Posts tagged tesco

Security? No way!

Well, i SHALL write about it. The event, incident, THING: even though i am pretty sure that Tesco, who are a generally decent firm when it comes to customer handling, will sort me out…will apologise profusely and will more or less go thru the right sort of motions.

Until the next time.

Which is why, as well as personal experience, this is also question, for anyone else who might be affected one way or t’other by this mock security affectation that some companies seem to have.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (2) »


Loading shopping into my car this afternoon, i was left pondering the etiquette of getting stuffed at Tesco’s expense.

What? You’ve never done it? Too polite? Or convinced there will be some dire consequence if you are caught? Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (5) »

Elf and safety

Sorry, Tesco, but this is taking things a mite too far.

Sunday, after church, part of the weekend ritual is a swing into Tesco with the boy where we taste samples on the delicatessen counter. There’s usually something out..ham, sausage roll, cheese… and the boy usually samples nowadays.

And, when he likes the food enough, we usually buy some for his monday pack-up at school.

(there is method to this approach: he is an appallingly fussy eater and quick to accuse that “he didn’t choose (and doesn’t like) x”, where x may be any foodstuff he has been eating in vast quantities for the preceding three months. By involving him in the choice process, at very least we have the moral pressure of being able to say: well, you tried it and liked it).

Anyway, back to Sunday. Usually, the bits are in a small plastic receptacle on top of the counter with toothpicks arranged neatly besides.

This sunday: no toothpicks. Oh. Can we have one? Er, no. Tesco is no longer issuing toothpicks.

Health and Safety: someone from the local council popped round and…they’re too dangerous. You could take comeone’s eye out with that!).

So now, in the interests of Health and Safety, they’re either NOT going to offer tasters – or in future, passing customers will have to dip their hands in and pull out a gobbet to pop in their mouths. Like: how clean ARE the boy’s hands?

I’m not sure i like sharing the same table with him sometimes, wondering what diseases he is spreading as he applies his atrocious table manners and grabs at any passing item that takes his fancy (er, yes: we DO know that this should not be happening and we are trying to work out a solution. at present the realistic alternatives appear to be hand cuffs, rubber mittens, or tying his hands to the back of the chair).

But Tesco, Tesco! This is beyond silly. Its even worse than last year, when the daughter, then barely 17, attempted to buy a kebab for the barbecue. Nope. It included a wooden skewer that she just MIGHT have used as a weapon. So she wasn’t allowed.

I kid you not!

I don’t see eye to eye with the Coalition on everything: but a few fewer Health rules would not go amiss.


Comments (3) »

Things that make you go Wow!

Today was a very very good day. Or at least, a very good morning.

I nipped briefly, cheekily into my friendly local Tesco. Cheekily, because I just happened to be wearing, for the first time ever, the T-shirt I picked up at last year’s Pride march.

I can’t find any pics of the shirt on their own: but its very like the one being worn in the various pic’s on last autumn’s outattesco newsletter (pdf). Because yes: Tesco does support LGBT causes – and the t-shirt is visible evidence of that support

But I’ve been a little bit shy about wearing it because I had this worry that even though the staff at my local Tesco have been nothing but supportive of myself, someone might have thought I was taking the piss. Not to worry! They got it at once: I explained to a couple of managers that this was actually an official Tesco sponsored initiative – and at least one member of staff was quite interested…may even, I suspect, be writing off for her own in the not too distant.

Yay! LGBT Pride comes to deepest Lincolnshire…

So that was first good thing. Second was the lady who accosted me as I walked round: perhaps a few years older than I, grey-haired, but obviously sprightly, and, I’d guess, the 50’s side of 60 still.

“I just wanted to talk to you”, she began, momentarily putting me on my guard. Amazing how self-protective one can become after a year or so of being out and learning to be always on one’s guard against the lone nutter.

But I needn’t have worried. “I’ve seen you around loads of times”, she went on, “and I’ve always wanted to say how wonderful you look: how well you look”.

Oh, wow!

I know: it’s the flip side of being public property. Its probably awfully incorrect for her to be acknowledging my “difference” in this way. But to hell with that.

She was being supportive – and being supportive in the best way she knows how: by breaking a taboo around talking to strangers, walking up to me, and saying something nice.

So it was absolutely appreciated and as I walked off down the aisle about half a minute later, I resisted the urge to punch the air and go “Yay!”.

On the other hand, I think I did manage a very slight skip, much to the surprise of a couple of passing shoppers.


P.S> If you want to know more about Outattesco, they can be contacted via

Comments (2) »

stepford check-out girls

I know I’m not the only person who argues with the woman behind the automated check-out. You know the one. In Tesco and Morrison and most mainstream stores now: the disembodied voice that rattles off: “put the item in your bag” – or similar.

It is strange. I know that the staff who work at my local Tesco have gone the anthropomorphic route, imbuing the “person” behind the voice with a personality of her own and accusing her of being stroppy when she blatantly refuses to recognise a bar code, or claims I’ve not put an item in my bag when I have.

Still, I was going to write about how annoying the Morrisons voice was by comparison with Tesco. Was going to, that is, until a day or so back, when it seems that the Morrisons lady has been given a stern lecture and is now being decidedly more polite at her job.

The problem? Well, mostly it’s the timing. In Tesco, the voice – the lady – is slow to respond. If you rattle through scanning your groceries quickly, you’ll hardly hear from her. Or alternatively, you’ll keep shutting her up in mid-sentence: “Put the item in. . . ”. “Put the. . . “. “Put. . .”.

She must get very frustrated.

On the other hand, the Morrisons lady was just the opposite. No sooner had you scanned something than she was nagging at you. “Put the item in the bag”. I know, I know, I’d mutter – and sometimes speak out loud. Just shut up!

Definitely irritating: like having a demented maiden aunt hovering behind your shoulder as you tried to check out.

And the member of staff who was there to help knew it too – was often embarrassed by the pace.

Does anyone check such things? I’d like to imagine that Morrisons has an operational team somewhere researching customer attitudes and determining the optimum pace at which to time their mechanised voice. Though if that is so, it leaves me with a very low view of the average Morrisons customer.

Apparently so dim that, if they are not constantly badgered, they will forget what they are about. Er (caveman style): item go beep. Now what? Oh. Put de item in de bag. Thanks, lady!

Nah. Not even Morrisons customers…

And besides, I was heartened, a few days back, to discover that the Morrisons lady had now chilled. . . had cut her pace back to a far sensibler rate and even turned the volume down. Perhaps someone in Morrisons ops finally twigged and she got dispatched to the precincts of “Ladette to lady” for a few much-needed elocution lessons.

We shall see – though tis definitely improvement.

That, though, now leaves the Tesco lady the villainess of the piece. Not most of the time, but towards the end of the process, when her slow-on-the-uptakeness is a constant irritant.

“Put your card in the reader”. I have!

“Now input you PIN number”. FFS, you dozy bint! I did that five seconds ago.

“Remove your shopping”. {sigh!}

Isn’t supermarket shopping exciting?


Comments (8) »

Taking the eternal biscuit

Do you have a surplus of Victoria choccie biscuits?

Like many another homemaker, I was suckered by Tesco before christmas. When I say suckered, I mean I kept a close eye on the various half price, three for price of one and the like offers they ran in the two months running up to the season of festivity.

I was, of course, especially lured by promises of half price biccies, cheap roses (the chocolate ones, of course) and half price turkeys. In fact, I probably did what a lot of others did at the time, which is to stock up on various small sweet items on the grounds that they made suitable last minute presents or stocking fillers for distant relatives.

Result: loads of tins of cho biscuits, shortbread, roses, half price ferrero rocher and the like.

The main flaw to this approach was not so much of my making, but became clear after the event: great minds think alike. Or perhaps those with similar socio-demographic backgrounds tend to buy the same stuff from the same place.

So, come christmas, like some slow motion practical joke, I began the grand tour of friends and relatives, with half a dozen tins of sweet things all carefully gift-wrapped and be-ribboned.

I should of course have guessed. I would hand over a tin of biscuits and – in return – I would receive a tin of biscuits.

Everywhere I went, I saw the uniquitous Victoria Biccies. Or, visitng the slightly more cheapskate, the less attractive Fox’s selection.

I would habe over biccies – and get biccies in return. I’d give away a tin of roses or quality street and get two boxes in return. And so it went.

By the end of the season, I was slightly in profit, having given away three tins of one biscuit species – and received four. Somewhere, lurking on a garage shelf, are three carotns of roses.

This could, of course, turn into an elaborate parlour game – or ongoing tradition – with my circle just circulating the same tins each season. Add in easter biscuits and the possibilities are endless.

I mean, so long as no-one ever bothered to open any of the tins, honour would be satisfied, and savings scored all round.

Now there’s a plan!


Comments (4) »

Its the hormones, you know…

Andrea blames the hormones. I blame andrea – at least at one remove. Tesco were mostly civilised about it.

Monday afternoon i did what i have never – as i remember – ever done before: which is walk out of tesco without paying.

Its those new diy check-outs. i much prefer using them, because they are so much faster. Although people do tend to forget stuff.

I have lost one credit card over the last year at a diy check-out. The other day i handed in £15 that someone had forgotten to collect by way of change.

That made me think: the occasional glitch in the check-out means tesco probably lose the occasional item to individual carelessness and computer error. But if people leave them extra cash…perhaps its not total loss.

Anyway, i scanned my shopping, scanned my clubcard and, according to the security guard later, just put the bags in my trolley and walked off. Eeeek! I am turning into one of THOSE sorts of old ladies, twenty years too soon.

So was it the hormones? It is true, i have been scattier later. But then, i had also been up for three all-night parties in the three preceding nights. I was sleep-deprived, your Honour.

Worse, the lack of sleep led me to rush out the house to shop without doing my hair, attending to facial bristle, or even dabbing on a spot of mascara. The realisation hit me half way round Tesco, at which point i could have died.

By the time i reached the check-out, i was in a state of total panic: just wanted out. So my guess is that it was more sleep than hormones (and andrea failing to point out what a mess i looked!).

Tesco were good. Or rather, the local management were good. According to inside sources (ner! don’t try and track them down, Tesco: i’m a journalist and if i didn’t have a pretty good inkling of what goes down in your canteen, what use would i be?) one rather daft manager wanted the police summoned and/or a lifetime ban from the store.

Excuse me? Wearing my legal hat, i know the police would not be best pleased: there was no intent to remove the goods (as evidenced by my scanning my personal id) so it would be a bit of a waste. As for marketing: Tesco nationally are well aware of the average value of a family shopper.

Frighteningly, we probably spend £5k-£6k per year in our local Tesco: what on earth is achieved by banning someone who spends that sort of money with you?

But still: wiser counsels prevailed. Dan, the store manager was sympathetic. Just as well, because i was upset – and less sympathetic handling would probably have meant a lot of tears. Ditto Gary the security guard who, most unjustly, i was wary of when first i came out.

Thanks – and hopefully i didn’t embarrass him too much by giving him a big hug before parting.

And that’s it. I was a little nervous for a few days about going back. But i’ve been back: not stolen anything else; and my brief career as dotty old crone is, fingers crossed, over.


Comments (3) »