, most people are really great.
You are right to suggest that fear and irritability are bubbling just under the surface.Delete
I tried a smaller shop (Tesco), because I thought that might be a bit more friendly. A woman had a go at me there, it was when it was all new. I didn't go there again. Now I stick to 8.30pm, half an hour before the shop (Aldi), closes. Works well.ReplyDelete
Let us hope that the late night visits remain unpopular with other shoppers.Delete