The time my OAP mum lost her shopping
I often talk about #MyOAPMum on the blog, as she makes me laugh even when she doesn’t mean to. This is a true story about the time that my OAP mum lost her shopping.
I’ll try to make this little story as brief as possible, but even if it’s a long one, the pay-off isn’t great. I still need to share though. To set the scene, it’s November, hence the Christmas references.
My OAP mum went to town a few weeks ago. After seeing my Tassimo machine and getting one of her own, she is forever running in to town to get new Tassimo pods for her coffee machine.
Seeing as I had been round there that morning with the youngest two kids to help her do the Christmas decorations (and don’t get me started on the fact that it was still November) I gave her a lift into town afterwards.
She chose to take Chance, my 9-year-old son with her, and he happily trotted off with her, knowing that he was going to get treated to McDonalds at some stage.
Apparently they went to Tesco first to do the shopping, where mum managed to fill up an old-woman-trolley’s worth of stuff.
Then they went to M&S, Wilkinsons and then McDonalds from what Chance remembers. I’m sure there were at least a couple more stores in the story earlier, but we’ll go with that for now.
Aaaaaaanyway. They get to Costa, where we had agreed to meet, with a trolley full of shopping. She declined the offer of a drink (even though by that stage I had literally just sat down with a fresh cup of coffee) and chatted away.
Mum made the journey in and out of the store two or three times to have a cigarette and to share cream cakes with Chance (I kid you not).
Eventually, we leave. I dropped mum back home to hers, chuck her shopping in the door and go home. No sooner have I got in through my own front door and my phone rings.
“I can’t find my coffee”
It’s mum. They’re not in the car, I know that much.
“I must have left them in town,” says mum “Probably in McDonalds. I had them all in another bag”
It’s annoying, but oh well. Tough luck. Forget about it and move on. I say that in a much nicer way, and mum agrees.
Thirty minutes later she calls again and reveals that the tv isn’t working. It had been a long day up until then and I couldn’t be bothered arguing and so instead I simply say to her that I’ll go round and sort it out. I jumped in the car and then made my way through the horrible Chelmsford traffic jams that accumulate around my road on weekends.
Ten minutes later I am still sitting in traffic, having got as far as the Army & Navy roundabout. In other words, I could have walked there quicker.
Mum calls. The tv is working. At least, she thinks it is. Sod it. I’m still going there as I don’t want to get called out later. I tell her that. Fine. I say that I will see her soon.
Being the good son I am, I decide to try and track her missing bag of coffee. I call McDonalds on the hands-free as I am sitting in traffic.
If you guessed that I would get an immediate result on calling, you are wrong. I had to speak to three people in order to find out what I wanted to know. The first couldn’t deal with the query and had to pass me to a manager. The manager didn’t know and passed me to someone else there. No bag had been found. I thanked them and called M&S
No bag had been found. I thanked them and called M&S
M&S didn’t answer. I got partway through clicking 1 for the local store and 9 because my inner leg measurement begins with a 3 etc, which is so often the way with calling high street stores these days.
I didn’t try for too long, though, choosing to give up when traffic started moving. It wasn’t long before I’d got to mum’s road,
I pulled in at mums. I could see from the driveway that she was on the phone and so, having a key to her door, I let myself in.
“Here, I don’t know if you are deaf or just dumb, speak to my son,” she says, handing me the phone. Great.
“Your mum says that she is missing some coffee?” the voice on the other end of the line tells me.
Bear in mind that mum hasn’t said anything to me since I walked in. Everything has happened as I’ve written it above, so I’ve literally been in the house for about 5 seconds.
“That’s right. Some Tassimo pods.” I answer.
“She’s left them somewhere but says that she didn’t pay for them?” He says, obviously confused.
“No, she bought them in Tesco, travelled through Chelmsford and has left the bag somewhere but we don’t know where.”
“She told me she hasn’t paid for them?” he said again.
“Don’t be daft!” I said, before suddenly realising that I had just joined this conversation halfway through. I continued “Hold on, I’ll be honest, I don’t even know who I’m talking to?”
I meant which store, obviously.
“Oh. This is Simon…”
“Where are you calling from Simon?” I ask, as politely as possible, trying desperately to find out which bloody company I was on the phone too whilst at the same time trying not to let my annoyance show and attempting to keep my sarcastic side hidden.
I kid you not when I tell you his reply was, word-for-word “I’m calling from Glasgow”
Turns out it was Tesco.
Anyway, I ask him to hold on and speak to mum
“Mum. He’s saying that you have said you didn’t pay for the coffee?”
“it’s not on my receipt, so I didn’t buy them,” she tells me.
“So what’s happened?” I ask.
“I think I left them at the end of the checkout and they didn’t get scanned through”
“Right… So they are still at the end of the checkout in Tesco? You haven’t paid for them and left them there, they just weren’t paid for and were left behind?”
I’m slightly baffled by this stage. I can’t really see much of an issue, but mum obviously can, so I dig deeper.
“Right… so why have you called Tesco?”
“To tell them I’ve left some coffee at the end of their checkout”
I said ok. I put the phone back to my ear and told Glasgow Simon that everything was fine and I’m sorry he had been disturbed.
He - naturally - wanted to know what was going on, and all I could tell him was that mum was elderly and she had - literally - just wanted to let the store know that there was some stock that had been moved to the wrong place. I thanked him and let him go.
I tried explaining to my mum that she didn’t need to call them. I went through the scenario that if she had paid for the stuff and left it there, then yes, call them and explain. If she had the coffee but had checked her receipt and found she hadn’t paid for it, consider herself lucky.
I went through the scenario that if she had paid for the stuff and left it there, then yes, call them and explain so that she might be able to get the goods that she had paid for and left behind.
If she had the coffee but had checked her receipt and found she hadn’t paid for it, consider herself lucky that she’d gotten the stuff for free and maybe consider popping into Tesco and paying next time she was in town.
But if she didn’t pay for it and didn’t have it, she didn’t need to tell anyone.
Her response? “But those cappuccinos are REALLY popular! Someone else probably wants to buy them and won’t know they are in the wrong place…”
Then - and I promise I’m not making this up - she revealed that the phone was turning off the tv when it rang.
And that’s it. I’m not quite sure how I got through that day without crying.