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ANNOYING ASPECTS OF SHOPPING

 

Lots of things annoy me in shops. Shop assistants who move more slowly than glaciers, so that even if I am the only customer I am left waiting as if in a queue.   Some decide to abandon the tills if the number of customers drops to double figures. The idea that you might want to get out quickly and catch that bus you can see pulling away through the window doesn’t make any impression on them whatsoever.

 

There are customers who annoy me by seeming to have only a few items on them as they queue in front of you, but once they have secured the attention of the prole on the till, they remember all the other items they wanted to purchase. They send their child, or spouse off to find the remaining items. As some of their goods have already been priced, the till operator cannot bring him or herself to move them aside and serve the people behind.

 

The customer being served will then decide to buy cigarettes or a chocolate bar from what is on sale at the till kiosk itself, but somehow takes several minutes to decide which brand to have. They will then find that they are short of change or money. They will decide to pay by card, which means a machine has to be set up to allow them to use chip and pin – always slower than just paying in cash.  Once served this, they then remember to buy their lottery tickets, which means further delay and dithering. They then discuss the football, weather and last night’s soap operas with the till operator, before finally going away to annoy someone else in life.

 

Some shops put special offers and discounts on goods not actually in stock. You get a pound off anything we don’t actually sell – They will of course say that the sale was popular and all the goods went, but I am not entirely convinced.

 

Another mystery is how they will offer sandwiches, drinks and even larger items on buy one get one free offers and then put an uneven number of the items out on the shelves.

 

Shop assistants will inspect my money to check none of it is forged, but look decidedly baffled and irritated when I perform the same task with the change they give me.

 

Some big stores try to control the queues by having strip lines set out that people follow, with arrows pointing to entrance or exit but rarely both, resulting in people trying to approach a till from the wrong side and getting accused of queue jumping when they have acted in all innocence.

 

A regular curse on me is that when a light finally tells me that till seven is free when I am next to leave the shuffling misery that is the queue, the operator of till seven suddenly decides to go off for a break, leaving me approaching an empty deactivated till, and losing my place in said queue. Aaaarghhhh!

 

 

Arthur Chappell

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