Update on Lidl: the one in Edgware is a shit hole, too.
Yesterday I finally took the car in for an estimate for the repair caused by some guy going into the back of me before Xmas. Driving home, I passed a Lidl and thought: ‘Come on, you can’t afford Waitrose, stop wasting money’.
A man in the car park felt I had taken his spot. I don’t know why; he may have a point, but I hadn’t seen him, and so I apologised. He shouted at me from his car as I walked towards the store: ‘You lucky you woman! If you man, I take you eyes out with finger!’ He jabbed two fingers in my direction. Next to him a woman sat, impassive. I could see two eyes in a small slit between the pieces of fabric that draped and hid the rest of her from head to toe. I wondered if she was lucky she was a woman. He drove off and I got a trolley. Can’t blame the store for the behaviour of patrons in the car park, I thought.
I bought loo roll, detergent and bleach, fake McVitie’s digestives, fresh spinach (Waitrose hasn’t had any for weeks: the news has been full of continental weather conditions causing crops of courgettes etc to fail, too: where are Lidl getting their supplies??) Wholewheat pasta (half the price of anywhere else), cheap Manchego, tinned tomatoes, sour cream, brazil nuts and pecans and some German style pork.
The experience was miserable. Piles of frozen seafood paella stood slowly defrosting beside a freezer cabinet, destined no doubt to be shoved in later and possibly spread some lurgy throughout Edgware. The random offers in the middle of the store, of poor quality kitchen utensils, power tools, colouring books and clothing, were strewn all over the floor. It was hard to reach items on the shelves because the store design does not leave space for queues except down the aisles; two lines of people with trolleys down a single aisle today, with no space between. This, because the two tills that were working (while 4 stood idle) were adjacent to one another. People were talking too loudly in 100 languages, and, in English, a woman belligerently chewing gum was trying to rally other shoppers to her side in a row with the staff. While her son, a small boy with a yarmulke, clung to the side of a trolley and swung his legs left and right, she yelled about how it was no wonder the staff were so dreadful, because they were so badly paid.
I stood in the queue for twenty minutes and neither it, nor the other one, moved at all. I was just about to abandon my trolley, when we inched forward. My turn at last, and I am putting things in my bags, when the cashier starts to demand individual items back, and peers myopically at her screen clutching each one in turn, before putting it in the wrong bag and eventually asking me to tip it all out for her to start from scratch. I am thinking: that Jewish complainer has a point. People in the queue behind me are tutting, complaining loudly and looking disapprovingly at me as though the problem is my fault.
On top of which: no free paper and no free latte. It’s not easy to maintain my sunny disposition as I finally load my things into the bashed up car.
I wonder if in fact there is a correlation between how nice it is to shop somewhere, and how badly behaved customers are, also in the car park. Treat people like shit, and they may behave like it. There is a lesson here, from which train companies, the NHS, parents and governments can benefit.