TradeShark Diary, 27th March 2020

Had my first experience of queuing to get into Tesco. Not sure what day they started but it could have been today. There were what looked like “Big Bosses” looking at the queuing system outside and how the staff were managing it. Anyone with experience of retail management can spot the big bosses by the way the store management are fawning over them.

It seemed like a long time in the queue though it wasn’t really that long. Maybe 20 minutes. It was more bearable when you were in the bit of the queue that was in direct sun. The part that was in shadow was bloody freezing! When we got to the front of the queue we had to wait for 2 people to come out before we were allowed in. It seemed to be working well. Plenty of space inside to keep some distance between you are other shoppers. Two metres at all times isn’t practical in the more narrow aisles.

Tesco queues

There was one woman in particular who really didn’t want anyone anywhere near her. We always seemed to be in the same aisle. In a narrow aisle she was getting very irritated that Sue was not getting out of her way. Sue is often oblivious to other people in stores. She looked like she was moving away from the shelves that she was looking at. This other woman sighed heavily and started to move forward but Sue stopped and quickly moved back as if she had changed her mind about one of the products. I actually thought the other woman was going to flip out. Sue slowly moved around her to come towards where I had parked our trolley. I was going to explain to her that she had “done it again” but I saw the sly smile on her face. She knew exactly what she was doing! “Wait until she needs our help at the hospital. She’ll be happy I’m there then.”

She had picked up an extra shift at the hospital yesterday. I didn’t really want her to do any extra shifts but she said her team were short and she needed to go in. There were something like 89 shifts uncovered at the hospital yesterday. It was worse today. When I picked her up from work I mentioned that there was supposed to be a national signal to NHS workers at 8pm with people clapping and making noise to show their gratitude. She didn’t think the people on our street would be bothered with that. As the time reached 8pm I was upstairs going from one window to another. We live on a corner so have a good view in all directions. It looked like no one was going to come out. Then it started. Just a few claps at first but it quickly grew. I could only actually see 1 person on their doorstep but most must have been in their back gardens. I ran downstairs and pushed Sue out into our garden so she could listen. She seemed quite chuffed that so many people had taken a couple of minutes to join in.

The Government announced help for self employed workers. Overall what they are doing is fair to a lot of people although there seems to be a significant number who it will not help. People who have not been self employed for a year are not included and any posting profits of over 50K a year are also getting nothing. Even those who ARE entitled to the support won’t get anything until June! The Government’s response to those people is that they should go to Universal Credit or use the money that they saved for July’s tax payment. The tax payments are deferred until January but I think anyone short of cash would have been using that money already to put food on the table.

Self employment briefing

Personally I make a bit from sales of the trading guide and also the subscriptions for the trading tips emails so I will get support. As I have already mentioned in the diary I have applied for Universal Credit. That will take some of the pressure off my savings. Obviously my income is badly affected but I know I am in a better position than many others. There will be a lot of self employed workers under a lot of financial stress in the next few months.

People generally are following the rules of the lockdown. Having said that as I write this my neighbours look like they are planning a family party. Not everyone who just went into their house actually lives there. There will always be people who think the rules don’t apply to them.

Our daughter suffers badly with Asthma. She tried to get a home delivery slot for their food shop but there was nothing available for weeks. About half of our trolley at Tesco’s was for them and the kids. We took it over there and left it on the doorstep. I’m not sure the grandkids would have understood that they couldn’t at least hug us and would have been upset. Its best that they didn’t know we had been there. Not sure how Michelle will explain the food fairy delivery though.

Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock have both tested positive for CoronaVirus. I think most of us will get it at some stage. I hope you and your families are coping and healthy. We haven’t been on lock down for long and that may prove to be a challenge for some in the coming weeks.

Stay safe.

   
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