Recently I had the most horrendous and humiliating experience in the local Carterton New World supermarket. After reading Jacinda Arderns comments about regulating the food industry that were price gouging us I felt the need to share what happened as I am sure it proves it. Also proves a violation of Westminister Statute the 1st – common right be done to all rich as poor.
My poor disabled friends and I have been noticing changes at the Carterton New World over the past few months, they are slowly getting rid of the cheapest products . That includes basics like Weetbix – or the cheap equivalent and in my case the cheapest sanitary napkins. I have bladder incontenance and the products I used – which were still dearer than other supermarkets – just stopped being stocked. I asked about it but they were never reinstated.
Carterton is one of those small towns – travelling distance of the city – that has sold off its homes to wealthy foreigners and cashed up city people. Disabled and poor that made Carterton their home, or have lived here for many years are being driven out. It is a well known phenomina in UK and USA, in New Zealand people are so naive or cruel they refuse to accept it is happening to their neighbours and family members. They also refuse to accept it is actually illegal – nobody wants to accept that, especially the wealthy leaders of our community/region.
The council and business people welcome these affluent happy people, they spend money. They won’t even entertain the idea they are causing harm and gross violations of other people’s most basic rights in a democratic country that says it adheres to Word of Law and UN treaties. For those of us rotting on welfare, denied prof health care, justice etc, we are forced to beg for food, housing and justice to charities. Charities full of people who are only too happy to do it – they think it is their roll in life to hand out food to people the government deny these things to. Try to criticise these people and you get insulted degraded and abused.
Those on the council driving poor from this community know the people who own the supermarket. Foodstuffs and the owners will be basing their change in store and products sold to match the increasingly wealthy demographic of Carterton. Poor people don’t spend much money, rich people do so they get more things they like.
Carterton has its $1 bread and milk on the other side of the supermarket from the front door, so poor people have to walk through the entire shop of things they are not allowed to buy just to get to these staples. I cry when I go to the supermarket now, I have so little money and feel completely denigrated by the experience. It confronts you with inequality.
So two weeks ago a friend texts me and says they have cold chickens for $4.99 at the supermarket again. That is a lot of protein and very cheap, some of the chickens were Organic and down from $15.00 each. I went down within half an hour, with less than only $30 in my account to get the much needed food and some other items. I got two chickens, one for someone I know who has agrophobia, is disabled poor and I knew needed the food, like me too proud/humiliated to beg for food from the local food bank – or tell those around her who did have everything.
I went to pay and it was more than I expected, I was so humiliated I had to put things back. I thought I had calculated in my head to be under the amount I had in the bank. I started to cry quietly. When I got out to the car I discovered they had charged me $15 for one of the cold chickens. Obviously the scanner had picked up the previous full price bar code and not the one on the sticker that said $4.99.
I went back in the store to get the $10 I overpaid, the woman at the kiosk looked at the docket, looked at the two cold chickens in my trolly with their $4.99 stickers on and said she would go and sort it out. I had started to cry and was about to have a serious panic attack, I handed the woman the receipts but I could not wait, I don’t like crying, ticking, shaking and curling up in a ball on the floor of a public place. So I told her I could’t stay I wasn’t well and I would come back. I ran out crying, people I know saw me.
I didn’t get back the next day I was too upset about what had happened, I was so humiliated. When I did go back I phoned the supermarket first and spoke to the manager I think – I don’t know who that was. Told him what happened and I was going to come back and get my money and some more items. I did this because I know how unwell I get when I am humiliated because of my poverty like that. I did it so there would be no fuss and everything would be sorted, I could get my things and leave without incident.
When I got there I believed everything was sorted but at the checkout I found out it wasn’t, this man started harrassing me and insinuating very strongly I was a liar about what had happened and a thief, I became extremely distressed – I have a stress disorder. I tried to defend myself, the woman had thrown out the docket, she didn’t realise I was having a panic attack and had to leave and still wanted my money returned. The manager on the phone didn’t understand the situation either – I don’t think he did anyway. The man who challenged me at the checkout went on and on and on, he was insulting and rude and I told him that, I got louder and louder, so people could hear what he was doing to me. Another staff member came up and tried to stop him as I became more and more traumatised and terrorised. I wanted to run from the shop but I was desperately poor and needed the food.
I had the cheapest food in my trolley, that included pack of 4 chicken carcus for less than $3.00 I stuff and roast them – this man was accusing me of buying a $15 Organic chicken and lying about it, when I had to buy chicken carcus as my food. He gave the impression I did this because I wanted what rich people ate ewwwwww.
Because of my disorder I am not able to beg to food banks for food, even my WINZ case manager offered me a food grant I refused because I couldn’t bring myself to be degraded in front of supermarket staff with that card. These people are the community, they know who is poor and make their own judgements based on things they often do not understand.
The people who saw/heard what happened will now marginalise and discriminate against me even further because I was insulted and degraded like that – they will believe it is my fault and I am a thief and liar. All the owner and Foodstuffs wanted to do was talk about it. I already got my money back, the woman who took over from the revolting man insulting me gave it back, it was quite obvious I was telling the truth. I have heard of other instances of people having to go back after being charged full price on specialed items at that store – and being argued with about it.
This hatred of poor people permeates EVERYTHING when you live in ‘relative poverty’ that rich people think is a pathetic joke – but I am sure it drives more people to suicide and violence than any other cause.
The reason we have laws, a democracy and supposed to follow rule of law is to stop those with power and money from persecuting those without. That is human nature, however it is not what supposed to happen in a civil society!!!!!!!!!
Anybody out there reading this, can help me take a case against Carterton District Council, Foodstuffs and Carterton New World for violations of Westminister Statute the 1st. It says on Foodstuffs website about CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY – so obviously they are part of the oligarchy that knows it price gouges citizens when it can get away with it – profit is everything.