Society, Work

Retail Impatience

I was in a short, socially distanced, queue in a major supermarket, at twenty past six in the evening, after work, a month or so ago.  The complete queue ahead of me consisted of a younger couple – the lad in baseball cap was clearly a gobby type, and between them and I was an unattended trolley, which it soon became clear belonged to a man who was breaking all distancing rules by leaning over the screen at a checkout, being too close to both the cashier and the customer being served at the time.  When he returned to the queue he was loudly making it clear to everyone including the couple in front that he’d been complaining that they weren’t getting served quickly enough.  Baseball-cap man then loudly pointed out that the male cashier was “…going even slower now ‘cos yoov said somefink to ‘im (s.i.c.).”   The wanderer then started exclaiming to baseball-cap man that he’d said to the cashier that “I won’t need to defrost anyfin’ when I get ‘ome, ‘cos it’ll be done before I leave ‘ere (s.i.c. too)“, or words to that effect, laughing loudly because he thought he was so amusing.

All of us who work in retail will have had to put up with loud-mouthed clever-dicks like him at some point.  Emphasis on “dick”.  I wasn’t amused even though he looked round at me for affirmation in an “am I right?” kind of way, I expected him to start high-fiving everyone.  But no, I thought, you’re not getting any group approval from me, no matter how much you want to look like a supermarket hero, the shoppers’ champion.   Another man joined the queue behind me and was similarly agitated, probably in a display of group conformity – everyone else is complaining – “there’s not normally this many customers at this time of night” I wearily muttered to him.  In the end we all got through in a reasonable time, my BBQ chicken bake was still frozen when I got home. 

I felt like saying to all three of these individuals “have you worked in retail?…  no?… you should try it.”

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Psychology, Society, Uncategorized

Parcel Impatience

English: "Royal Mail" sign, Belfast ...

English: “Royal Mail” sign, Belfast The “Royal Mail” sign on the top of Tomb Street sorting office 322800. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I work in a place opposite a Royal Mail sorting office where people who have been left the little “We tried to deliver an item to you but you were otherwise occupied…” or whatever it says card come to collect their boxes and envelopes.  At break times you can see dozens of people wandering up the drive with their packages to their cars (often parked without permission on our car park, but that’s another story) while doing something curious.

Like kids on Christmas morning they’re tearing into the paper and cardboard, risking spilling the contents onto the road (and often doing so) just because they can’t wait until they get home to see what they’ve been sent.

More often than not it’s likely to be something they’ve ordered so it’s not as if they’re thinking “what on Earth can it possibly be, I’d better open it now in case it’s something I’d rather not take home.”  If it is something they’d rather not take home I’d rather they didn’t open it outside my shop.  They can’t be checking if it’s the right thing, after all it’s not like they can stride back to the sorting office and say “please send this back to Amazon for me, it’s not the right colour.”

The other day I even saw a man with a motorbike, clad in the full leather jacket and so on, unwrap a new soft-shell jacket and inspect it while standing next to his bike, risking oil and grime stains, before then stuffing it back in the envelope and lodging it in his jacket.

The best ones are the rare people who both park in our car park, without permission, collect a parcel and then sit in their car and inspect it for ten minutes before leaving.  I’m thinking of offering to sell them a coffee and biscuits to complete the experience.

 

 

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