To put this into context obviously I eat some wheat, gluten and dairy but as a concession to the rule and only for a meal which is a treat occasionally. On a daily basis I really try to avoid them but it’s not always easy when other people are involved.
When Tesco Had Clearly Met Their Equal Opportunities Quota
Me: Would you check if those wasabi coated peas behind the counter have wheat in them.
Shop assistant scans them and puts them in my bag!?
Me: Excuse me I only asked you a question about them!
Shop Assistant (taking them back out): Why?
Me (taking a deep breath and speaking slowly): Do they have wheat in them?
Shop Assistant (slowly) These. Are. Peas.
I take the bag off him.
Me: Here it’s the first thing on the ingredients list!
Shop Assistant (optimistically): So now do you want them?
Me (trying not to loose my shit): No I have a food intolerance to it.
Shop Assistant looks at me like I’m (wasabi coated) nuts.
Local Shop Which Tries To Up-sell People Random Stuff
I put the glue I’m purchasing on the counter.
Shop Assistant: You buy Nutella!
Me: Excuse me?
Shop Assistant: You are girl, all girls like Nutella.
Me: I have a food intolerance to milk.
Shop Assistant: No, no milk.
Me: It’s ‘milk’ chocolate!
Shop Assistant: No, no – no milk, you buy now?
Me: IT WILL MAKE ME FEEL ILL! Goodbye!
Shop Assistant’s Wife freaks out at him in Indian.
The Flattering But Confused Deli Assistant
Shop Assistant: Hello!
Me: Hello! Can I get the falafel with humous and salad in a tray please, without the pitta. I’m wheat and dairy intolerant so trying to cut down. Thanks.
Shop Assistant: Oh you are so slim!
Me (blushing and puzzled): Oh, erm thank you.
Shop Assistant serves me with my order including some extras and then smothers it all in yoghurt sauce.
I grit my teeth, thank her with a smile and leave.
Me: Do you know if you have any gluten free soy sauce in the free-from…..
Shop Assistant sprints off and shouts at me to follow.
Shop Assistant: Here is the soy sauce.
Me: I was trying to say, maybe in the free from isle? I have an intolerance to gluten which is why I’m asking.
Shop Assistant: It’s just sauce.
Me: Well, yes but 90% of the popular brands I’ve seen contain gluten though.
Shop Assistant (frowns and thinks for a moment): Oh right! Is it fish then?
I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to have severe allergies – although when I’ve used the word ‘allergy’ instead, most people seem to understand the concept. I do think the term ‘food intolerance’ needs to be used though so people get more used to hearing it.