Otherwise titled: If it works, leave it b****y well alone, will you? Keep your unwanted paws off it.
I replied to the article by James on self service machines over at OoL:
…and you can double the waiting time when they are elderly and assume everyone behind them has all the time in the world while they tell the staff about their week.
Not of course confined to POs or elderly, the supermarket where “friends ” of the cashier tell all at an ever slower pace so that the number of items crossing the bar code machine slows to a crawl as they discuss little Tommy’s school play or whatever.
Even when it is finally noticed that the queue has backed up into the aisles they carry on as if connected by an umbilical cord backing away very slowly with the trolley still telling the tale no one wants to hear whilst we all inch forward in hope, swearing under our breath.
But there is more than just that, the whole weekly ritual of supermarket shopping is something I’m sure most would happily do without, in my case I know we could reduce the visit significantly if we used online services, but No1 insists that she sorts her own bananas, potatoes etc, no one is going to randomly select her salmon fillets or put short dated items in the order so every week the ritual is followed.
Sorry, Wiggia, I’m with your N1 here on this – I don’t trust them as far as I could kick them. I want to know which cuts and selections I’m risking my life over. Wiggia continues:
We use Tesco for the main shop for two reasons – we can get everything in one hit and if you are driving, making two or three journeys, apart from the sheer hell of having to visit three different supermarkets a week, it totally negates any savings made in one of the cheaper outlets if you are burning petrol on separate trips.
The local Aldi anyhow, apart from being a bums rush once inside, has a car park that at certain times of the day, being on a corner of a busy crossroads (how did that ever get planning) is impossible to get out of with the traffic for the lights blocking the exit.
The other (only) reason for using Tesco is the petrol saver with up to 20p a litre off; it is a genuine saver and my last tank full saved over seven quid – not to be sneezed at.
A quick tale of the petrol station. I was in a queue when a pump became vacant, no one moved so I drove on to it, the filler being on the other side to the pump. As I started to fill up, a voice from a wound down window said I had queue jumped because I was putting the petrol in on the wrong side.
At first I thought he had some sort of problem, well he did, he believed I should have stayed in the queue so my filling side matched the pump as he was, the penny dropped as to his ire, so I pointed at the sign that said “use both sides extra long hoses.” He still did not get it.
Greed, constant fear he’s missing out on a break someone else gets.
But back to the downside of all this. Firstly the car park, plenty of room at this one but people still save five yards of walking by parking in the disabled bays and the “pick up ” only area as well as the recycling bins, the sheer laziness of some does have to be seen to be believed.
And while we are at it , the new car owner who insists on parking across two bays so no one will be likely to spoil the new treasures paintwork.
The trolley section. Tesco have mastered the art of making it difficult to get one at all by having them in a double line enclosed by railings meaning as they are taken you have to go further into this cage to retrieve one and return with it before anyone else can repeat the operation, this is relatively new and despite personally telling the manager what I thought of it, it appears it will remain.
Whilst on trolleys theirs are undoubtedly the worst for front wheel steering ie crashing into everyone else’s as they have to go sideways to go forward, this of course becomes even more exasperating when trying to go round the ever increasing number of “pickers” with their huge box carriers and the new mother trolleys that for some reason perch the newly born little darlings at head height and therefore make it impossible for the mothers to see where they are going, usually in my direction when I am being forced into their path by the crab like trolley I am attempting to navigate, and why do Tescos never get someone to remove the detritus of previous users that can include the likes of banana skins chocolate wrappers an empty pot noodle ?
I’ve something to add to this below.
And used tissues to name but some of the nicer items found, and at the same time what happened to the hygiene policy of no kids and their dirty shoes standing in trolleys, in some cases looking like they should be at secondary school not being a legless shopping hindrance for mother.
Tesco are also guilty of the non customer friendly trait of failing to supply plastic bags at the beginning of aisles. Sometimes there is an empty box in place which is nice, and the only one with bags in it has been tossed into the middle of the fruit offerings an aisle and a half away, that is usually the one that contains those bags that are bottomless, that is goods in and straight out on the floor.
I sometimes think all this is a test of sorts to see how much you can stand before shouting obscenities, this is another of those words with manager that falls on deaf ears.
This question is addressed below, Wiggia.
I have mastered the fake offers as I have the time whilst No 1 is perusing her bananas (oh yes she really does and woe betide anyone who gets in her way when she has spied one just at the right point of ripeness), I am then sent on a mission to get the simple things that I can be entrusted with -milk, watch for the dates, ready salads in boxes to go with my healthy eating lunches, watch for the dates, fresh pasta, watch for the dates and so on, I am also allowed to get the eggs and bread, I am not allowed to get the bread when we go to Morrisons for the meat every six weeks as they do nice bread and I am accused, moi ? of putting expensive French style loaves in the trolley that are not “practical”, despite tasting better.
Have you considered baking your own?
The only time there is peace and quiet is when I am allowed to peruse the wine section (and that is getting boring) whilst No1 goes off to an area of no interest to me to get women’s things.
So back at the checkout, there is of course more than the “friends” cashier syndrome to cope with when you get there. Tescos, in fairness, are way above the others when it comes to opening new checkouts when the others get crowded – it is one of their few redeeming factors, but that cannot stop the aforementioned “friends” or an increasing habit of the lady with the enormous overfilled basket who just as you think she is on her way, having paid, cashed in her vouchers, having had discussions whether they are out of or in date individually, not being able to find the right card before paying and going through numerous bags to find it and having an item replaced that she must have noticed had a broken wrapper and the replacement sent for is on the other side of the store, then and only then as you start to inch forward do you realise there is still an awful lot of shopping on the roller, the bloody woman is shopping for two other people and all have to separately bagged, separated and paid for sometimes with different methods, so instead of being next in the queue you are in fact still two to go, the woman of course has so much bloody stuff to cart away that she also needs help packing it all and if she is a “friend” you are there for the duration.
The day No1 was forced to give up driving through no fault of her own was a black day for me, as she says often it would be better if you stayed at home, you have no patience, true but of course sadly I can’t.
There are two ways of viewing that litany of modern life – one is that it’s just moan, moan, moan and the other is that it really is that frustrating for many, that there genuinely are issues here.
I’ve been reflecting on one myself at ASDA the other day, causing me to go in and complain. Interesting that they had no complaints procedure – the woman at the info desk wrote it on the back of a length of till roll but she did pass it on.
Before I detail the complaint, one wonders. I mean, it really does come down to whether it is just sheer incompetence combined with these idiots in the office thinking gee, wouldn’t it be all progressive, a real wheeze if we just changed this around and that around. When they are non-comp jobsworths with ambition and the mania to score brownie points to start with – that simply adds to the potential for something nasty to be visited upon customers.
ASDA around our way was built with a sensible plan for trolleys. The building is a long, rectangular barn, totally graceless, lacking in architectural merit but hey – you’re all troughers, think ASDA, lower-enders, so you get a barn to do it in.
Anyway, perpendicular to the broad entrance way is a long covered way, which then runs into a long walkway through the carpark. Now someone designed it that way and it works a treat. Taxis are immediately to the right, cars to the left. It’s good, it works.
And under the covered way, just outside the doors are the trolleys. Baskets are immediately inside the doors. Great arrangement, you’d agree?
Even better, in the past few months, ASDA have introduced more of the shallow trolleys, I call them, as distinct from the huge, deep ones. Perhaps these are the ones Wiggia called baby trolleys?
The shallow trolleys are great from my point of view – lighter, less bulky, all your items go in there a treat. Bliss. You might still want the deep for a mega family weekly shop. You might, I wouldn’t.
OK, so shoppers appeared one day and they’d changed it to a pay trolley system – you know, pound in, pound out later. No complaints, many other places do it and they must have felt that people were knocking off trolleys or something.
Guess what? Yep, the new trolleys began breaking down, customers losing pounds, complaining to the non-complaints system desk and so on. So customers were becoming feral and were swooping on isolated trolleys, not unlike foxes or wolves with sheep which have become separated from the flock.
Reductio ad beastum.
Then the solution, the brilliant solution ASDA came up with.
1. They cut the number of shallow trolleys which everyone wanted to about half.
2. They moved this remainder out from under the covered area and stacked them further along the side of the building about 30 metres from the doorway where customers now had to go into the rain, into a four foot wide space, to unjam one from the one it was jammed inside.
3. They replaced these trolleys in the covered area with plants. Bloody pot plants. Pot plants which no one would buy and which still got the wind and rain because they put them on the exposed side to the prevailing wind in the area. Sheer brilliance.
4. So, there were still hundreds of deep trolleys sitting under the covered area untouched, whilst customers – hundreds of them, were all vying to get into the small area halfway along the building in the rain, with the added pleasure of water pouring off the roof onto the trolleys and customers … and so on and so on.
They’re idiots. they’re insane, they’re totally incompetent.
Or … and the inner conspiracist comes out … this was intended.
Someone up there – possibly the Common Purpose advisor – decided nah, this is all too convenient for the customer the way it was. Get the buggers out in the rain, make them suffer. The Great Work of Ages requires not convenience but suffering and austerity, grinding their faces into the mud.
Here we had a perfectly well designed system, let’s bugger it up to show our cleverness. Change for the sake of change.
Don’t even start me on going in to town to shop and they’ve changed all the shelves around without changing the signs above stating what is in which aisle.
Still, once we get home, all is OK, yes?
Last night, shortly after midnight, my bank emails me with urgent news that something has happened with my account and they put the last four numbers of the account to show me and show everyone hacking my email 1. which account it is and 2. personal details, unencrypted, with no security whatever, into gmail.
This is for my convenience. Of course, this means early Sunday morning, a time when the security of one’s money should be the last concern. I’m advised to get in there quickly and see.
I ignore it and then, this morning, go in the secure route to see what’s happened. Seems I have a bit more money than I thought. That’s it.
Oh yes, they’ve started this brand new super-safe system where they can email me inside the secure zone and then send another email, just to make sure, to my unsecured email which gets hacked. Or at least gmail tell me that someone else is accessing my mail at the same time. So now, whoever that is has the last four numbers of my account.
Now I don’t give a damn if it’s still secure and that the last four numbers don’t get them in. There was abso-bloody-lutely no need at all, in the first place, to do any of this. It was working fine, nothing was wrong. No, some young spiv or lassie decided to be clever, the “higher ups” approved because it’s all bells and whistles and vacuous garbage – let’s “roll it out”, they say, across the land.
Do you want to know my response to this brilliant new piece of unwonted interference?
This is a family blog.
I am sure they are trying to grind us down, wear us into surrender. Leave it alone, don’t touch it, keep your little hands off it and I’ll be more than happy, thank you.
Oh, by the way, dear reader, at ASDA they’ve now removed the plants which were getting wrecked [irate customers?] and have put them back in the store. The trolleys though are still out in the rain – they haven’t thought about putting them back under cover.
They have actually moved the whole chain of trolleys ten metres further this way. In the trolley space, the wide vista of where the trolleys could go, they’ve stacked about a dozen sacks of fertilizer at the back.
That’s it. One can imagine the battles going on upstairs in the HQ.
Suffer the little children.