A Driving Instructor's Blog

Birds Bakery logoWe have a local chain of bakers up this way called Birds. They’re perfectly OK, other than for the fact that they run out of bread and other stuff later in the day – though that’s true of most bakery stores.

For me, they’ve been a bit of a headache during the lockdown. You see, my 91-year old dad will only eat bread from there, primarily because it’s the only bread he can chew with his few remaining teeth (it’s very soft). I did manage to get him on to Warburtons, but once the lockdown was eased it was worse than trying to keep a cat indoors.

On his first visit to Birds post-lockdown, they wouldn’t let him buy anything because he only had cash. When he got home, he wasn’t that bothered by it, and I just said ‘Oh, I forgot about that – you need a card’. He doesn’t have a bank account as such, and has never used anything even remotely like that. So I just gave him one of mine to use so he could swipe his payment. Problem solved, end of story.

But Birds is being lambasted right now in our local rag – journalistically by the reporters themselves, then with knobs on by the racist bigots who frequent the comments sections. They first reported that a 94-year old woman had been turned away, then decided to stir it some more by writing another article about the comments made by said bigots in the first. Incidentally, I advise an adblocker if you click those links, because they’re just advert banks with badly-written articles sandwiched in between.

You have to ask yourself what planet some people are on. I mean, we have a global pandemic the likes of which no one living has experienced before (and if they have, they were too young to remember it), with thousands dead already, and probably more to come. And the only thing the Neanderthals in this country want to do is go to Spain the instant they’re able, and whine about safety precautions designed to stop the spread – such as not allowing cash payments.

Birds makes it absolutely clear on their website they are only taking cashless payments. They have signs up all over the shop saying the same. Many other shops and restaurants are doing exactly the same.

There are solutions to any problem. I found one.

Update: The day after I wrote this, they’re at it again – this time with a story about how a manager has been sacked for taking cash and using her own card to make payment.

The thing is, everyone keeps going on about ‘won’t someone purleeease think of the old people’, but I have to wonder how many of these old people really could use cashless if they tried, and are just being bloody-minded about it. Not all of them, of course, but I’d be surprised if all of them really are as vulnerable as is being assumed.

Being ‘old’ doesn’t automatically mean you’re a technophobe. Just that you’re more likely to be so.

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