Phone Shopping

You can be forgiven for thinking this is about using some 21st century App to enable you to shop by using your mobile phone, (Cellphone) and either collecting the order, or having it delivered.

It has got nothing to do with that. It is about how so many people can no longer do something as simple as a grocery shop in a supermarket, without being glued to their mobile phone throughout the time spent in the shop.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to get a week’s supplies at the big Tesco supermarket just outside Dereham The Covid-19 restrictions are still in place of course. Queueing outside until allowed in, then a one-way system up and down the aisles, with constant reminders to keep six feet away from other shoppers. All very sensible.

Except that at least 60% of the shoppers seem to beieve that this gives them time and space to still browse aimlessly, being completely ignorant to those of us patiently waiting six feet behind them until they have made their selection. Then there are others who seem to treat a huge supermarket as an extension of their own living room. Glued to their phone throughout, constantly stopping to chat on their mobile, or using it to show someone goods they may or may not choose to buy.

Some examples from yesterday.

Woman about 50 years old, six feet in front of me, with an almost empty trolley, making no attempt to shop.

“Yes, and did you hear about Mike? Yes, that Mike, Val’s husband. Well Val phoned me when I was in Morrison’s earlier, and Mike’s home from hospital. He was in for two days, and Val was sure he had it. Yes, -it- the virus. But it turned out it was just a flare-up of his asthma. Oh, okay, ring me back when you have answered the door”.

So she had already been in another supermarket that day. So much for essential shopping. I didn’t wait for her friend to ring back, just walked past her and picked up the milk I needed, as she eyed me nervously for breaking the six feet rule.

Forty-something woman on some version of Live-Chat. On speaker, so I could hear both conversations. She was blocking the whole row of fresh chickens, chatting to her daughter.

“I dunno, Mum. Show me it again. Duck legs? Is that like chicken legs, or that duck we have in pancakes from the Chinese? Dunno if I want duck legs, Mum. Show me something else. Oh yeah, those barbecued wings look nice, but get two boxes coz Danny will eat one of those on his own.”

I decided not to wait to find out what else Danny wanted, and leaned over the oblivious woman to select a chicken.

Young woman in the new-style checkout queue that was snaking around almost the entire back wall of the store. She was dressed as if going to a night-club, though it was 4:30 in the afternoon, with painted on eyebrows making her look like Groucho Marx. She had only four items in her trolley.

“I tell ya, this F-ing queue in Tesco’s is a joke. If it doesn’t move soon I’m just gonna dump this F-ing trolley and walk out. Some of these people have got like trolleys full of stuff, you wouldn’t believe how much shit they have bought. No wonder there are so many fat cows in town”.

She seemed to be unaware of her own size, which was at least a size 20. And she was seemingly unaware of the fact that the queue was actually moving quite quickly in front of her. She preferred to stay where she was, complaining to her friend that it wasn’t moving.

There were more, but you get the idea.

80 thoughts on “Phone Shopping

      1. No, the shops are not delivering. My dad is going shopping. He wears a mask and gloves and goes during the quiet pensioner shopping hours. My dad isn’t that old and has no health issues so he isn’t particularly high risk. He likes to go, but I only allow him once a week. It makes a nice change for him.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s a sad affair. A sign of the times. No more privacy and the inconsiderate rise of noise pollution. In this regard, I’m a staunch prude and traditionalist. I just think it’s inconsiderate. I remember your recent post about a lady who never comes out of the house. You were critical of her because she was too snooty to talk to the human race. Well, maybe this is why. Rudeness is the new norm.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Are you on the 5G conspiracy bandwagon, Eduardo? We had a couple of phone masts vandalised near Norwich. Next thing you know, those same people will be bitching about getting slow mobile Internet speeds. 🙂
      Cheers mate, Pete.

      Like

      1. Hell no, give me 5g all day long, as long as I can have it for the same price as 4g 🙂 My mobile contract is 20 zloty a month (£5) which includes data, but all I use it for is to listen to the radio 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe this is a guy thing or an older guy thing because I feel the same way. I think there is nothing ruder than these people who are sitting with someone at a restaurant glued to their phones instead of interacting with the person right in front of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It seems to me that the ‘phone people’ are mostly under 60. I didn’t even own a mobile until 1996, and only then because my mum was ill, and I needed to keep in touch. But my wife, who is 10 years younger, never puts her phone down. The same with her 30-something children, and now even her 5 year old grandson. Out for a meal earlier this year, my wife spent the first 30 minutes telling one of her daughters where we were, and what she was ordering. Then sent her a photo of the main course when it arrived. I hate that
      But I have given up with even mentioning it, Pete. I’m a dinosaur, apparently.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You and my husband would have a wonderful time talking about this together. He comes home from the weekly shop stressed out and ranting. I’m going to do the shopping this week. He thinks he’s relieved but I know what will happen. He’ll fret about me not keeping the proper distance from other shoppers and wish he’d gone himself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always do the shopping, and that’s because I do the cooking, so I make sure to get what I need for the week. Most weeks, the main annoyance is people shopping with 5 or 6 kids in tow, but since lockdown, the phone-people have appeared in large numbers, and are getting on my nerves. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s exactly the same around here Pete and it drives me round the twist. Last week a lady in front of me at the checkout left her debit card in the machine and walked out of the supermarket. What was she doing as she paid for her shopping? You’ve guessed it, she was typing away on her phone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just don’t get it. I know I am ‘old’, but so were some of the customers on their phones. Most people seem to have lost all concept of spontaneity, free will, and just ‘thinking’. Sad indeed.
      Thanks, Paul.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of my serials are based on aspects of my own life, and people I knew well, or met in passing. Except the historical one, naturally. 🙂 (Though some characters, like Aileen, were.)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Back on Netflix! Outrageous. The BBC must have lost rhe rights to it. They should have made it themselves, instead of wasting money on some of the boring old stuff they churn out.
      I watched that Liam Neeseon film last night. Not bad, but crushingly predicatable plot. 🙂 I don’t think I will review it on the blog, but the car chase was good.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it’s hard these days to have an unpredictable plot, everything has been done before, now it’s just how it’s done 😊 agree re Kingdom, but at least Netflix are doing it and all the previous seasons are on there too, which is great as it’s been so long since I’ve seen it I’ve forgotten a lot of it!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. (1) Did you meet any fresh chicks at Tesco?
    (2) I canceled my cell phone last month. I only used it for occasional texting, so I can live without it. If I need to make a phone call, I’ll use the house phone. And, yes, the receiver is on a cord.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have the phone because there are no phone boxes anymore. If my car broke down, I would be badly stuck without a mobile. But I have only made one call on it in three weeks. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I must confess to looking at my phone in the supermarket as I create my shopping list on it now, so much easier, but I have never used it to call someone! One idiot the other day seemed oblivious of the one-way system and must have passed me several times, for some reason none of the staff challenged him either even though I raised my eyebrow to one when he passed me yet again going the wrong way. Perhaps he was ‘known’ to them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Some staff in ‘my’ shop were ignoring all the ‘transgressions’, but the checkout supervisor was on the ball, and very vocal. I imagine that temporary staff on minimum wage can’t be bothered with the confrontation. I doubt I would be. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  7. Pete, we have created a generation that never looks up from their device, that is permanently locked into social conversations about anything and everything while oblivious to all else, and a complete breakdown of manners….talk about a “new normal” – it was well underway BEFORE the pandemic

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s like a hurdle’s race at times, here as well. Some places are better organised than others, but small shops rely on people following instructions, and not everybody does. I really don’t understand how people can’t disconnect for a second from their phones. They’re stuck at home looking at screens all the time, and you’d imagine they’d want to take a chance to do something different, but no… Yes, Pete, it seems it’s the same all the world over.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Back in the day there was an office machine someone would talk into it and later a typist would listen and type out the letter. They called the machine a Dictaphone.
    When someone was talking too long or too loud over a land line phone you would ask if they wanted to play Dictaphone. When they asked how to play you would tell them ‘Dictaphone up your arse.’
    There was so many times before the lock out that I wanted to use that line, but…
    For years now I stay in the car while my wife’s shop and mainly because of cell phones users.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I don’t know what it’s like and what the rules are in our local supermarket, as we haven’t been there for more than a month now. But when I drove across their parking-lot yesterday [I needed to pick up some medication at their drive-through pharmacy] there were more cars in tne parking-lot than I had expected. So I would assume that there’s something close to “free for all” inside, except at the check-outs. That is why my wife and I will stay with online shopping there, especially as our governor has (partially) lifted the restrictions despite the fact that infections are still rising at a frightful rate. We don’t need those “constantly-on-the-phone people” to keep us out of there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Other than the annoying phone-people, it is still well-regulated in our local shops, Pit. And I would guess that there were around 50% less shoppers inside than before the lockdown.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. The ones that throw me are the people wearing ear pods with a wireless connection to their phone and it seems as if they’re mentally ill, talking into open space. Sometimes I actually think they’re talking to me and I attempt to answer before realizing they’re talking to someone on the phone. It weird to be standing by someone having a loud conversation in public without a care as to the people around them? It’s a strange new world Pete. Hoping all is well with you and the family. C

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Those are really annoying. Josef’s story when they last shopped was this: They were choosing what to buy, mindful of the expiry date and the one next to them could not even keep her distance and as usual talking to someone on her phone too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think so too. All this talk about things changing, and people being socially aware and community minded. Not going to happen. They are going to fly off on holiday, drive everywhere, pack out the pubs and bars, and party like it is VE Day all over again. Sadly.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Those are just three examples. There were at least six more, including people constanly picking things from the shelves and putting them back again. Small wonder the virus can spread so easlily.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Reading this it strikes me how I haven’t heard snatches of conversation like this in so long now, as our groceries are delivered and we’re sticking to the fields, woods etc for exercise! It seems like echoes of a bygone time 🌿

    Liked by 3 people

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