I get quite cross when I am at the checkout and I find my hard-worked-for goods are treated with disrespect. I wonder if instruction is ever given to the staff on the art of packing grocery bags. You don't put frozen peas and a packet of cat biscuits in the same bag because the cat biscuits will have picked up moisture by the time you get home and will be starting to go soggy. A packet of superwines shouldn't be bunged in with cans of baked beans or spaghetti – unless you are going to make a cheese cake.

I shop at a local, small supermarket and most of the ladies (and lasses) know me now and take a cue from the way I line my grocery items up on the counter but the other day I struck the store manager who was obviously filling in during stock taking. As he was throwing my purchases into the plastic bags I was quickly re assembling them as they landed in the trolley. I was doing my best to hold my tongue but I lost it with the bread.

As I usually do, I lifted the bread from underneath and held it forward. The girls take the bread with both hands from underneath, scan it carefully and pass it back to me so I can place it tenderly in the front section of the trolley. Said manager didn't take the hint and, with his great big horrible paws, he grabbed the loaf in the middle, hoisted it out of my hands, scanned it and thumped it into a bag with a large bottle of vinegar. I blew my top!

"Every slice counts!" I exclaimed as I retrieved the squashed bread and demanded he go and get me another one. "And it had better be in pristine condition!"

The poor man scuttled off and returned pronto carrying the loaf as if it was a new born and, as he carefully laid it into the trolley, I saw a couple of the other checkout girls supress a giggle. On one hand I felt a little embarrassed but on the other hand I felt my indignation justified. As I left the shop the checkout supervisor made me feel better as she grinned and gave me a wink. "Well, that's another one of us trained," she said.

Go to top