Yesterday, we went to Dungloe to do the weekly shop. This week, we shopped at Lidl and Aldi, which are next door to one another, with SuperValu right across the street--very convenient. Also convenient is the fact that the bus we take to and from Dungloe, turns into the bus that does the town run while there. It does a loop around the town three times, starting upon arrival and then twice more an hour apart. All three grocery stores are included in the town run, so we go to one or two stores, place the bag of groceries in the bus and go off to the next one. Usually we end at Aldi and wait there for Joe or Michael to come by during the last town run. We get on and stay on until we are dropped off right outside our door.
Yesterday we ended at Aldi as usual and we waited at the end of the sidewalk. I had my backpack and Bill had his, along with another bag. We placed them on the ground as we waited--just to the left of the corner of the building where you can see the yellow bin in the picture below.
We got here and Joe got out and went to the back, removing Bill's bag. He handed it to me and was about to close the door. I said, 'I think there's another one.' He was surprised and puzzled. 'Is there?' he asked. By then Bill was off the bus and I asked him about the other bag. Only then did he realize that he'd forgotten to pick it up and left it sitting by the wall outside Aldi.
When we got inside, he decided to try to call the store on the off chance that someone had seen it and brought it back into the store. He looked up the number and called, but he kept getting cut off before anyone answered. He decided to try one more time after supper. This time he got through. He spent a while trying to communicate the name of the town--clearly he was speaking to someone at a call centre somewhere. He was asked to spell 'Dungloe.' He described the bag and its contents. He gave the time we were there. Finally there was silence and I figured he was on hold. When he spoke again, I knew someone had returned the bag to the store. The call centre lady told him it was there and they'd hold it for him, so this morning we were back on the bus. We got off at Aldi and went in. There was an employee doing something right inside the door, so I figured I'd explain to him and ask who we should talk to. I didn't have to. As soon as I said we'd left a bag, he nodded and said, 'I'll get that for you.' and off he went. They'd kept it in the cooler, which we appreciated. We didn't have to throw anything away. We packed the stuff into our backpacks and walked around a little, stopping at a little community cafe for some lunch. It was pleasant.
When we got back on the bus a couple hours later, Joe asked if we got everything OK. I told the story to him and the other guy on the bus. When I said that it was nice that someone brought it back to the store, Joe smiled and said, 'You're in Donegal now!' and he had a story of his own about good customer service. I commented on our happy endings and the other guy said, 'You're lucky!' Indeed. We're glad not to have lost €20 worth of food and that it didn't have to get tossed, ending up in a landfill. We're also happy to have the bag back. A friend made it and gave it to us before we moved away from the town where we were living. She has since passed away. The bag is a bit rough now, since it's been hauling stuff for 13 years, across the US and around Ireland. Now that we've almost lost it and celebrated its return, I've decided to reinforce it so we can keep on using it. All's well that ends well!