Sainsbury’s: Shame on you.

Sainsbury's: Shame on you.

OK, it has been a while since I last posted… Real work, other projects on the go, no time, blah blah blah. Also, just too many interesting news stories, which has this curious affect of making one not want to say anything at all. I have for example been tempted to say something about the situation in Syria, and stop short for fear that it will turn into an encyclopaedic rant.

So what sparked the need to log in today? Well, mobile phones – a subject I have discussed at least a couple of times on here and one that continues to be a source of annoyance. A couple of years ago I wrote about the many types of mobile user one can find out in the urban jungle, and this week the discussion of their use has been highlighted by the story about a checkout assistant at Sainsbury’s refusing to serve a customer who happened to be yakking away on her mobile device.

Good news, one might say. Sainsbury’s checkout assistant 1, rude mobile yakker 0. Well, no – because Sainsbury’s, in their infinite wisdom, saw fit to offer a fawning apology and even offer the “customer” – if one can call property manager (read: estate agent) Jo Clarke a customer – a voucher for her “ordeal”. (The Independent’s word, not mine).

The action of a bunch of cowards, who have in effect given every rude mobile user carte blanche to blithely yammer away without a care in the world.

In my previous article I provided some details on the sort of mobile-mad fauna one might encounter in the course of a working day – the Mobile-Afflicted Driver (MAD), Self-Absorbed Pedestrian (SAP), Restaurant Conversation Killer (ReCK), Social Disruptor (SoD), Socially Harmful Irksome Texter (SHIT) and the concept of the Mobile-Extended Hand (MEH).

I should add to this the Self-Absorbed Customer (SAC).

So, was the checkout assistant right? Well, technically no. According to the job description, her role would have been simply to scan through the customer’s shopping and ignore the glazed eyes while said customer is struggling to take out her cash or card with one hand pressing her phone against her ear. In other words, just get on with the job she is paid to do.

But this can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you have to put up with a number of these selfish, rude cretins every day. Inevitably, one will just snap – probably at that moment when you ask for payment and have some cash thrown at you while Little Miss Estate Agent is speaking absolute bollocks in a self-important, affected voice that simply “needs to be heard”. You just want to shout “I am talking to you now. Put it away”.

The SAC is also annoying to those of us other normal, polite customers that might happen to be waiting patiently behind them. While they continue their inane conversation and attempt to load their goods haphazardly into a bag with one hand, things are slowly starting to stacking up, meaning that by the time they have to pay there is still a pile of shopping waiting to be bagged at the end of the till. The polite customer ends up drumming their fingers against the counter, the checkout assistant is forced into offering an apology for the delay created by Little Miss or Mister Mobile’s selfishness, while the latter – oblivious to the situation they have helped create – just takes their own sweet time before shuffling away, phone still firmly clamped to the side of their thick skull.

It’s the kind of thing that makes one want to kill. However, failing that you can always get one of these.

In fairness, shop assistants who yap loudly to their mates or sit there with a gormless impression chewing gum are almost as annoying. What you really want is to direct those with their mobiles permanently attached to their heads to those tiles manned by the gum-chewing checkout person – the perfect situation there both parties don’t give a shit.

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