I once wrote a letter to my local supermarket which I shall not name for legal reasons, but it rhymes with ‘po oc’.
In the letter I described a singular visit there during my lunch break.
I wrote the letter primarily to get some issues about it off of my chest, but I also hoped that it may give whoevers hands it ended up in a laugh.
My proof reader however, would not let me send it and seeing as my proof reader is also my wife, I refrained from sending it in a bid to avoid sleeping on the sofa.
Cowardly I know, but if the punishment would have been the silent treatment, I probably would have sent it regardless, but if you have ever met my wife you would know that she does not do silence too good.
It’s not a bad supermarket to be true, and if money were no object then I would probably shop there more frequently.
I can see myself now, in my dusty work clothes pushing a trolley full of ‘2 for the price of 3’ bargains whilst gossiping with the other regulars, Richard Branson, Alan Sugar and the Beckhams.
Anyway, this particular day I had the right hump and the ‘Po oc’ did not help, so I wrote this….
Here are the minutes from my lunch break on the 22 July 2013.
Decided to nip to the shop in order to purchase a bottle of water and some ready salted crisps.
Bearing in mind, if I was to stand on my workshops roof, I would be able to see your store, I expected to be gone for around 10 – 12 minutes, leaving me around 20 minutes to eat.
I got into my truck and took the 3 minute journey to you only to spend a 6 further minutes trying to find a parking space.
Upon entering the empty store, I wondered exactly how much money your staff get paid as all these cars clearly didn’t belong to any customers and seeing as I don’t live in Basildon, they were not all abandoned or adorned with ‘Police Aware’ notices.
Next, I wait a ridiculously long time for the electric doors to open which left me wondering why you have wasted your budget on these new trolley shelters rather than some entrance doors that actually work. I mean, God forbid the trolleys get wet!
Once inside, the dim lighting and the abundance of zombie impersonating staff, rapidly fills me with depression.
I make haste across the grey vinyl flooring in hope of getting back out into the fresh air before I forfeit my lunch for a packet of razor blades.
I contemplated grabbing something for dinner whilst I was there to avoid a repeat visit, but I clocked ‘that woman’ prodding her fingers into every joint, steak and chicken breast she could find, her trolley sideways and wearing a panicked expression on her face in case someone buys the best bit before her.
I knew I had neither the patience nor time to wait for her to make a decision, so I moved on and headed for the water aisle.
I grabbed the warm bottle of water, picked up some crisps, woke a few members of staff from their uncomfortable sleeping positions and dashed for the checkouts.
3 checkouts were open and naturally chose the shortest queue, only 2 people in front, one of which was already paying.
I sighed with relief at the possibility I could be out of there in a matter of minutes.
The paying lady had produced some kind of discount voucher which baffled the member of staff no end.
I watched on as the assistant stared at the voucher for several seconds in the same way a gerbil might stare at a piece of alien computer software.
Whilst I read the entire list of ingredients from the back of a mars bar, the assistant applied an answer to this situation by thinking back to his many hours of vigorous training and extended his left index finger to push the tired looking help button.
30 seconds or so later the staff door opened and along came the ‘Key lady’.
I could hear the clang of her many keys as she quickly crossed the droll grey floor to save the gerbil brained assistant before the awkward situation caused his head to explode.
The key lady explained to the guy that it was a voucher and then showed him how to enter it into the system.
She punched away at the till’s screen and scanned the voucher for him whilst he stared blankly in the opposite direction, probably wondering where he was or why he had his under pants on backwards.
Eventually the woman’s transaction was complete and off she went.
I had reached about level 8 on the stress’o’meter, but fortunately the lady in front only had about 6 or 7 items in her basket, which I believed wouldn’t take long.
I was wrong.
The Fisherprice till wouldn’t recognise 3 of her items, that’s like 50% of her shopping! And each time the till refused to recognise a product, the key lady was summoned to override it with a key.
The poor woman had just enough time in between calls to get back into her office and inject testosterone into her eyeballs in order to keep going all day.
Surely it would be cheaper to have solid gold keys made for each member of staff than to pay the key lady’s annual wage?
Honestly though, if it wasn’t for the superhuman drive of the key lady, the supermarket would fall apart within minutes.
God knows how they will cope when she goes in for her 7th knee operation. I do hope I’m not in there that day.
Just as I approached the till, the assistant informed me that he had finished his 15 minute shift and that I needed to wait whilst he was replaced with a more refreshed zombie.
As I stood there developing a small tumour, the two staff had a brief conversation about a woman called Sally who intrestingly enough, is still having problems with her inflamed ankles.
Anyway, the new assistant appeared to be half normal and the crisps were scanned with great speed and accuracy but of course the water was not and the help button was pushed yet again.
Note, workers from this supermarket have no prints on their left index finger and this is because they push that button all day, every day, for everything.
Next came the questions,
“Do you have your own bags?”
My own bags? I mused. I am here in my work clothes trying to purchase 2 items, DO I LOOK LIKE I HAVE BROUGHT MY OWN BAGS?
“Do you have a dividend card”
NO, I DO NOT HAVE A DIVIDEND CARD, IF I HAD ONE I WOULD HAVE GIVEN IT TO YOU!
“Would you like help packing?”
DO I LOOK LIKE PUTTING 2 ITEMS INSIDE A PLASTIC BAG WOULD DEEM DIFFICULT FOR ME?
YOU’RE THE ONE WHO ANSWERS ALL OF LIFES PROBLEMS BY PUSHING A BUTTON.
“Would you like your receipt?”
WHY ON EARTH WOULD I NEED A RECIEPT? I’ll HARDLY BE PUTTING IT THROUGH THE BOOKS NOW WILL I? Whilst laughing to myself on how bigger tax return I am going to get next year.
PLEASE, PLEASE, STOP ASKING ME QUESTIONS AND LET ME GO, I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?
Arrived back at work 37 minutes later.
PO OC, please do the following, don’t waste your budget on trolley shelters and knee replacements, buy some working doors, some tills that recognise your own products, staff that have conversed with real humans before and get them gold keys cut, come on, give the poor key lady a break.