Few things surprise me. I predicted Brexit, the US election and the UK election. I knew when One Direction would split up, and that the Master would kill Missy in Doctor Who. As I said, few things surprise me, but today at the Allergy and Free From Bloggers’ meet up, that was an absolute shocker.
Attending the event was intended to be a treat for us bloggers, a chance to meet fellow foodies and interact with great companies who work tireless to create such great products.
Sadly, for want of a simple clipboard and checklist, rather than a happy, friendly chit chat between foodies, the event turned into a free for all, which could have turned rapidly into something more disastrous.
I’m writing this, because I have never in my life witnessed such total greed in people. I will point out firstly that the organiser and attending bloggers couldn’t have been nicer and I would have loved to have had a good old natter with them. I would have loved to chat with all the food producers who also attended, as it is unusual to have the opportunity for a face to face with people, who not only care deeply about the products they make, but also the customers who they sell their items to.
Yet the ugly greed of some people, completely spoiled the occasion for me.
Examples of behaviour
One woman had the audacity to sit down next to me and boast at length how she grabbed a number of free samples. Then she asked me what a blogger was!
Another woman continually grabbed as much as her hands could manage, pushing other people in the process. Honestly, was there any need for this?
I asked another person who seemingly came from nowhere if she was a blogger. She replied in the positive. She lied. When pushed, she admitted she overheard that someone was giving out freebies and she wanted to see what she could get.
One woman, with a foot in a cast, climbed over several benches, and physically pushed her way to the front, in order to get a bottle of beer. She may have a bad foot, but she’s got a good pair of eyes and more stamina than Andy Murray! She’s pretty quick too, for a person with a foot in plaster.
Another woman, pretended that she didn’t understand English, yet was later heard conversing in English to her associate, discussing how they could trick other producers into giving them more free stuff.
It wasn’t the fact that these people took, well stole, these items, heck it happens all the time. It was the calculated malice in which they conducted themselves. Honestly, in all my days, I have never seen a sudden mass of people, so greedy, so dishonest, so disgusting.
There are the knock on effects – this was a group of bloggers, who specialise in food allergies. They perform vital work in getting information out to people who a) can’t attend these events and b) require specific knowledge in order to carry on with their daily lives.
Of course, these greedy horrors won’t care a jot and would probably step over their own grandmother for a penny. But many will miss out in this important information, why should. they have to suffer?
It both angers and saddens me that I had to bore witness to such abject greed. For goodness sakes, this is a G8 country. Yes, things are bad, but have we reached the level of such awful behaviour? Have we become so uncaring, so selfish, so greedy, so absolutely shameless? Apparently we have.
How it went wrong
I don’t understand why the area wasn’t closed off to the general public, or why none of the bloggers were asked for any form of ID. Thankfully it didn’t quite develop into a full run, but in a confined area, with so many people, frankly it wasn’t worth the risk for me and I left half way through.
It was continually announced over the PA that it was a private event, yet still more and more people crammed their way into the space in order to fill their boots. The effect was by then too little, too late. Perhaps being in that immediate environment heightened what happened, but I tell you this, I never what to witness such ugly, cold hearted greed ever again.
I did manage to speak briefly to a few producers, and I will either contact them separately and/or review their products in due course.
Yes, I know I run a risk of being ostracised from the blogging community by publishing this post, but if this is the way such events are conducted, people need to know.
Reaction from Allergy & Free From Learning Centre Assistant
To add insult to injury, one of the Allergy & Free From Learning Centre assistants rudely interrupted me mid-conversation with the event organiser, after I had waited patiently, by holding her hand up to my face, giving me the most evil look imaginable.
Was there any need for that, for what was in essence partly her failure to keep the event safe and organised?
No doubt this will all be buried in the social media web as quickly as possible to minimise any perceived damage.
All for want of clipboard and a checklist.