I ordered groceries for home delivery this week and this presented two points for the blog. The first is that I am English, I know that we knew that but this was true proof. The government need to forget any residency texts or history of the UK there are far easier tests. They have started of course with the queues at immigration in all of our airports, you think that is because they are short-staffed? think again. English queue patiently and that my friends is the test, those that jostle, push and shove are immediately marked as ‘not English’. There is another test, as I concluded yesterday, and that is the ‘being a nuisance test’. When my delivery driver advised me that there had been substitutions to my order he gave me a printed list and the option to reject or accept. There is no point in the exercise because I am English, when faced with this task I quickly scan the paperwork and agree to accept. In truth I did see familiar items on the list and checked that the brand hadn’t changed to something that I didn’t use. Putting my shopping away I discovered that the substitutions were not as expected. Of course I could have gone through the list line by line but that is just not the English way.
The second thing that I learnt from this experience is that the ‘shoppers’ at Asda are as mad as a box of frogs. My face wash was substituted for moisturising sun block, where is the similarity? The leave in conditioner had been replaced with shampoo, it is just as well I read the bottle or I would have foamed up in the rain. They appeared to generally substitute with products that had the same colour. There was no rational or logical argument for the substitutions many of which went straight in the trash as no use to me whatsoever. Speaking to Andrew last night I discovered that he had also suffered at the hands of the substitute loons and that in the past he had challenged them. Apparently he was told that there were no substitution rules as such it was just what the picker decided. I can now imagine a 50-year-old picker looking at the list that says “men’s face wash” and finding the shelf empty. A natural reaction would be to think “tart it wasn’t like that in my day” and throw in some moisturiser, it’s all too personal. I have to share Andrew’s older substitution though as an example of dogged determination. He had ordered a deep fat fryer and they were out of stock, the substitution offered was a frying pan, maybe that little human touch does serve a purpose, even if it is only comedy.