Friday, July 03, 2009

I shopped at Waitrose

Yes me, myself did so last night, just to see what it was like. I’m normally a Tesco man (or for laugh Sommerfield), so in effect I’d jumped straight over the orangey head of Sainsbury’s into the arms of this John Lewis off-shoot.

The first thing I noticed is that you had to be quite near to any of the women to tell how old they are. All alone, painfully thin, with skirts just above knee height, whispering angrily at rows of expensive canned food. In fact that seems to an unwritten rule at Waitrose – you must not under any circumstances shop with anyone else. This is solitary shopping, the quiet area in the library where the slightest beep from a mobile phone could mean someone challenging you to a duel.

This silence does not spread to those that 'work' there: Unlike staff of lesser supermarkets, employees do not appear to see it as their responsibility to actually do any work. The students with name badges, stand in groups of two, unapologetically discussing in booming spooned voices about how smashed they got last night on Pimms whilst rotating a can of pees lazily with their non-gesticulating hand. Ask them politely to move so’s you can, I don’t know, maybe get something off the shelf, and they’ll shuffle along without acknowledging your existence, and continue their work-related chatter. ‘I fucking told Rachael he’d do that.’ she enthused at her best friend’s naivety.

The girl at the checkout smiled as she rhythmically swept the goods across the bar-code reader, launching them into her own clouds dreaming of a better place to be. Maybe Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Sommerfield, Aldi, that shop on the corner that smells funny.

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