Ok, so I am not a huge fan of supermarket shopping or for any shopping come to that matter but the good thing about shopping in Spain is that the supermarkets are rarely busy (as long as you time it right). Most Spaniards do their shopping in the evenings so if you avoid doing the same then you should be ensured a calm and relaxed stroll around with your trolley.
In fact going during the day means that the majority of shoppers are fellow English folk and it is all very jolly and stress free………………..until you hit the check out.
Yesterday was a prime example.
After a bit of queue jumping we finally got lucky as a new checkout opened to which we were second in line. We had both a basket of food for a weekend’s catering job that I wanted to pay separately for and our own weekly trolley.
Its best to have two of you on the job at the checkout which is why I am always grateful that hubby accompanies me to help. He unloads the contents on to the conveyor belt whilst I stand at the ready at the other end to receive the items as they are hurled at breathtaking speed by the checkout girls whose only job it seems is to be surly, unhelpful and downright dangerous if a hand or finger gets in the way of their throwing skills. I often think that a baseball mitt would be a good idea for protection.
There are two shopping lanes at the end of the checkout which means that as soon as the last item of your shopping has been rung through they switch lanes and begin scanning the next victims shopping; which means that you have exactly a nanosecond to see the price of your shop come up on the screen before it is gone forever. Trying to decipher how much from the surly checkout girl is not an option and so I have become something of an expert in clocking the price at the end.
Yesterday our checkout assistant was incredibly grumpy and quite obviously wanted to be anywhere but in front of me – and she wasn’t afraid of showing her displeasure. With our first basket load of shopping safely packed away and the cost determined by myself I cheerfully handed her a fifty euro note only to have it snatched out of my hand as if I had kept her waiting for an eternity. Hmmmm……deep breath from me and sweet smile pasted to my face.
I took a deep breath, picked my change up that had been tossed in my direction and started packing our second shop that was already on its way down to me. Hubby by this time had reached me at the end of the checkout and was galliantly providing back up assistance.
We got to the end of our shopping and disaster struck. Hubby had forgotten to weigh the sweet potatoes. Oh sweet lord, the look on her face as she realised our torrid mistake reduced us to quibbering wrecks as we desperately tried to apologise for our tardiness. Phone calls were made, much tutting and glaring was thrown in our direction and another assistant dispatched to weigh the errant items.
We were discarded to one side as she got to work on her next victims – also a couple. Strange how most people seem to come shopping on mass. Safety in numbers 🙂
Anyway, after a 5 minute wait our potatoes returned but of course we were now being punished and made to wait whilst she dealt with the couple standing nervously next to us. She got to the end of their shopping and suddenly stopped with a frozen look on her face. You could see the steam rising from her and we all took a collective lean back from the checkout.
She stood for a few moments trying to work out how to get around her problem without having to tell us what was going on (I had already guessed) but then realised she was in the ***t.
In her rush to get the couple’s shopping rung through after us she hadn’t rung them up as a new customer and so their shopping had just gone onto the end of our bill!!!
So, she had to take all their shopping back and ring it back through as a deduction…….which of course she did with the all the charm and grace of a couple of deliquants on day release.
Once she had done this you may have thought that she might ring our potatoes through and get us out the way but noooooo she then proceeded to put all their shopping back through again and complete their transaction.
Only then did she conceed to come back to us and finish our shop.
If you are feeling exhausted just reading this then imagine how we felt actually living it. Boy oh boy………if I could manage a round of expletives in Spanish then I am sure they would have burst forth from my lips but as it was I don’t and so we stood with stiff upper lips and did what the British do best – held it together and acted stoically whilst all hell was letting loose around us.
Oh how I miss shopping back home, a quick 5 minutes on the computer ordering a weekly shop and then waiting for my jolly delivery man to come and wheel all my groceries in for me whilst chatting away inanely about his bad back and the general state and decline of the country. Ah such blissful memories…….. 🙂