Five things I learnt from Coles Boy

Last weekend, I had a small run-in with Coles Boy. Let me fill you in on the back story.

• Husband at the coast for the day

• Teenage daughter with a nasty cold being dragged around to the days activities because of above point

• Smaller not-teenage daughter suffering lack of sleep after a sleep-over party (seriously, those things should be called ‘no-sleep-over’ parties)

• Small portion of work to do (taking photos at a fete)

• Afternoon dance rehearsal for smaller not-teenage-but-sleep-deprived daughter

So, all in all, a full day. On the way home from dance rehearsal, it is revealed by smallest daughter that her toiletry bag has been left at the party ie you need to stop and buy me a toothbrush, mum. (Said with angst and a supreme sense of urgency)

Also, realisation by me that I have not planned tea for that night and need some supplies ie frozen pizza, here we come.

Enter Coles Boy.

When I reached the double glass sliding doors of the Coles supermarket in question, at, I kid you not, three minutes past five, Coles Boy rushes, no, runs, to greet me and inform me that I was not allowed in (his first mistake). I stared at him for a few seconds. Smiled. Just two things I need, I say. Just two. Smile again, believing wholeheartedly in the ‘you catch more flies with honey than vinegar’ approach.

Sorry, ma’am (his second mistake. When did I get ‘upgraded’ to ma’am???). Store policy. I can’t legally (I mean seriously! Legally???) let you in after 5pm.

Next to being allowed in, do you know what would have made me deliriously happy at that point in time?

Smacking him in the face. Shameful. A grown woman, two impressionable offspring in tow and all I could think about was how satisfying it would be to just…smack. him. in. the. face.

So I did the next best thing. Without another word, I turned my back on him and walked away. The last thing I heard him cheerily say was “Have a nice rest of the day! (his third and quite possibly worst mistake). He will never know how close his words came to him having a blood nose. But, I kept walking, ignoring the crazy lady inside me who was on hands and knees begging to be allowed to go back and show him exactly how ‘nice’ his day was about to be.

I then suffered through, with clenched teeth and hands, a lecture from teenage daughter about my rudeness and how she had applied for a job there. How, mum? How are they going to employ me now?? If you have or have had a teenage daughter, this will not be unfamiliar territory for you. All before we had even reached the car.

As I slid into the drivers seat, I briefly considered ramming the building but decided against it as I didn’t really feel like explaining the car damage to my husband.

So what did I learn?

• Don’t try to enter a supermarket after the designated closing time.

• On making it home, don’t then call your son over a small issue and tear shreds off him. (Even though he was once one of those boys telling people they weren’t allowed in – it wasn’t his fault, really.)

• That I have the capacity to feel the level of rage I did, over a toothbrush and a frozen pizza.

• That I also have the capacity to not smack people in the head, even when I really, really, really want to.

And the fifth thing I have learnt?

Always keep spare toothbrushes in the cupboard and emergency pizza in the freezer.

Less chance people will get hurt that way.

13 thoughts on “Five things I learnt from Coles Boy

  1. Oh, so feel your pain. I can feel the anxiety now just reading this! Coles boy is what you call a scape goat- had you actually acted out, but you didn’t. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and just need to have toast for dinner and brush out teeth with our finger.


  2. As long as you had wine. 🙂 The thing I take away is: I cannot believe a supermarket closes at 5 pm! I live in a fairly remote area, and even our little store stays open till 7 pm in the offseason (9 in the summer). Must be so nice for Coles’ lovely, polite employees to get home so early (oh wait, you don’t want to hear that, do you? 😉 ). Fun post, Susannah! Good job turning the other cheek, rather than smacking one.


    • I have a terrible feeling that if my daughters were not with me, I just might have! But then again, if they weren’t with me, I wouldn’t have needed to be there in the first place! 🙂


  3. I feel for both sides of that scene. I’ve worked retail a lot (though not in a while) and I know the agony of dealing with that shopper who stands there and tells you “one thing” and then spends 30 minutes making you crazy when you’ve worked all day for very little money, have been yelled at for things not your fault, and so and so on. But at the same time, I am a mom and I’ve been in places where people who clearly do not have children can’t or won’t wait on me in any sort of helpful/efficient way. And I want to hit those people too.

    Closing at 5pm on a Saturday is beyond my understanding. I can’t even imagine it.

    Glad you didn’t hit anyone! May you find a more gracious employee next time…um, if there is a next time.


    • Yes, I know. Having worked in customer service and still now with our own business, dealing with customers who think you owe them something and want special treatment is no fun at all. I guess that’s why, ultimately, I didn’t hit him! LOL
      The point is, I survived, despite not getting what I wanted, and so did the Coles boy – which is a great outcome 🙂


  4. Pingback: The reason why my husband does the shopping | Personally Speaking

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