I love my local Lidl. I love how it’s noticeably cheaper than the humongous Tesco that just opened next door. I love that it has survived the opening of said Tesco. I love that its counterpart, Aldi, has opened up shop nearby waving a big German ‘fuck you’ in the general direction of the same Tesco.
Just like many other supermarkets the country over, however, Lidl still can’t get past one particular aspect. It’s an aspect that I have inexplicably lamented and avoided as much as possible over the years but now I fear my silent, solo efforts need to take voice and a stand must be made.
I speak of course of the “Next Customer” conveyor belt separator.
Why the fuck do I need one of these stupid pieces of plastic to avoid entangling my shopping with that of the person in front or behind me? OK, I concede that the shopping blockers are there in order to assist the spunk monkey behind the till but in my experience the worst that has ever happened as a result of not using a piece of plastic to do the talking for me is, you guessed it, have a few polite fucking words with the cashier.
“But Matt”, I hear people say, “what if you are using your phone or not giving your shopping your full attention for whatever reason?” To that I would reply that it’s your fault if you end up with someone else’s party napkins or dry pinto beans.
Depending on the situation, most people will have some form of list that will help keep them wandering off down the stationery isle or stopping too long at the deli counter. Believe it or not this list can also be used as a check list at the check-out. It’s really not that difficult to remember if you came in for OK magazine or not and if that is a bit too confusing someone else should be shopping for you and your day-release should be reconsidered.
If you abhor eye contact, light conversation or any other form of general interaction that much, there is usually a self-service option, though you’ll inevitably need some form of assistance with it as the member of staff asks you for ID or checks your bag, swipes their magic card and enters a set of random numbers into the screen.
Next time you’re shopping, try it. Leave a little gap between you and your fellow shopper. Just watch them slyly peek over their shoulder and frantically lurch for the magic barrier after realising their precious tid-bits are at risk. Why not use all of the available stoppers to split down your own shopping into dairy, meat, fruit and veg, frozen etc? That will really fuck with them, like these stupid fucking barriers mess with me.