'Supermarket staff deserve our admiration - but I wish I'd gone to the local shops instead'

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Early last Saturday evening I glanced at the television schedules which, as always at that point, suggested it was an excellent time to go shopping. I drove to a supermarket. Mea culpa.

Your beloved local newspaper is promoting our #SupportLocal campaign, encouraging people to use local businesses, online and in store, where possible, to help the local economy.

Supermarkets often receive bad press, sometimes unfairly. They are undoubtedly convenient, clean and have improved the national diet since the 1970s.

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Their staff are, particularly now, worthy of admiration and I’m happy to say that supermarkets won’t go bust. Yet you can’t help wondering if certain big stores have lost their way during covid.

Supermarkets are even less fun then normal at the moment.Supermarkets are even less fun then normal at the moment.
Supermarkets are even less fun then normal at the moment.

It was only last week that they announced a ban on customers refusing to wear masks; something many local shops have done for months. Social distancing and one-way system enforcement (now largely abandoned) have attracted comment too.

Yet off I went. I now wish I had made the effort to buy from local businesses a couple of hours earlier.

Finding what I wanted was no problem and it was relatively quiet. The problem was that the majority of those who were there, were waiting to pay. And waiting, and waiting…

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I avoid the “super-quick” self-service tills anyway as I am usually in a hurry. I loathe the damn things too; especially now when they can be quite crowded.

But the coup de grâce was the music.

I had never considered what would be the most aggravating piece of musical offal anyone could be subjected to when finally achieving front-of-queue status. Had I done so however, I Am The Music Man would surely be up there. Were they trying to annoy everyone?

With the “Oggy! Oggy! Oggy!” section mercilessly rattling my ears, I mused that the poor, heroic woman serving me really ought to be on time-and-a-half. At least. It was no fun.

More reasons to shop at … the local shops down the road.

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