09.04.2022 | “Caved in, Cut Down, Scared of Everybody Else…”

Lyrics: “Haven’t Been Doing So Well” ~ Frank Turner, 2021

Every other day I think I should write about my day a bit. But there is nothing happening. Nothing interesting and I don’t want to bore you with my exhaustion. My bouts of procrastination. My worrying. My overly anxious mind. Did I mention exhaustion?

After being a bit pissed that over half of the staff in my regular supermarket ditched their mask as soon as it was allowed, I went to a few other supermarkets, where the staff was more diligent about it obviously. But to be honest I’m too lazy to drive somewhere else to do my shopping just to prove a point to myself. I’ll be wearing my mask and won’t be in close quarters with any of those maskless people longer than a minute or two.

Let’s all be glad that I don’t have to lead a protest movement right now. Or… ever.

In some other regard I did take a bit of a stand – compared to previous situations – without being close to angry, frustrated tears this afternoon. I have a bit of a weird twinge in my back. Not really painful and not all the time, only at certain movements or postures. And yes, I do know that being more active, do more workouts / fitness stuff or just regular stretching might help with that. And probably could have prevented it in the first place. That doesn’t really help with the current issue though. I tried heat in form of putting a hot water bottle on my back when I’m sitting on my couch or when I lay down for a bit. But that doesn’t really work when I’m sitting at the table, like now. I tried a foamroller on the floor to little success, but also a small foamroller ball with my back to the wall and the ball between my back and the wall. Which helped a bit.

Some hours ago I thought an infrared lamp might be a solution. Spoiler alert as I’m sitting in front of one right now: A bit, but not as much as I had hoped. Back to the foamroller ball and hotwater bottle in bed later. And maybe some proper stretching tomorrow, if needed. Anyway, I googled infrared lamps in the hopes I might be able to buy one on this Saturday afternoon in suburban Germany. And it turned out the local home improvement / DIY store was supposed to have some in store according to their website. So I waited for a break in the April showers and got in my car.

I didn’t even try to find them on my own, so I asked the first (male) staffer I saw at his “information/help” desk in the main aisle. He sent me to aisle 44: Lamps. Okay…? I would have gone more for “heating” or for some reason maybe even “bathroom”. I walked up and down all the lamps aisles and didn’t find anything. So I got out my phone, pulled up the article on the website, made sure once more that the site stated that there were at least 3 lamps available at this store and went to find the next staffer closer to the lamps. Female, middle age, this time. I showed her the article on my phone and inquired where I might find it, as they might not be stored at the lamps.

“Hamm wa nich” was the [very colloquial German] reply, which basically means “We don’t have those”. But is usually – and also in this case – said with a bored / annoyed / “why do you stupid costumer bother me with this request?” tone. I stated that according to the website there should be three left at this store. With a bit of a sigh and possible eyeroll, but I might have imagined that, she logged into the computer to check. While also stating that the website doesn’t always give the right number and went on about how they used to sell those lamps at some point, but not for a while and she didn’t understand why they were still listed. I added that I know that the website is not always right, but 3 seems to be a too large number to be an error. Oh surprise, the store system said, there were even 4 of those availabe. But under “heating” and not on the shelves. Or something. She mumble a bit at that point and to be fair was mostly friendly after all that. So she went and got me my lamp.

That’s where “my taking as stand” ended though and looking back I think I could have been more forceful after. The box had a reduced price sticker and it seemed to have been a returned item, possibly, but I didn’t care. The (new?) guy at the checkout had problems scanning the item to read the reduced price. I didn’t really care at this point, I would have payed the usual one. But he called the supervisor, who also didn’t know what to do. I tried to be helpful and mentioned that there might be some more on the shelf and offered to go and look for another one with a clearer marked price sticker. There were more costumers behind me already and I hate being the annoying person holding up the checkout line. I possibly should / could have asked one of the staffers to go check or call someone to go check. But off I went to the “heating aisle” where – of course – I didn’t find more of those lamps.

So I went back to find the female staffer. I told her about the checkout problem, but then instead of asking her to find me another lamp with a distinct price sticker, I just asked where I could find another one. She didn’t bother with any of that and just told me I should tell the checkout staff to sell it for the reduced price and if there still was a problem to make them call her. Back to the checkout and the supervisor put the reduced price in whatever the sticker said and it was all fine.

But back in my car I started wondering, why I so willingly offered to basically do the staffers job? It’s not my problem if it’s labled with a wrong price. Either sell it to me or go and check for yourself. Same in the second instance. It wouldn’t have been to much to ask the “hamm wa nich” staffer to go and get me another lamp with a distinct price sticker. She solved the issue in another way and that as fine and all. But I sat in my car wondering for a bit, why I act like that. Because I so often do. Apologetic in advance. Am I just being polite and friendly? Or am I just scare to be a bother? To make a fuss? To expect something out of the ordinary? Which this wouldn’t have been, would it? I don’t want to be elitist and all and I worked at a supermarket checkout for a few months many many many years ago and I know how some costumers can suck, so I always try to be friendly. But was I bending over too much here? Wouldn’t it also been totally fine to ask / expect the staffers to solve this for me?

I don’t know… Maybe it’s a good thing that I start therapy soon 🙂

Not a picture of a boring infrared lamp, but rather the real deal…

Sunset by the sea, 2021
Sunset by the sea, 2021

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