Every Wednesday morning, at 10:10 sharp, a taxi comes round to take me to Morrisons’ supermarket. I don’t have a car. Yes, I have a drivers license, but I do not like driving here. And this is why, my sweet, English friends: you are driving on the wrong side of the road! And your roundabouts, they are wrong too. They should go the other way round! The steer in the car: should be on the left! And you made a mess of the clutch position, it needs to be on the right side! Now how do you suppose me to drive safely with all these faults… I say this again and again, but it seems as if no-one is listening. You are a danger on the road, believe me. And as long as you are driving that dangerously, I’m happy to be a pedestrian.
Okay, let’s return to my story about shopping. Morrisons offers services like warm roasted chicken, fresh flowers, fresh fish, meat, bread, a coffee shop, toilets and the lottery. You can store your full trolley in a locker and have a coffee. Or breakfast. The supermarket is a meeting place. Whenever you feel lonely, go to Morrisons.
This time I met my friend Lynn, who had had her birthday a few days ago, so we did some hugging. Adrian the fishmonger was busy skinning a piece of haddock. Deep in his heart, he’d rather be at sea in his little fishing boat. Sad to say he needs this bit of money, to make ends meet. In the aisles I said hello to Sean, one of the re-stockers of shelves. He doesn’t like to work at the checkout, it makes him nervous. He is a gentle lad. A bit further I saw that Isobelle had joined the ranks, once she used to work at Boots Pharmacy.
I said to Sharon, my cashier, that she must know what her customers are like by the food that they are buying, ‘Oh yeah’, she said, looked at my groceries and smiled. Since it was drizzling outside, the coffee shop was packed, Louise, behind the counter, was loaded with work . Families, couples, singles, party goers. And outside there’s always Darren, pushing the trolleys from one side to the other.
They all wear a name-badge. Now imagine we would look at these people, imagine that we would pay not only for our shopping, but that we also would pay attention to those who work here. And that we would say ‘Hello Sharon, thank you’, ‘How are you doing, Sean?’, ‘Have a nice day, Darren!’