Monday, 27 January 2014

Help! I want to leave Tesco but its hard!

Help I want to leave tesco but I can't.

This whole subject of food shopping has reared its head at various points over the years.

It started with colour, now what on earth might colour have to do with it you say?

 To me there are certain colours that do not work along side edible food stuffs. When the combinations of certain colours and food are seen together, I struggle to eat as they seem dangerous. Here are my top five in order of food / colour 'can go together' list.

1. Orange and red.  Sainsbury the most unthreatening.

2. Red and blue. Tesco passable but slightly gritty.

3. Green and white Asda, mild wafts of 'on the edge coping'.

4. Yellow and black Morrisons, absolute no! no! no!, do not even walk into this store!!!!

And finally...

5. Orange and bright blue, our local high street supermarket 'Nacko'.  This food is positivity toxic, and although one to three items can be brought here, they may make u glow internally. So this shop must only be turned to in emergency buys as a last resort.

So back to the story.... As is my world things are never simple and some things are clearly practical. I would love to shop at Sainsburys but, until recently, Tesco has been nearer and more convenient.

I forged forwards over the last nine years and became a friend of the massive blue / red Tesco Extra monster store. The car park was so vast that I allowed myself to park in a third of it and then sectioned off around four bays (all with there own merits and carefully judged pathways to the entrance and trolley collection).

Inside the store I learnt where all things were. Walking up and down every isle of the back half of the store first and then working my way up 'n down the first half. It didn't matter that I knew I didn't need anything from certain isles; it just meant I would not have to think, not have to make any decisions, and, if any unwanted people started suggesting otherwise, argueing in my head that I could flatten them with straight forward action!

Empowered, I could get a whole weeks shopping done in fourty odd minutes. I always went at the same time on Monday so as to have the best chance of knowing how crowded the store might be.

I always choose the same items every other week. The second week a slightly larger shop (including bulkier  items like dog food, cat litter and sacks of onions). 

When it came to packing my blue Ikea bags - two in the 1st & 3rd week of the month, and three bags in the 2nd, 4th & fifth week of the month.  I could happily place everything in the right order on the conveyer belt,  enabling me to keep up with the cashier and pack my bags with German  precision (Pr├Ązision).

I would get home in a peaceful state of triumph with all glows and warm feelings. I had provided / cared for my family well and looked forward to the kids seeing and  getting excited by whatever treat, breakfast, or pudding I had chosen  that week.

Then, disasters struck!!! An even shorter distance from the flat, diggers and dump trucks arrived in convoy and started to build a Sainsburys.

Initially, I looked forwards to the opening with excitement! I was going to get to shop at Sainsburys, which was after all probably only twenty pounds more, and most defiantly the right colour

Then Tesco, under threat, made a radical bid to keep its customers as the orange beauty was being erected. :-( :-( :-(

Firstly, the car park got remarked (forcing me to get my head around new safe places to park). Secondly, the old white domed trolley  parks where replaced with rectangular sharp edged oak tunnels which I found hard to put my trolley in.

Great big 'hello', 'see you soon' and 'goodbye' signs where put up. This was done in such a way that its impossible to leave without them bouncing  into your mind and repeating  themselves over and over again!!

Inside the stores they tortured me more by messing with the layout. No longer was there just an easy, up down, up down!  They halved the three large world food isles!!

Overhead they erected a large circular sign saying 'WORLD FOOD'. Beneath the sign they stacked up 20kg sacks of rice, 10L oil drums of  hydrogenated  fats,  2 kg jars of lime pickle, and yet more sacks of chapatti flour!!! 

I found myself trapped walking in circles around the almost Oxfam / Red Cross famine relief mountain of goods. Encouraged, by the massive circular sign, it took all my will power to dislodge myself and get back to the safety of frozen food. To this day I speedily run my trolley across the top of world food in fear of it ever happening again!!

But I'm sorry there's more environmental troubles!! ----So u don't have to read a book and I don't have to go through trying to spell / punctuate everything. Whilst one of my  voices is wondering if (is it  all to boring)--- (for anyone to stomach) --- shouts another---(excuse the pun) ---adds another voice ---(internal Tourette's) I shall try to list the other issues.

1. Isles became narrowed by yellow, 1m x1m sales baskets.

2. Hand Baskets got stacked up as you walked through the entrance, creating shoulder high mounds of wobbling metal.

3. On the pay side of the checkout (along the back wall),  the cafe got shrunk and  new shops arrived. Key cutting, shoe repair, instant photos from your phone, an optician, eye brow threading , windows sales, a gym membership sale stand, and to cap it all a charity pitches!!  All pulling at your heart strings in the newly heated porch,  using all kinds of emotional blackmail, large stuffed dogs for the blind, hand crafted Tibetan scarfs and large eyed starving waterless children - CHARITY STANDS!!! 

Even writing all that is exhausting but trying to run that gauntlet, having just survived shopping, was incredibly difficult. It adds all sorts of new possibilities for head suggestions and brain tangents.

My response was indignant anger!! I started to become a regular in the customer care queue. Complaining about health and safety, costumer loyalty, fire regulations, overstimulation of the elderly and mental health population statistics!!!

But it was to no avail and  I achieved little :(

The stack of baskets at the door became smaller. The crystal windows sales and gym people were no longer allowed to shout or approach you with aggressive sales  technics. This in short my feelings of safe bonding with Tescos  are over. Any positives are now weighed out by negatives and charity stands!! I need to say goodbye, I'm finding it hard. :-( :-( :-( 

I have visited Sainsbury's with its underground car park, lifts and wide well lit undisturbed isles. It's oddly shaped food packs that don't quite fit right in my Ikea bags. It's even solid uncomplicated floor layout. -- I don't know where anything is! -- It's like having a stroke and re-learning speech!!! ------Or you feel like an idiot grappling with,voices, suggestions, ------conquering packets of butter choices, ------against the demands to read all the nutritional  imformation across the whole selection so you have made a correct informed choice!!

I will learn to be friends with the new orange lump. Over time I will relax as food items remain were they should -  in the correct position on the shelf! I will listen to Zippy who says 'please shop at Sainsburys!'. I will find where in its delicate pots of vanilla flavoured sugar  and ' simple wines' are the treat my kids will look forward to.

And in time, I will get over the grief of the red and blue monster, who raised its ugly corporate greedily head!  Assulting us who dared to go through its now heated charity spaced guilt filled porch. Humph!!!