Alis Grave Nil

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Inconvenience Store

 The Inconvenience Store is a small supermarket in our village, in which the concept of customer service is completely alien to the majority of staff who work there (including the managers).  They look at you with their dead eyes as if you are an annoyance, forgetting of course that the customers are paying their wages. There are sometimes two ladies serving behind the counter during the day, one who I shall refer to as Mrs Sourpuss because she has a permanent expression on her face as if she was sucking lemons.  When Mrs Sourpuss sees that there is a huge queue, she scowls at the patiently waiting customers and either walks away from the till or pretends she is busy doing something, scrambling around under the till pretending to be looking for something.  "We're busy doing nothing, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do", as the song goes. 

There is also a lady who shouts at customers if they ask her to make up a sandwich after 2pm.  "Yer too late", She says, glaring at them, as if they've asked her for the contents of her bank account,  "I've cleaned up now". 

Sometimes there's no bread on the shelf in the Inconvenience Store, sometimes no milk or eggs, sometimes the kid behind the counter doesn't know what a leek is, and isn't particularly interested because there's a text coming through on his new iphone.  Sometimes said kid actually answers his phone when he is serving a customer..Grrrrrr!! The customers don't seem to complain but you can hear them sighing and huffing and puffing in the queue.  When there is only one person at the till and a big queue builds up, there is bell under the till that they are supposed to ring for another member of staff to come and serve.  We are waiting, waiting, waiting, the queue is growing and growing, then someone at the back of the queue loses the will to live and shouts out "Ring the effing bell would you Gladys, I want to get served before I die!"

The young kids/students who work in the Inconvenience Store have this glazed expression that descends upon them when, for example, your shopping costs £5.25.  You give them a £10 note and the 25p.  They hold the money in their hands, staring at it with panic in their eyes,  wondering what to do with it because they don't understand what it's all about.  Unbelieveably, these same kids all seem to want to go to university to study Rocket Science.  You just couldn't make it up!

The vegetables in the Inconvenience Store are a sight to behold.  I hesitate to use the word "fresh" as I might be contravening Trading Standards laws.  The carrots are usually covered with blue mouldy bits and I've seen one of the staff members pulling lots of dead leaves off cabbages and putting the tiny wilted cabbages back on the shelf.  The mangoes are always weeping (I know the feeling!) and the cucumbers are always soft and squidgy.  Courgettes?  Don't bother! 

The Inconvenience Store is the only shop in our village, but I no longer go in, unless it's wine o' clock and the wine rack chez nous  is bare,  and I only go in on the evenings when the one and only customer-friendly lady works there. 

Happy shopping, mes amis.

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