Dear Walthamstow Asda,

I’m not an angry woman. I like to think of myself as patient and tolerant – I used to teach eight year olds for God’s sake, and they’re bloody irritating. So little things tend not to aggravate me too much, least of all a shopping expedition to the local supermarket. What could be less stressful? Skipping along to the Asda around the corner, shopping list in hand, eager to have a pleasant walk around the aisles and finish with a basket full of necessary items. What larks!

No, Asda. Allow me to put this assumption right out of your head, just as it was quickly ripped from mine.

Nothing in my 25 years of existence has ever enraged me as much as your supermarket. Nothing has ever filled me with such anger, such desperation to physically hurt somebody, such concern that my blood pressure is going to raise to a dangerous level at which point my heart will literally explode, sending a thirteen year old with an IQ of a small cucumber in an Asda uniform to tend to a ‘clean up on aisle three’.

Now let me reiterate that this complaint refers to Walthamstow Asda, not the chain as a whole.

A shopping trip which I would generally anticipate to take around ten minutes (go in, grab stuff for dinner, pay, home) usually ends up taking at least half an hour on a good day, and I am left so devoid of energy and will to live that I might as well have stayed home and starved for the evening.

Firstly, most of your customers are idiots, but I suppose this isn’t completely your fault. I do wonder why your store attracts less intelligent people than the Sainsbury’s down the road, considering your supermarket is the most poorly laid out store I’ve ever had the misfortune to shop in.

Trying get from one aisle to another is like an obstacle course constructed entirely of morons. People stand still in the middle of the store as though their battery has run out. They stop and have a chat with fellow morons, blocking the entire aisle so that an angry queue builds up behind them. They strategically place their trollies in front of the most commonly used shelves while they walk off looking for things that you probably don’t sell.

This brings me to my real problem with you, Walthamstow Asda. I have never (and I am not exaggerating in order to give my letter added punch) shopped in your store and managed to find everything on my list. Most recently I came in to buy ingredients for baking cupcakes. Butter, got that. Flour, yep that was there. Brown sugar.. hmm where’s the brown sugar? THERE WAS NONE. Why a supermarket would not stock such a basic food stuff I will never know. And it was not sold out, it simply was not available. This meant that once I had finished shopping and paid for my items, I had to walk ten minutes down the road to buy brown sugar from Sainsbury’s.

I also recently came to Asda to buy ingredients for a Mexican meal I was cooking. Unfortunately, due to the store clearly being designed by a blind rabbit, I searched for refried beans for ten minutes before asking a member of staff. Oh, what a mistake. The first man I spoke to had never heard of refried beans. I had to actually spell the word to him but there was still not a glimmer of recognition in his face. “What are they? Some kind of bean?” Yes. And they are refried. They come in a tin. “Have you look on the shelf with the tins?” Yes. That was my first port of call. “Right, sorry I’ve never heard of them, let me ask somebody else.. Lucy, refried beans?” Lucy, or whatever her name was, looked at me with an equally blank, clueless stare, by which point stupid salesperson number one had vanished, to give completely useless advice to another customer. Lucy had never heard of refried beans either, but on hearing they were Mexican, suggested I try looking by the ‘fa-jee-ters’. I eventually bid her good day and found them myself.

Thirdly, your self checkout machines are rubbish. I don’t think I need to expand.

So in closing, please make your supermarket better.

Thank you.