Finding more reasons to shop at Morrisons, coupled with my detestation for "every little helps", I ambled down to my local branch this morning to check out what money they could relieve me of. As well as for a spray of mist as I chose my celeriac, fennel and herbs.
Quite a surprisingly pleasant experience, apart from the other shoppers, the infernal Christmas music (covers of Christmas hits - even more infuriating) and tat, and the tattooed hordes (and that's just the women) filling their shopping baskets to groaning capacity with cheap cider, multi-pack crisps and Twiglets. Yes, roast turkey, stuffing, cheap cider, crisps and Twiglets - altogether a very Gordon Ramsey menu.
I love the way some men (and it's nearly always the men) stand and gesticulate in a "buying an overpriced coffee and sandwich in the airport on the way to Ibiza even though they drive 12 miles to save 1p on a litre of petrol" sort of manner, as if they really don't get out much (they probably don't). You know, feet apart, hand in the air pointing to the rafters and shouting "Is this the milk you mean Christine? I thought we had one at home in the fridge!" Maybe it's the fact the milk you have at home has now curdled, having been relegated from the fridge to make way for the previous week's cheap cider. And for god's sake, don't put the crisps and Twiglets in the fridge mate!
The quite depressing sight, taking into account the hordes that are still spending as if money is going out of fashion, were the 'pricing technicians' (= shelf stackers) wandering around the isles of Christmas goodies with their spreadsheets and pricing tickets, matching up the goods with the sale price tickets to be affixed on the store's first day's opening after Christmas - that is if they deem to give their minimum wage (Sir Ken Morrison - net worth £1billion) staff the day off over Christmas.
I noticed one "suitable electrical gift" at a retail price of £59.95 (one of which a lady plonked into her shopping trolley) that was due for a reduction to £29.95. Entering into the spirit of good shopping camaraderie and Bah Humbug, I pointed this out to her, and she sensibly replied, "Oh. Thirty quid off. He can come up and get it isself (sic) after Christmas then. Bloody thieves (presumably Morrisons and not her son). Ta love. 'Smeans (sic) I can get summit (sic) else just fer (sic) me for a change."
Good on yer girl!
And then to the checkout. An empty one! Straight through. Yes. Sunday before Christmas. And empty checkout at 11.15.
As I was ploughing my goods and chattels onto the conveyor belt, chatting to the extremely pleasant and helpful checkout assistant (isle 11, Whitefield branch, Sir Ken, if you're thinking of doling out a Christmas bonus to these unsung heroes of retail shopping), a rather brusque voice shouted from behind me "You on the till. Where's the brandy butter? And is it made from real butter. I need to know."
No madam. What you need to know was whether my foot could engage with you to provide a good kick up the arse, if truth be told!
The young assistant was somewhat taken aback by this rude woman, so me being me, I looked her straight in the eye (the woman and not the checkout assistant) and said, rather loudly, "Sorry to interrupt your vile rudeness, but as I don't detect a white stick, I assume you haven't sight problems preventing you from seeing that I am talking to this young lady. If you and your iPhone would care to trot off down to customer services down to the right, I am sure they will be able to assist you."
She went rather red in the face and stormed off.
And pathetic though it might seem, I felt great! I fail to see why these people, whether they live in proximity to Whitefield's Ringley Road or not, assume they are anyway better than the sweet young girl on the till! They probable haven't done an honest day's work in their life themselves, preferring as they do to bark out orders to their demure underpaid and overworked home help from the Philippines.