There’s no denying that lockdown leaves slim pickings for professional people-watchers like me. Which is why I’m writing about what happened at the local Click and Collect. Just to explain first principles to non-users. The idea is that you pre-order your supermarket shopping online. Then you later pop along in the car to collect it from a location set well away from the actual store.
In pre-coronavirus times, it was the natural retail choice of the reclusive. Now it serves as an effective part of social-distancing.
I’ll admit the process can be tricky. First you have to book a time slot – which is a major endeavour in itself. It’s during the pick-up though where a loss of concentration can make things messy. As I sat waiting in my motor to be called into position, I spotted impending chaos.
One shopper was having trouble transferring his order from the stacked baskets to his car because the warehouse trolley kept rolling away.
Just then, a young woman sat on the tailgate of her car alongside, stuck out a foot and stopped the trolley’s slide. She kept it there while the guy finished loading up his order. He nodded to the woman and then drove away. Not a word was spoken.
It was a simple human interaction and normally not worth noting. Yet in these strange times, with so much of what we cherish under threat, it somehow took on a meaning. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a great cosmic connection. A couple of months ago the pair of them might have been clawing at each other over the last pack of toilet rolls in the shop. There was an empathy nonetheless.
I forgot about the episode until I read a social media rant attributed to a business ‘celeb’, who hires and fires people, claiming that media negativity is misrepresenting the COVID19 situation.
Call me cynical, but I rather think what would annoy the pair at the Click and Collect is the way some moneyed individuals have made a shameless grab for government-funded support when they could easily dip into their own pockets.
Equally, I’m sure that punters are peeved when ministers evade serious questioning about testing or refuse to provide answers altogether.
When all said and done, how many of our ‘betters’ do you think would stick out a foot to stop a trolley?
Sometimes I feel that there’s a special kind of irony in how an invisible menace can so easily loosen our grip on top spot in the evolutionary scale. It certainly says something about humanity that it takes a virus to bring out the best and the worst in us.
Maybe that’s what God intended. Keep safe.
Radio decision is enough to make you gaga
I was rummaging around in a cupboard a while ago when something fell to floor with a horrible clatter. Picking up the debris, I realised that I was holding what remained of an old transistor radio.
No big deal, I consoled myself. These days I listen in to shows using my phone or maybe a tablet. Such are the ongoing miracles of today’s technology
The trouble with change however is that it doesn’t always happen for the good.
An obvious example is the unbelievable news that Swansea Sound will cease broadcasting in its current form come September.
I could harp on about how informed local radio is a key factor in a thriving community. I could say that few outfits are so able to identify with a region by combining a touch of glamour with a familiarity for street names.
But the bottom line is that this appears to be a poor business decision by owners who don’t recognise key demographics and the comparative buying power of an older audience.
In other words, emotional investment often pays better dividends.
Let’s hope there’s a rethink soon.