This morning I went into Brigg early to do the last bits of Christmas shopping. Not presents - I bought or made most of them ages ago - but food. It's no good for me to go in on Christmas Eve as people get a wee bit impatient with old ladies on mobility scooters. That's not how I think of myself but it is undoubtedly how people see me when they are feeling harassed!
Anyway I was in Brigg before eight this morning and my first stop was Lidl. The chap on the till was chatty and he told me he had started work at six and wouldn't be finishing until four but he still had a cheery word for me.
Then I passed B & M and a man was raising the shutters but he gave me a really cheerful "Good Morning". It was so cheery that I thanked him and he was kind enough to say that I'd made his day by my own cheerfulness and my "Thank you".
On to the butcher. My butcher is of the traditional kind - big blue apron and loads of useful advice. As soon as I stopped near his shop he was outside pulling down the awning so that my scooter wouldn't get wet whilst I was inside. And we chatted and laughed whilst I bought sausage made from locally produced pork. home cured bacon and our traditional Lincolnshire Plum Bread.
It was the same in Tesco and Wilko when I went in there. The staff were in Christmas jumpers and in great humour.
Retail staff are in for a few days very hard work, the culmination of several weeks hard work. They will also have Christmas to prepare for their own families just like the rest of us. I too was in a profession which had lots of extra tasks in the run-up to Christmas but although it was hard work I suspect that I got more thank yous than many shop workers so this is my personal thank you to all those who keep cheerful and look after us,