Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Miscellaneous supermarket stories

I dropped a bottle of milk in a supermarket once. Not a glass one (do they even sell those anywhere), but not a small one either. It was at uni, and I was doing the misjudgement-supermarket-dance; the one where you didn't pick up a basket at the entrance, but now have more stuff than you can comfortably hold in your arms. The risk of dropping something is worrying, but it seems more risky to try and go back to decant everything into a basket than it does to try and make it to the till. So I was doing that dance, with a four-pinter of milk held in the outermost fingers of my right hand. The milk was cold enough that my fingers were getting more and more numb, until, just as I arrived at the till, it slipped, crashing on the floor and spraying an inordinately large amount of milk over me, the floor and nearby shoppers. I apologised profusely, and a nice lady went and got me a replacement bottle, since I was clearly in too much shock to get it myself.

More recently, I dropped a pot of yoghurt on the floor at a supermarket. It was less obvious than the milk incident - I was picking a pot up, and the one below it toppled over. In that example, I did a little loop of the aisles, found an assistant and said "Excuse me, I think someone's dropped some yoghurt in the next aisle"... the perfect crime.

I didn't drop anything today, thank goodness, though I did stand in a queue behind an old lady who dithered for about five minutes over whether she wanted to buy a bottle of juice or not, before deciding that she didn't, and wandering over to place it in a magazine rack, of all places. And, having navigated my way past her, I was faced with the Worlds Strangest Cashier.

I don't want to be mean, but there is a cashier at my local Sainsburys who is really very strange. She speaks in a perfect monotone, with no hint of expression in her voice, and seems to have memorised the Customer Care manual. She'll start with "Hellotherehowareyoutoday?Didyouhaveaniceweekend?Haveyouseenourspecialofferonradishes?" The lack of spaces there is not meant to denote that she speaks quickly, but that though she srags out words, she leaves no gaps between them, or between sentences. It's a very strange and hypnotic method of talking, and I've never been brave enough to try and get her off her script, in case something awful happens. Originally I tried to avoid her when I was in the shop, as I found it a bit unsettling, but now that I'm more used to it, I positively favour her queue. Who could resist finishing a shopping trip to the sound of "ThankyouforshoppingatSainsburysHaveagooddayWehopetoseeyoubackheresoon"

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