Supermarket Schmerz

28 Jul

The Germans (or rather, the German speaking world) have a rather wonderful world for which there is no direct English equivalent – that is “weltschmerz”, or world-weariness. It’s a great little word which I like to use to describe the feeling somewhere between annoyance and acceptance, the feeling you get where you’re too despondent or can’t even be bothered being irritated. This, for me, sums up my trip to the supermarket.

Now, I won’t say which one. Partly because I fear what I consider fair comment being confused for libel, and hey! I can’t afford the lawyers, but also because it doesn’t really matter – my beef is primarily with other shoppers, and three kinds of shoppers in particular.

First, we have the perennial zombie with a trolley. Come rain or shine, morning or late, there will always be someone milling around the supermarket aimlessly, perhaps looking for life inspiration, or maybe just good ol’ drunk. This, in itself, is fine, provided you do not have a trolley in your possession. If you do, then you’re a danger to yourself and others. Earlier today, I was whacked in the back of the leg by a moron pushing an almost empty trolley. I say almost, she had some Toffee flavoured Jammy Dodgers and some of those value Cheese slices. Three seconds after impact and heading towards the cleaning equipment, she realised what she’d done and mumbled an apology.

Secondly, there’s the shelf-starer. On that shelf, right in front of his or her head, is the one thing you need to complete your shop. Problem is, you can grab it, then go and pay because someone has mistaken this particular range of goods for the Mona fucking Lisa. You may look at them, you may cough, the more bold and brash may say “excuse me” and lean in their face, but this is an unwise move. Much like awakening a sleepwalker may or may not cause brain cancer, disrupting the spell of someone with a trance-like fixation on Heinz Beanz with Sausagez could see them collapse into a coma, or get you a good old fashioned punch to the mouth.

Lastly, and perhaps my biggest source of half-arsed supermarket anger are your fellow customers who are unable to say a simple “thanks!” in recognition that you’ve saved them the trouble of reaching for a “Next Customer Please” divider. In fact, do you know what? I’m actually pretty angry at myself for even being slightly irritated by this, because it’s so small and twatty. I’ll be berating people who don’t say “thanks!” to people who hold open the door next. Despite my disappointment in my own emotional responses, this is still a bugbear nonetheless, so if you’re reading this, please say thank you to the next person who goes a very small way out of their way to make your life a tiny little bit easier.


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