The thing that strikes me during a crisis is how the general public react to each other, the good, the bad and the ugly. Neighbours rallying around to ensure their elderly or vulnerable neighbours are supported, that’s good. Standing outside and taking part in the national cheer for the NHS staff and all the other key-workers – is good, society getting together to celebrate the amazing work of those people who are keeping our country going.
But the cynic in me, thinks that’s easy, easy to show your neighbours what a caring person you are as you clap your hands, but does that extend beyond the obvious gestures. I’m sure for many the answer is yes, because I think we are predominantly good.
But then you find that some of those people clapping are the same people who are sitting in judgement on things they have no idea about and quick to be vocal, which leads me into my day.
Went out to do food shopping at Tesco for my parents who are isolating being in their 80’s and having underlying health issues. I had their shopping list on my mobile phone notes and I had a quick look at them to see what else I needed as I waited in the fresh produce aisle whilst a man was picking up his vegetable from where I needed to be. I waited patiently, giving him space. I’ll give the lady in question the name of Gobby as I don’t know her name. Gobby came up, breaching the social distancing and said “Can I just reach in and get…” The item I’d been waiting for. I mentioned social distancing, I also explained to her that I had been waiting for the man in front to finish so I could pick up said item (said item because I can’t remember what it was, maybe spring onions.) To which Gobby replied, “You were on your phone!” In an aggressive tone. “Yes, looking at my shopping list whilst I waited patiently.” “You were on your mobile phone.” As you can see Gobby doesn’t have a wide vocabulary. I turned the phone around to let her see that I wasn’t doing anything more than being a little less of a dinosaur than her by using a phone rather than pen and paper.
I went on my way and then had to queue behind Gobby and her husband for eggs, I waited patiently again at the appropriate distance, hubby turned and saw me and looked slightly abashed. Clearly he has the measure of Gobby, poor thing is isolated with her. (Meow!) We met on a few aisles and she threw me daggers. Now I had to give up my shopping, as I ride a motorbike so storage is limited, I’d been prepared for two trips to get all my parents needed to see them through the week. After doorstop dropping I turned around and went back, approximately 15 minutes later I was back in the carpark. Grabbing a trolley I spied Gobby and her husband in a van next to the trolley park and she shouted out the window as they sped off “Back again!” Of course, she’s probably accusing me of stockpiling. She couldn’t be further from the truth. (I mean you try it with one small bike box, a normal sized rucksack and a half-filled bag attached with bungee straps to the back of the seat.) But that is an example of bad, this god-given right people think they have to pass judgement. And, yes you’re right I’m being less than kind in this post but I try to do the right thing and when that fails, well… you’ve read the above. My claws come out.
The ugly, people abusing shop workers because they have to queue, or can’t get the items they want. I mean really! Is this the fault of the staff in the shop that people are buying more than they need, and then throwing it out when it goes off. Then I read recently about a fellow author who had published her new book, a huge thing for a writer. You’ve poured blood, sweat and tears into this book, you’ve paid money £ $ to make the cover look good and to get it edited and some people pay for formatters. She went onto a group I’m on and said that one person had criticised her for not giving it away making her doubt herself. Sorry jumped up entitled person, at what point does someone have to give away their product for free. it’s a business, we don’t do it to lose money although many of us do just that. If authors want to give away their books now or at any other time then that’s up to them, a decision they make and a generous one at that. When was the last time you went into a coffee shop and demanded a free coffee. Let’s get some perspective back into this world and start to show appreciation instead of expecting to get our own way.
Now other than getting on my soap box I did manage to type up some more of my book, but the three hour round trip for shopping today took up a fair chunk of my day. Just to put it into perspective, my parents live around 15 minutes ride from me and Tesco’s in on route.
Anyway, off I trot – stay safe and be nice – and not just for show. BE NICE!