I get my groceries delivered to the house every week, well, almost every week. We live in the countryside and the amount of money I pay for the delivery will definitely not cover my petrol driving in.
Not only that, I am one of those species who are very prone to last-minute impulse-buying! Especially with lovely and delicious items on special…. and you do get good specials, I know…. But this blog is not about that….
Since I started having my groceries delivered, I have come to know the different delivering guys. What a fabulous bunch of people, always cheerful and full of chat.
They are usually middle-aged men and obviously know the rural area like the back of their hands. I am pretty sure they never have to check a map (or Sat Nav) and I can assure anyone who has never driven on these rural paths in Ireland that it can be an intricate maze of roads leading to chaos – roads are definitely not always signposted and you almost need to been born here to know all the little side- and back roads. But once you know some of them it helps enormously to miss long traffic-jams through small towns to get children to different camps, parties and soccer pitches on time!
Except for talk about the weather (which everyone does in Ireland) these delivery guys also have great stories about where and whom they deliver to or some spice on their company or random things happening in the world. Sometimes we compare notes about schools and after-school activities. I think they enjoy the chats with the customers as much as the customers do!
There is this one delivery guy who actually does this job because he can’t find a proper job – he is a trained chef. The other day he told me about this enormous mansion where he used to deliver. Usually when he got there the mistress of the house would feel sorry for him and have the butler or maid or whomever, serve him some tea and cake. Didn’t matter how uncomfortable he felt, he couldn’t really refuse it. Once when he handed me the cream I ordered – just the no-brand stuff – he explained the type of cream he would deliver to that mansion and how he was always be scared it would leak out, so he would pack it with care …. probably ten times the price of the normal stuff.
And another delivery guy told me (he did chuckle while telling me this) he actually needs to ask if I am over 18 when I order wine. Ha ha these days I’ll take it as a compliment, but apparently it is really serious for the shops.
In Ireland people over the age of 18 can buy alcohol, but it is a requirement to check ID of a person between 18 and 25, to cover yourself. If the person doesn’t look older than 25 they have to ask for ID. If they don’t and the person is under 18 the shop and the delivery man can be charged with a steep fine! So they are really careful. He told me that the company whom he delivers for, are very suspicious if they get new online customers who only order groceries for a very small amount, but include a few bottles of wine. So the delivery guys are then told to be on their guard and check ID.
The delivery guys are also very accommodating and helpful. If a product is ruined, something leaked out or you’re not happy with an item, you can just give it back and they will make sure the shop doesn’t charge you. Sometimes if they run late they won’t charge for the delivery and if you are a regular customer they will even leave your groceries somewhere safe (discussed between the two of you) if you are not home yet or an emergency has come up.
Although our dog is less impressed with them coming into the house, when it comes to groceries I will – most of the time – keep shopping online….