Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to

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Welcome to CatMinders

Friday, 14 March 2008

Me ? Stressed ? Nah ....

After a too strong cup of coffee yesterday I developed a migraine and woke with the words volterol volterol volterol swimming in a soup of my thoughts .
All traces of headache were gone however and the jelly legs were not a problem under the circumstances .
Suffice to say there was a lot going on and if I mention police , shoplifting and "trouble last night" you will understand I want to say no more in order to protect the anonymity of the teens .

I felt relatively calm with all this , having had occasion to spend many a happy hour myself in the police station in my twenties , working as I did in the juvenile justice Industry as indeed it was then . And having gone through all the permutations in my head and having been assured by N that she was not involved , I made a few phone calls to the other parents then decided to go about my day , first taking half an hour in Cafe Royal to calm my nerves ... just an excuse and there would have been another if not this ( Alice chasing a Yorkie , Kitty going for my throat , there would have ben something ) .

I thought I was doing fine , even the fact that ricotta and berry muffins have been temporarily removed from the menus left me unphased and I changed my order to green tea and a cinammon twist , but I have to confess, my chickens came home to roost in Marks and Spencer Food Hall .
I had selected a Colin the Caterpillar birthday cake for Nat , despite the teen thing ( fourteen next week ) she still likes her Colin cake .... two pots of salad , and decided to brave the self serve check out where you run your own card through the card reader , scan your own purchases and hey presto Bob's your Auntie you are through there faster than it takes to shoplift the basketload ( slap my wrist did I say that ... )

I arrive at the checkout area and realise I have no basket to unload , having just collected my purchases in my arms . Mistake number one .
A robotic voice makes some comment about this which I can't make out , so I ignore . Bleep!

I fluff out one of the plastic carrier bags sitting there waiting for me to load up with my stuff .

I can almost hear the machine whirring ... what is she doing ? Bleep !

I scan the first pot of salad and place it in the bag . Bleep !

" Unexpected Item in the Bagging Area " says the Robotic Voice loudly

"Please use our bag , or press the button to indicate you are using your own bag " , it adds , sounding put out .

I glance around .
What ?
I am using their bag .
There is no unexpected item in the bagging area , just a pot of their stupid salad , couscous to be precise .

I press a button , lift the salad out and re scan . Huge mistake .

This sends things haywire and the Robot starts bleeping angrily and giving out conflicing messages .
The last thing I hear is Please use our bag !

I lose it .
" I am using your fucking bag . " I say waspishly " so Fuck Off "

A ripple of tension goes through the queue .

An assistant appears as if from nowhere .
Is everything ok ?
No I tell her , and you may have heard me uttering profanities at your machine .
She says not a word ( not understanding profanity perhaps ?), presses some buttons , but becomes quite aereated herself when I move too swiftly and threaten to start the whole process off again on the wrong foot .
My final faux pas is to place a birthday card purchaed from another store into the bag and she shrieks No ! ( but at least a human shriek and not a robotic one ) . She tries to explain this will be weighed and will then alert the machine that it has not been scanned . And then ....
I scoop up the bag and make off .
Perhaps I am more bothered than I will admit by recent events ......

There were additional factors . N's grandmother was also admitted to hospital in Belfast with a clot in her lung and awaits a scan .

Overall , this was a wonderful day , with many sunny moments .
I have been tagged by BetteJo and must write seven wierd things about myself . I catch D looking at me and know he feels most things about me are wierd .
I will attend to this tomorrow , though perhaps " talking to machines as a matter of course " would count as number one . ? There is no shortage of material for this one though .....


BetteJo said...

Doesn't sound like a fabulous day over-all. I have never used the self check-out - although my son uses it all the time. I think I would use LOTS of profanity!

I must tell you I have had the devil of a time reading your blog. It keeps changing the screen to some ads - the screen changes twice. In Firefox I can't get around it, I had to switch to Internet Explorer to read your blog tonight. I can tell the page is getting prompted to change but my settings in IE must be tighter. I don't know. I'd really be curious if anyone else is having the problem!!

MsCatCalls said...

Hi and thanks for letting me know about the problem
We can see if anyone else responds . My sister can tell me today . I could get rid of all the ads as Ive never made any money from them ! Does anyone ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Shelagh did you get pics of bobbijo? Sometimes your page does go onto the other site but not often, Bj managed to go outside in her run for the 1st time this year, she lvd it!
I do use the robot man in our local shop, mainly because of the qs of people waiting for the shop assistant to serve them, as especially as some older folk do not like using them at all, plus you cant get lotto from it
Take care have a nice weekend
lv Joan

MsCatCalls said...

Hi Joan
Yes I did get the e mails with pics of Bobbijo and have just been showing my sister . I tried to e mail you but it obviously didnt work . I asked can I put the pictures on the blog as they are so good ? let me know and I will see how they come out ....

Anonymous said...

Hi Shelagh Yes Bj would love her pic on the blog! she is quite vain hehe, no I havent got incredimail, I got hotmail miserable day in Birmingham and not a surfer in sight!
Take care Joan & Bj

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