Click and Collect- Cashing in on the twenty euro promise.
You know how you scroll through the emails on your phone, half reading them. You read some, delete some and others go in the file marked ‘Later’ on some dusty shelf at the back of your mind.. Maybe on that lovely old bookcase that you’d seen on Done Deal and meant to keep an eye on. Those pesky emails about online grocery shopping that look vaguely interesting. But meanwhile you get the vouchers in the post with their promise of ten or five euro off if you spend fifty or sixty or whatever the current promotion is. They are a much more tangible reality and the email stays on the dusty old shelf.
Well as they say in that old musical ‘I’m reviewing the situation’, in the light of my recent experience of online shopping. Twenty euro off your first shop was the tagline that caught my eye – just about the time I was bemoaning the lack of enough hours in the day, and sez I to the cat, sod it, what am I waiting for? Someone else to do the shopping for me? Online calculation so there’s no shock at all when you get to the checkout?? Twenty euro off? It’s a no brainer. And no extra charge if you collect it yourself.
So after the dinner last Friday evening, ensconsed in my nice comfy armchair and with the laptop posed on a plastic flip up table that I queued
for in the local discount store- and a pot of coffee or was it wine..that bit slips my mind…I started. I looked at the lists and the millions of subsections and none of it made any sense and I began to be nostalgic for the man selling The Big Issue outside the door of the shop in Newbridge and the smell of Costa coffee and all the noise and colour. But I wasn’t about to fall at the first fence..stubborn is my middle name..so I had some more coffee/ wine and persevered.
Until you do it you have no idea how many varieties of every little thing there are. You panic to start with as you scroll through the lists but then bingo, you recognise something. You’re just about to click when you see that there’s another one there that’s 20 p cheaper. Hmm, and what about this one, and this? Choices you never realised you had when you scanned the supermarket shelves and grabbed any brown bread that looked mildly healthy. Well the whole thing took me about three hours, far more than it would have taken me to actually go and physically do it. But here’s the deal- I buy more or less the same stuff every week so next week I’ll be able to bring up this list and tick the re-orders.
The plan is to reduce the time so that eventually I’ll be able to do the weeks shop in the two minute window when I have to leave the conditioner on my hair before rinsing it- now that I no longer stand under the shower soaping myself and dreaming for several minutes with lovely hot water streaming around me, all because of the dreaded water charges.
A day’s work well done, I thought as I took my tired bones off to bed. The next day, a lovely sunny Saturday morning, I went off to collect my shopping. I said hello to the smiley Big Issues man and politely enquired at the desk, at the same time casting my eyes around the floor area near the door for a box that looked as if it might have my shopping in it. Oh no, said the helpful customer enquiry girl, coming round the desk and pointing me towards the far corner of the parking lot- you have to collect it over there. I thought first that she must be having a laugh and sending me out for a glass hammer but lo and behold there it was in the far corner- a big sign saying Click and Collect on the side of a van. Hmm!
Well, I suspended my disbelief as you do and headed off in the car wondering if there was a little office over there that for some reason I couldn’t see- if you’ve read Flann O Brien’s ‘The Third Policeman’ you’ll know what I mean- but no, there was just a van. There appeared to be a man asleep in the cab part of it and I was totally perplexed but lo and behold when I knocked tentatively he sprang into action, materialised beside me with a big smiley welcome and opened back the side of the van to reveal a whole shelving system. And what a good looking charmer he was (I wouldn’t mind paying extra to get him to deliver the shopping, sez I to the cat when I got home. The cat gave me a disdainful look and went back to sleep). He produced two green plastic boxes with my shopping, retrieved more from the fridge area, and helped me put it into bags, while I interrogated him about his job. What a lovely life I thought, imagining myself sitting there with my laptop writing my novel or pondering deep philosophical thoughts, between customers.
Meanwhile I’ll have to content myself with imagining the stories I might write about what the delivery man gets up to when he delivers the shopping, although that’s been done before so maybe I’ll turn it around instead and give him a neurotic wife or lover who follows him around to make sure he doesn’t get up to anything on his deliveries, or a besotted customer who stalks him and follows him home or …
Hmm, I think I’ll get the shopping delivered this week. It’s going to be a busy one.