Monday, November 16, 2009

Little things can be very annoying

One thing that hasn't got better over time is supermarket shopping: there always seem to be long queues at the checkouts. Last week I went into Woolworth's looking for an item advertised in the catalogue. There were none on the shelf so I had to find someone to get one from the storeroom. The very helpful shop assistant retrieved what I wanted very quickly and I headed for the tills. Now since I have an uncanny ability to pick the slowest moving queue I stood there for a minute evaluating the situation before opting for the shortest. Of course I hadn't notice that the lady in front of me had many more than 12 items allowed in the express lane but I was committed so I stayed put.

About half way through ringing up what looked like 50 items the lady shopper says to the casher in a broad English accent, "The yoghurt is on special five for $5.00 but there were only four on the shelf. Can I have the four for $4.00?"

Now here's what I stood there thinking but didn't say. Woman, the sign says 12 items, can't you count? And what's the deal with asking the cashier to change a scanned price? You know cashiers aren't empowered to make pricing decisions. Why didn't you do what I did and get someone on the shop floor to assist you? You don't wait until purchases are being rung up to query a price thus bringing the whole operation to a halt while the checkout manager comes over to see what the problem is and then walks all the way to the back of the store to retrieve a yogurt for you. Are all Poms (British) nuts?

It nearly turned into a nasty case of checkout rage but the old guy just stood there calmly and didn't so much as pull a face even though it would have been ever so satisying to let loose. Really, being delayed at the shops by an inconsiderate fool is no big deal but it is very annoying when people's sheer supidity screws up the little things in life that would run quite smoothly if eveyone simply paid attention to what they're doing.

Here's another one. You're queued up at the lights in a turning lane with the light timed to traffic flow. When the arrow goes green all of the queued cars can clear the light provided everyone moves off smartly. So anyway there I sit six cars back from the light. When it goes green I do my bit by staying close to the car in front of me. Then I notice that one of the cars ahead has fallen back from the car in front of it. Oh My God You Idiot! The sensor is going to detect that gap and the light's going to change before I get there. Sure enough the light goes red so I'm stuck while the light runs through a complete cycle.

Then there are automated phone systems, but I've done more than enough whining for today so I'll leave it there.


Anonymous TMM said...

This makes me laugh, it also seems that everyone in the express lane has to pay with credit or eftpos. Express my ass.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Dan Lewis said...

Using a card can be quicker, provided the shopper swipes their card as soon as possible, while the checkout-chick is still scanning the items.

My local supermarket permits this.

I can't imagine the horror of being stuck behind someone who wanted to write a cheque though.

6:59 AM  

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