About 2 weeks into lockdown it dawned on me that what we’d all lost was the spontaneity in our lives. Whilst before if we wanted to, we could nip out to Costas for a coffee, wander into town to browse in the shops, or if you wanted something different to eat or you’d run out of one or two items, you could go along to Tesco’s/Sainsbury’s/Aldi etc., go into the store get what you want and come home, a process that often took less than half an hour. Today it’s all different – I know this is the new normal – but the process is now very very different.  You now have to plan ahead – even more so if you order by ‘Click and Collect’ or ‘Home Delivery’, and I have now discovered a new syndrome called “Pre-Order Anxiety”, whereby if you use something very rarely you’re so terrified that you’ll run out of it that you’re consistently re-ordering this rarely used item that now accumulates in your cupboards/fridge/freezer to the extent that it’ll see you through till 2050, (that’s always assuming Covid is over by then!). For instance I discovered a jar of Black Cherries in Kirsch in the back of the fridge probably left over from Christmas, whilst they were delicious with ice cream, I so panicked that they’d never reappear, I kept ordering them on the Click and Collect, as I did with other strange items, such as Lemon juice/tinned raspberries/tinned Minestrone soup. If the product is unavailable, I get an anxiety state and recheck the order twice daily until its time for pick-up, and if they’re still not available, on the following order I’d double up the quantities assuming they’ve now reappeared. To date I’ve not opened the black cherries/raspberries etc., in case the store runs out again, and then what do I do? What you can’t do is nip out to the supermarket, the whole process now takes a couple of hours, you have to queue for an hour – socially distancing – it’s one in – one out, socially distance all around the store and at the checkout,  the whole process is so long and wearisome that you’ll do anything to avoid it. In the old days (and it was only 3 months ago) if the product was unavailable, you’d shrug your shoulders and pop down to the store a couple of days later – not anymore.

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3 Responses

  1. I totally get this! I thought it was just me. They said at the outset there would be a shortage of bread so I went to marriages bought loads of flour and packets and packets of yeast. Dug the bread-maker out of the garage along with all the other useless kitchen gadgets used once! The thing is I stopped eating bread in 1996! Its madness – I don’t even like bread! It is because the fear of not having any of it – the unobtainable! Crazy times we live in for sure! Great article

  2. One of the benefits of being a temporary ‘TSS’ (Tesco shelf-stacker) is at the end of my shift (07:00am) on Saturday and Monday mornings, I get to shop in the entire store for a whole hour (if I want to) afore tut patiently queuing customers are let in. Yep! Now THAT, my friends, is what I call ‘A TRUE PERK OF THE JOB’.
    P.S. Trouble is, what I’ve just earnt during the past 9 hours often goes straight back into Tesco’s pockets….and then some!

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