Hey Lancaster, it’s time to start acting normal in the Spar

Why are you stood in front of the fridge? Move

Ah, the on-campus Spar. The crowning jewel of Edward Roberts Court (if you ignore Sultans, and GoBurrito, and Wok Inn, and the backside of Costa). What would we do without this little shop, keeping us fed and caffeinated through late-night study sessions, hungover Sunday mornings, and five-minute breaks in between extra-long labs?

Well, we’d probably go to Central, but you get my drift. The Spar is a vital component of Lancaster Uni’s campus, seeing hundreds (thousands?) of students each day. The issue with this is that I’ve genuinely seen the campus Spar busier than Sugar on multiple days, and it seems we’ve all forgotten how to act inside convenience stores.

You can’t visit Spar in the middle of the day without getting barged around, waiting in a line just to reach the fridge, or coming so close to losing your temper that you have to skip your next lecture just to cool down. So here it is, The Lancaster Tab’s ultimate guide on how to act in the on-campus Spar.

Yes, really.

Start bringing a shopping list (or at least have one in your head)

Can we all as a collective agree to only go into Spar when we know what we need? Being trapped amongst people aimlessly wandering around is like a special type of Lancaster torture. We all know you’re going to end up getting an iced coffee and a pack of Doritos. Why are you looking at courgettes?

Also, if you’re doing your big shop at Spar, you need to sort yourself out. There are cheaper places. There are more expensive places. There are places that offer so much more. If you can’t be bothered to leave campus for your groceries, just order from ASDA or something. Why are you out here buying cheesy bites for a fiver?

Stop cutting in the queue

I don’t care if you’ve got a mate “holding your place” whilst you run and grab the last tuna and sweetcorn sandwich, cutting is cutting and it’s infuriating. We’re all running late for our lecture here, you don’t get special priority.

On the subject of the line, can we please start letting people past if they’re trying to get to the shelves behind the queue? Lancs Spar-shoppers have the right to chocolate and toiletries. I’m already in a bad mood on my period, I do not need you blocking my access to the tampons.

Be nice

Be nice to the people that work at the Spar. To your fellow shoppers. To that duck that’s after the crust of your pasty (but don’t give it to him). It’s not difficult to be a good person. Nobody gets paid to be treated like shit and the Spar employees are doing the best they can in extremely busy circumstances. Just use basic human decency and be nice.

Don’t use the self-checkouts if you’re buying energy drinks

If you’re buying alcohol, painkillers, basically anything age-restricted, stop going to the self-checkouts. Go to the actual people behind the checkouts instead of wasting your time queueing for the self-serve ones. Nobody wants to stand around waiting for someone to verify you’re the right age, especially not the people behind you in the queue.

Stop going on group outings

It’s the Spar, not Blackpool Pleasure Beach. You don’t need to take your entire theatre class to the same tiny store. I promise you that only one person has to be the official Monster-buyer. Just transfer each other the money, it literally could not be easier.

And if you absolutely have to go into Spar with your five bestest friends, can you please just agree to meet each other outside once you’re done? You don’t have to cling to each other like year sevens, clogging up the aisles and annoying the hell out of everyone.

Don’t cause traffic jams at the fridges

Speaking of groups, why are we all gathering around the fridges? It’s only the Spar. There’s only the exact same brands of food and drink as there always has been. Just decide whether you want a strawberry or chocolate Frijj (because the fudge brownie is always sold out) and move out of the way.

Use common sense

Finally, use your common sense. Follow the (slightly stilted) flow of traffic. Take a normal amount of time to survey the hot food. Get your ID out if you’re buying something that needs IDing. And for the love of God, stop stopping in the middle of the aisles. It’s too narrow in there to have a natter with your mate from your first-year minor. Take it outside, thanks very much.

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