An Ethical Dilemma

I can now safely say that I have settled in at Vauxhall. Over the past eight months of daily newspaper buying the guys at the station stall and I have been ascending a carefully graduated scale of mateyness: from the functional exchange of coins for Guardians at the beginning, through Good Mornings, warnings about open bags, tentative banter regarding my keys (is that for your Ferrari?), wishes for good weekends on Fridays and culminating this morning with an enquiry as to the quality of my weekend. (For the record, I had too much fun and was so dazed at getting up at six-fifteen this morning I actually didn’t register the question until I was half way up the stairs to the platform.) I regard this as something of a record for newspaper buying in London – I spent about two years in Hackney buying my paper from the same newsagent every morning and only rarely managed to get even the most commonplace pleasantry out of the owner.

Of course, this new found chumminess means I am now stuck with buying my paper there until I either change stations or they go bankrupt, as I shall feel like a complete heel walking past them if I don’t. And therein lies the problem. On the few occasions when I do get breakfast at the station I shun their (undoubtedly delicious) pastries and coffee in favour of the fair trade organic coffee and pastries at the other stall. Now that we’re officially on ‘how was the weekend?’ terms, should I continue to do this? What’s worse, snubbing the newspaper sellers I can see, or the poor third world farmers that I can’t? I think I preferred it the way it was before…

PS – creepy google-ads moment: the blog was showing goolge ads for fairtrade coffee before I even posted this entry. How did they know? Have the google-bots learned how to index people’s minds?


7 responses to “An Ethical Dilemma

  1. Gosh that’s quite a dilemma. Ha ha. My guess is just to do what you want.

  2. Yeah, do what you want. I have bought papers and chocs in the newsagents down the road for 5 years and never get pleasentries, so you’ve done well to get so far so soon.

  3. oink – I expect I shall. Or try and remember to have breakfast at home…

  4. amp – five years? What are you doing, growling at them? Or are they just terminally grumpy?

  5. Ah yes. We call our local shop ‘Moody shop’ – the woman there once shouted at me for carrying a wet umbrella. I wouldn’t have minded, but I just wanted my milk…

  6. The latter, I suspect. I have tried conversation, sympathy at their working hours, quips, but nothing works. I think they’re still trying to find a pulse most days.

  7. Obviously running a newsagent makes people miserable… must be having to handle the Daily Mail all the time. They’re insanely cheerful in our corner shop but they’ve usually also run out of newspapers – the two facts may be related

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