Oh No,Sainsbury’s Is Shut For A Week!

Posted on August 20, 2010

For those of you who don’t know, I live in what I suppose you could describe as a middle class modern estate on the southern edge of Basingstoke in Hampshire. It is neither unpleasant or particularly wonderful, it has access to lots of amenities, and is surrounded by lovely countryside, and both London and The South Coast are accessible with relative ease via the M3 or Public transport (said the frustrated estate agent). What has surprised me is that what a catastrophic effect the refurbishment of the Sainsburys local superstore has had on local people.

Everywhere I go, be it the gym, the doctors, and rival supermarkets, the inconvenience local people are suffering is the talk of the town, it is really quite funny, and an example of the pampered modern life we live in, like when it snowed in January people are desperate to show Dunkirk spirit, no matter how trivial the circumstances are, perhaps we need a proper war. Just 70 years ago British people regarded rowing a boat across the channel to pick up stranded soldiers as an inconvenience, now we bemoan the fact the we have to take an extra mile long journey to go to Morrisons or Asda because those bloody lot at Sainsburys are having a refurbishment. Anyone would think that we were about to embark on a period of rationing.

For my part the recent death of my fridge has somewhat hampered my shopping anyway, a new one was supposed to arrive today, but I put my old house number (35) on the order instead of current one (53). I found this out when I received a message from a robot saying “Your….order……will……….be…..delivered…….to…………number…………..35……….
What a clown I am. I rang back, and after about half an hour of Swan Lake, and repeated statements about how important my call was (pick up the bloody phone then!!) I finally got through.

“Hello customer service”
“Oh Hi….I have made a bit of a cock up my order is 108024 could I please change the house number for delivery from 35 to 53?”
“Sorry Sir we can’t do that, we will have to cancel the order”
“We can’t change the delivery address sir, you can either cancel the order, or ask the people at number 35 if they can take it in.”
“But it’s a bloody fridge freezer, I can’t ask them that”
” Oh is it……….you could wait at number 35 for the delivery and direct the driver to your house”
“What time are you delivering”
“Between 7.00am and 7.00pm”
“Oh okay then I, will get out my tent and make up picnic, I’m sure they won’t mind a stranger on their front lawn.”
“Correct me if I am wrong but when you picked up the phone did you say customer service?”
“Yes why?”
“Well call me Mr Picky, but I don’t see being told to stand outside someones house for twelve hours as customer service.”
“I am not telling you to do that sir, I am just telling you your options.”
“All I wanted to do was……………………………….oh forget it, thanks for your help!”
“That’s okay sir, thanks for letting us know.”

So that was it then, I happily wasted more of my day cancelling an order for a fridge, before ordering it again, and it is now coming between 7.00am and 7.00pm Monday, as by the time I had completed the transaction the Friday delivery deadline had gone, as had my will live. What odds a 6.55pm delivery?

Anyway back to the shopping, I have tried three stores this week, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose, and I must say Morrisons was the winner for me. It is easy to find your way around, the food is pretty good quality and reasonably cheap and there is ample car parking, the only downside was driving around for about ten minutes trying to find the exit, the cashiers in the petrol garage must have thought I had some sort of diesel allergy problem, as on about five occasions I looked like I was threatening to to buy petrol as I drove slowly through the forecourt.

Asda was an experience, again plenty of choice, competitively priced and with ample parking, but there was something about the place that made me feel I was one false move from getting my face punched in. There is unique threat of violence in Asda that I can’t put my finger on, but for some reason, almost everyone in there looked really angry except a really pleasant Indian female cashier who was desperately trying to buck the sinister trend. To sum it up Asda is like Basingstoke A&E at closing time on a Friday night.

Waitrose (please headhunt the poor Indian woman from Asda she deserves it) is of course the other end of the shopping spectrum, as this is where the wealthy shop. If ASDA is Primark, then Waitrose is Ralph Lauren, it is shopping for snobs, but I must admit, if I was a bit wealthier I would use it more often, the staff are really helpful, and the aisles are full of lovely food. As single bloke I can afford the odd treat there, but I reckon it is probably 20% more expensive than Sainsburys, that’s a lot of money for a family of four or five, unless you are ITV Sports presenter Steve Ryder, who had two trolley loads full the rich Bastard!

Next week read my blog titled “How I got stabbed in Lidls”

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