Picture this, dear reader, imagine you’re at home when you get a desperate text from your significant other, who’s shopping at the local big name supermarket, as follows.

“No chickpeas , and they say they’ve stopped them. No demand. Pls advise.”

What? WHAT?

“They have dried, or you can have a can of chickpea dhal”

that’s the hummus idea wrecked then. Unless I’m prepared to wait. Then boil. Arghhh. Wanted hummus TONIGHT. To go with the mezze.

Then it occurs to me . This is the umpteenth time this local branch has replaced a basic staple with something because, “no demand” and “convenience”.

Bit fuming.
So, next day I’m there in the bean isle. Counting products. How many, dear reader, just how many, varieties of tinned garden pea did I count?

Five. All the same size. From Bonduelle to Prince’s.

Anyway. I find myself an assistant , and making it clear I’ve no beef with them personally, question the logic of this, and all this “convenience ” blah.

Later that day, I speak with the store manager, on the same issue. I also manage to point out that if their head office is so keen on “community responsibility” then surely stocking the shelves with nutritionally questionable, expensive , convenience food , is somewhat contrary.

One week later.

Chickpeas back on the shelves.
Without so much as a stink eye exchanged between parties.

Now. Contrast this with another story. Over pomegranate cordial, AKA grenadine.

A certain matriarch I shall not name, but the sort who sits at the head of a family table, is partial to a drop of grenadine.
Okay, it’s my mother.

And here we are, in mum’s local supermarket, a branch of the “other Co-op” trying to find grenadine. Nowhere. Nix.

Oh oh.

She happens upon a hapless assistant and smelling blood, I stand back.

Okay. It probably not the “best” idea to tell my mother that it had never been stocked there.
Nor was it the “best idea” idea to be a tad brusque.
She went bananas. Matriarch fashion.

And guess what’s back on the shelves. Grenadine.

And I get a waspishly triumphant phone call relaying the complaint to the management, and the grovelling apology received .
Even one hundred and fifty or so miles away I’m cringing.

Now. I’ve had bad service. I’ve overheard a shop assistant refer to a customer as a “lowlife skank who’s buying lottery tickets with taxpayer money”.
What did I do?
I complained. I didn’t name the assistant, or give the management any identifying clues.
Because, if the assistant’s that egregious , the management will already know.
And what if, what if, that assistant was just on an “off day”?
What if they were stressed out, living from hand to mouth, only narrowly swerving the foodbank?
What if the customer had been utterly foul?

See. I could, in self righteous pique , have ruined someone’s day. At best.
At worst I could have landed them the sack.
Now, imagine that ,arsehat though they may be, they really ARE just narrowly avoiding the foodbank?
And their children?

Dear reader. If you are lucky enough to not be in that situation, like the matriarch, can you just for a moment think on this?
When jobs are so hard to find, and keep?

And if you haven’t a job. Well. Then I’d imagine you’d be a bit more circumspect?

Ps . Mum. I love you. But isn’t seventy four a “bit” old for kerniption over posh ribena?
Just saying. *runs for cover*.