The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

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12:42pm on Saturday, 25th March, 2006:

Can I pack your bags for you?


I was in Sainsbury's today, and had unpacked all my purchases onto the conveyor belt, ready to pay for them, when I heard those dreaded words: "Good morning, sir, I'm from <insert name of charity here>. Can I pack your bags for you?"

This happens 3 or 4 times a year, and today it was some Alzheimer's group wanting to obligate me to giving them money. The thing is, when I take stuff off the shelves I arrange them in my trolley with a view to where they're going to go in my house. When I take them out of the trolley and put them on the conveyor belt, I make any final adjustments I need, and then everything is set to go into the carriers alongside those things that they live near in my house. This makes unpacking it easier when I get it home. I don't need some fresh-faced young woman wearing silver shoes (I don't know why she was wearing silver shoes, but all her fellow packers were too) to take the domestos and put it in a bag with the orange juice. So I said no.

She asked if I was sure.

I said I was sure.

She was crestfallen! I guess everyone else had succumbed to her offer, but my will was too iron enough to fall for it.

The woman on the till, however, was beaming a huge smile. I took this to mean that she was sick of having to run stuff through slowly so some incompetent who spent the whole time gossiping with her friends on the tills either side could laboriously transfer goods into plastic carrier bags without a care in the world. Indeed, so pleased was she at the swiftness with which I did it myself that she gave me extra school vouchers.

As I left, I put £2 in the Alzheimer's bucket anyway. It's not their fault I want to pack my own carrier bags.

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).