why is the Co-op so unco-operative?

December 9, 2008

co-opI hate the Co-op. And yet I find myself going there every day. Ok, it has its good points; some great bargains. Look at these chocs! Now only £5.29, reduced from £88.88. That is a bargain. it’s also a sign as to just why the Co-op is so… oh, shit.

I want to like the Co-op. It’s owned by its members, and it tries hard. It was one of the first shops that stocked a wide range of Fairtrade products. It has a good ethical approach. But it’s still so… oh, shit.

When the Co-op started the Fairtrade stuff they had big posters in the windows advertising 25% off all Fairtrade products. I bought some Fairtrade beers. But I didn’t get my 25% off. I spoke to the manager… He’s pretty much on first name terms with me, except the first name he uses for me is unprintable. He told me the products had to show the Fairtrade symbol. The beers did. He then told me there was 25% off all Fairtrade products, just not the beers. So, I pointed out, not all Fairtrade products then. His response? Yes, all… just not the beers. We go round in circles and then eventually I sidle away. It’s a regular dance for two grown men whose legs just want to die.

Most days I go about lunchtime (for me that’s 3pm). I buy the Daily Mirror, The Guardian, a sandwich, some pork pies and a couple of cans of pop (I know how to live.) And then the queueing starts. They usually only have one till working. The queue is endless (say eight people deep). A sign says “please queue at any available till.” At some point, after we’ve waited and waited, a second till opens. Most of us stay in one line taking it in turns to go to the next available. The people of Hither Green are very polite. Occasionally someone may break rank and there might be a bit of a fight but it never ends in bloodspill, just a few choice insults. But the manager of this Co-op just wants it to be a free-for-all. So unco-operative it makes me sad.

I hate the Co-op. But I don’t want to. It makes me sad that they are so… oh, shit.

As we queued today Brandon Flowers of The Killers sang; “Are we human or are we dancer?” No one knew the answer, or if they did, they were keeping it to themselves.

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2 Responses to “why is the Co-op so unco-operative?”

  1. Andrea said

    “I hate the Co-op. But I don’t want to. It makes me sad that they are so… oh, shit.”

    If I had a penny for every time I’ve had the exact same thought about *my* local Co-Op, I’d… well, I’d be able to buy a lot more than a pack of pork pies and a few cans of pop.

  2. […] December 18, 2008 This is Safeways. In Sunnyvale. And if supermarkets could speak to each other (and in the world in my head, they can) How do you like them apples? is what Sunnyvale’s Safeway would ask Hither Green’s Co-op. […]

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