After attempting to order my groceries online via Tesco Direct, and failing as the most cost efficient earliest delivery was Tuesday evening, I thought ‘Let’s just be human’ and use God’s bestowed gifts and man-made pathways to take me to the Palace of Foodery.
It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining brightly in a miraculously cloudless azure blue sky and the cold but welcome wind coerced me to meander through the elements. I peppered my way through the town centre to the Tesco store just under a mile away, I concluded I would organise a taxi for my return journey as I set out to complete my fortnightly spending spree for the bare essentials to keep me yet living.
The recent death of my iPod had me turn to previously abandoned and faithful HTC music player, which is not at all bad although the high volume from my iPod is sorely missed (sad face). However, being without music for approximately a week and a half and with the sun happily being my new best friend, I practically jived my way to Tesco.
Upon entering the store with my trustworthy trolley whose browned wheels assisted greatly with steering in a straight line and with my music on LOUD to drown out my consciousness, I noticed Security Guard glance at me but thought nothing of it, and continued towards the isles of enticement ignoring the evil special offers at the end stalls.
With my electronic shopping list in hand (brilliant and simple ColorNote app on my handset) and my poorly mindful memory in check, I managed to only peruse the isles required, how clever am I? Pushing the already full trolley was becoming an adventure in itself, ‘Where is my boyfriend / fiance / husband to assist run this errand with me?’ tried to push through Tinie Tempah’s Pass Out but I ignored it and managed the steerage just fine into the freezer section – which meant that it was time to travel home asap before Ben and Jerry’s cherry defrosted before I could eat it…
Upon reaching the happiest cashier ever (understatement) and as the VAT increase and stalemate salary of staff means they are paid to ‘sit and scan’, I bagged up all the items by myself. It’s a wonder all the humans have not been shipped to X-factor limbo as it would seem that customer satisfaction is not at the forefront of cashiers’ minds these days. Let’s just replace them all with robots, there would be no loss.
After my third double-bag of shopping, I realised I managed to forget the salmon and fresh vegetables and fruit as I was so concerned with the frozens decaying through meltage, ‘For God’s forgetting sake, I would forget my head was I to screw it on to my neck every morning’ the words surfaced in my mind this time as the earphones had been extracted to engage with the non-engaging cashier).
“Do you need school vouchers?”
During this split second of the briefest Q&A, inside my mohican head I am thinking ‘I do not have kids because I am not married, nor do I have a boyfriend / fiance / husband to have kids with, I am 31 years old and my ovaries are perhaps ready for some sort of tick-tocking implosion and here I am in the supermarket talking to myself like a lunatic over the simplest of questions making the biggest deal out of it in my mind how insecure must I subconsciously be about my whole existence and social conformity regarding relationships or lack thereof, I despise this question, it highlights that I am shopping for one, I live by myself and shows the inadequacy of my personal life as I have not yet reached adulthood like the rest of the entire human race as I have not yet procreated. This self-commentary and over-analysis mid-conversation is really not natural…’
I am so glad I did not rant this aloud although at the same time I should have re-installed the earphones to drown out my crazy-voice to stun me back into reality. I was unable to just say ‘no’ and leave it at that, I felt the need to justify myself to the complete stranger before me.
“No, I do not, I don’t have kids how unfortunate, brats that they are, who would want them!” kind of just slipped from my larynx within the second split-second of thinking as if not having children is currently a choice I choose to make. The cashier found my comment amusing, and her mood lightened somewhat. At least some good has been produced then, customer satisfaction points increased slightly.
Trolley filled with my polythene octuplets, I submitted to the exit point as quickly as possible so as not to be trapped in a queue of endless trolley-bots, and as I exited, BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP! I thought ‘Joyous, this trip to the supermarket has been hazardous to my mental health and now it’s turning me into an accidental thief’.
I patiently parked my steel-gridded vehicle just inside of the exit conservatory awaiting the arrival of Security
Guard whilst scrolling through my contact list trying to find the phone number for the taxi as there is no taxi rank at this Tesco (which is strange in itself as the site is in the middle of townscape-no-place). Security Guard was looking at me intently and asked whether I had purchased any electrical items, CDs, DVDs, etc and I promptly replied negatively and he continued, “I think the alarm went off when you entered as well…”
“Did it?!” I exclaimed racking my brain wondering if I was losing the plot as I did not remember the alarm sounding, surely I would have remembered that, it is not an unforgettable incident to be fair and then, all the pieces were fitting together…iPod music amplification and strange glances from him earlier were putting the puzzle into perspective. Penny was dropping. He requested the receipt and as I rummaged around, he asked “What are you wearing?”
“Sorry?!” wondering whether my ears heard him correctly, I handed him the receipt.
“Your perfume, it’s gorgeous, I love it…” as he returned the receipt telling me everything was fine.
“Thank you,” I said quite flustered as he disappeared into the ether of Securitydom, since when were security guards so nice wishing I had actually taken the liberty to procure something illegally, I would not have been caught! (I jest of course…!)
Realising I had not saved the taxi number to my contacts list and cursing my further incompetent memory, I googled some numbers and picked out the number that looked the most familiar (lots of double-2s). An interval passed and a black cab arrived timely. As I extracted the bagged items from the trolley which had served its purpose, Driver kindly said “Make yourself comfortable, I shall pass over the shopping to you so that you can secure them so they don’t fall over…” and he even returned the trolley to its home.
I was unfortunately unable to give precise directions to my flat (just moved to the area and the tom-tom never recognises the postcode) and he named a thousand house-names, I apologetically said “I’ll know when we are nearer…” After quick and brief chit-chat about backgrounds and best places to revel the night away (which is next to zero in my new-town) and nearly dying at a roundabout as he pulled out too fast infront of an oncoming car, the short-mile drive saw him name every part of my home-town which someone from my new-town would not ordinarily know, I was quietly surprised and then, it turns out he is also a recruitment consultant, of sorts, and cabbing was a ‘hobby’.
How black-cabbing is just a hobby is beyond me but he made the valid point that in actual fact, it is quite good for networking, making new contacts and meeting directors of various companies etc. This was an opportunity given to me by above as I was of course initially preparing myself for an online shop. I will jump (not in a physically devouring form) on anything or anyone recruitment based as I am trying to find myself a new role in the currently dead employment market. I provided brief job descriptions and he said he may be able to locate some roles. We reached our destination and again, he helped with my plastic children and we swapped email addresses so that he could get to work on potential new positions. I took my shopping inside and thought ‘How lovely was he…?’ smiling to myself as he drove away through the security gates.
Earlier today whilst checking my emails I found two messages from him, the first of course requesting a copy of my (fantastic) CV and I viewed the second message, subject matter “TAXI FARE”. ‘OH MY GOD’ I thought.
He did not request the fare and I completely forgot to ask. I opened the message,
“Hope you’re well, I know I provided a fantastic taxi service and there is no doubt in my mind you were overwhelmed especially when you are not asked to pay for the fare. That’s not your fault but I am hoping you would be kind enough to give me a call and to arrange a time for me to pick up the fare owed. I did say I do taxis as a hobby but not for free lol”
What an idiot. Me, I mean.
I should not be allowed to leave my abode. Ever. I would forget to breathe if it was not an automated process.