On Saturday evening, after dropping Teenage Daughter at work I stopped for petrol. I happened to have done the same thing at the same time the week before. Both weeks in a row I was asked by the sales assistant - a different girl both times - if I wanted to buy a Cherry Ripe chocolate bar. The first time it happened, the girl told me I'd be doing their store a favour because Salisbury North was beating them. To be honest, I could have cared less and politely answered no. I figured there were enough people out there who would be tempted by the chocolate or by the opportunity to beat Salisbury North that it wouldn't matter. I didn't even bother to ask what the rivalry was about; obviously not on petrol sales. She was cool with that.
Last weekend, however, the sales assistant said something along the lines of, "Go On," after I'd politely declined. I know I'm skinny but really! Most people who met me wouldn't even know about the Footprints Project. I do it and I blog about it. People who read my blog may talk to me about it but that's pretty much it. In other words, I'm not trying to change the world. If somewhere is inspired or influenced that's awesome but I'm just trying to share experiences. Besides I love writing; it's my comfort medium. I knew, however, on Saturday night that I would need to pull out the big guns to get this girl off my back. So, I responded that it went against my personal belief system to eat Cadbury because they were owned by Kraft who had a dodgy track record on some ethical and environmental issues. (On checking I think the latter is okay, it's the former that's a problem.) I then thanked her and left.
I decided it was probably too over the top to mention that I shouldn't even be buying from a company which had wreaked such havoc in the Gulf of Mexico and goodness knows which country the oil had come from and what their human rights record was! I guess with petrol there is no viable alternative.
It was definitely a case of using Footprints for evil. Or was it? If someone tried to sell me a hamburger it would be reasonable to say no thank you and if they persisted to say that I didn't eat red meat. It was probably more a case of asserting my right to say no. In fact, I shouldn't have had to explain myself at all.
I recounted the story in a humorous way on my Facebook page. A friend of mine suggested that the sales assistant may have learnt something she didn't know and may think about her own choices in the future. That would be great! A couple of other people didn't know about Cadbury and Kraft. I don't know what they'll do with that knowledge now but that's up to them.
Having written all that I have to confess that I miss Cadbury; I think they make great chocolate.
By the way, Cadbury icecream is fine; it's actually made on license by Bulla.