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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Yes, I've a got a carrier bag and NO, I don't want a damn Nectar card.

Dear young man behind the checkout of my local Sainsburys' Local store. You know me. I am the person who sometimes shops in your store but rarely for anything other than a bottle of wine or a bottle of beer. Your company is too expensive and the stock levels in the 'convenience store' are inconveniently limited. As you don't seem to listen to me  I must write to you in this format. STOP asking the same damn questions EVERY time I come to your till! Let's remind ourselves of what you say to me.

Shop assistant "I'm sorry to keep you waiting."

Me "You haven't, there was no one else in the queue."

Shop assistant " Well, I'm sorry to keep you waiting."

Me "Right."

Phil puts his bottle of beer on the counter to pay.

Shop assistant "I'm sorry to have kept you waiting. Is that everything?"

Me "Well yes, I would have brought other things to the counter if it wasn't."

Shop assistant "Would you like a carrier bag?"

Me "No, orange doesn't suit me but if you have a carrier pigeon I might give in and say yes."

Shop assistant "Pardon?"

Me "Just being witty. Being silly. Amusing. Look, can I just pay for this and go please?"

Shop assistant "Do you have a Nectar card?" (This is about the twentieth time he's asked me in three months.)

Me "No thank you. I did succumb once and kept getting phone calls from Sainsburys trying to sell me things over the phone because I was stupid enough not to tick the box that would have stopped marketing calls. "

Shop assistant "Did you read the Nectar Collector rules?"

Me "Probably not."

Shop assistant "It is important that you read the Nectar Collector rules and the small print."

Me  (getting fractious and thirsty) "Well I couldn't read the Nectar Collector rules because the type is so ridiculously small that an ant with very strong glasses would give up trying! Also I work at a supermarket and get 10% discount and points. So why would I want a Nectar card?"

Shop assistant "Just doing my job Sir and you did apply for one Sir!"

Me " And I would JUST like to pay for my beer please."

Shop assistant " Do you need a carrier bag Sir?"

Me "What?" ( the polite 'pardons' have now flown out of the shop door.)

Shop assistant "Would you like one of our free carrier bags?"

Me "Here's £2.20 for the beer. No carrier bag."

Shop assistant "Would you like a receipt?"

Me  (loosing it) " I tell you what I would bloody like! I would like you to stop asking me the same fecking robotic questions every time I come to this till. Look at me! Look at me and take a photo if you like. Middle aged man, balding, goatee beard, tired after a long day at work, wears a green coat and a grey hat, is usually polite and understanding, named Phil. Likes beer and wine and sometimes buys couscous. Quite a regular customer. Lives around the corner although he has never been in shopping in his pyjamas. Yet.

Got that? Good. Now, instead of 'Think 21' think 'nice guy, bit nutty' but I don't have to ask him if needs a Nectar card ALL THE TIME!!!!"

Shop assistant (hand poised over alarm bell) "Right. Sorry to have kept you waiting."

News Flash: The Sainsburys Local store in the village of Ruddington was attacked earlier today. A man carrying a giant home made replica Nectar card and wearing an orange carrier bag over his head was seen on CCTV footage viciously trying to demolish one of the tills. He was last seen running away screaming the phrase " I just wanted the bloody beer!!!"

PS: If you want an illuminating read check this book out.

Maybe we'll all be kinder to the check out men and women.


Karen said...

Poor checkout person. They always ask at our Sainsbury's if we want help with the packing, as well as lots of other questions I assume they have to learn by rote.
What annoys me more than anything in a supermarket - especially in Saisnsburys & Tesco - are those wretched self service tills. We have problems every time we have to use one (we only use them if we have less than 6 items & as a last resort if there are enormous queues at normal tills). And in Sainsburys, the assistant who is supposed to be around to help always vanishes. One day, I swear I will just stand there & scream & scream.

having said that, I love the self service tills at Ikea - they are great fun, like being a kid & playing shops, & always work perfectly.

Jean said...

Oh dear, time they employed someone with a brain, I think !!

At my local Sainsbury's the staff are polite, good humoured and a lot more sensible that this person.

Phil Lowe said...

Karen: I did exaggerate slightly about the situation for comedic effect. But really I did think that they would recognise me and relax their spiel a bit esp on the Nectar card front.

Phil Lowe said...

Jean: I'm sure all the staff there are lovely people but they aren't allowed any relaxation from the 'you must ask the customers 'these things' every time and it gets a bit inhuman and wearing time after time.

Gailsman said...

Ooh, who's turning into Victor Meldrew then!

Here's a handy tip; have a bag ready, then you won't be asked if you need one.
I'm sure the assistants get fed up with asking the same things hundreds of times a day too.
Have a nice day now

Karen said...

Gailsman - we always have bags, & are usually still asked if we'd like one. And they always ask if we want help packing.....even if there are only 2 items. I suppose they have to say it all. But it can, as Phil proved, provide much amusement.

Phil Lowe said...

"I don't believe it!!"