Monday, November 20, 2006

Tales From The Supermarket.

This was overheard in the supermarket queue.

I was 3rd in line staring around, studying the purchases of the person in front and wondering idly what they were going to do with 2 packs of salad and a box of those breadsticks with sesame seeds. I have been known to ask people how they're going to cook certain cuts of meat or fish. Why not? I think they're usually pleased to be asked....but it explains why my kids will shop with me, as in fill the trolley full of yucky stuff, but are nowhere in sight when I get to the till.

This particular day I was preceded by a French couple and in front of them two English women and while the cashier was not actually throwing the stuff down the belt, it was all moving at a brisker than normal pace and at the end of the belt a traffic jam was forming with cans and packets rolling into the tomatoes and salad. After a minute of this charmless behaviour the English woman asked the cashier clearly in perfect, though accented, French to please be careful. All done very reasonably. So the cashier desisted, the shopping was packed and the two women moved away whereupon the cashier broke into a tirade about the unreasonableness of the English, that she hadn't been rough...then the French couple joined in and the whole thing was starting to resemble a Greek chorus..the English, so bizarre, so unreasonable, so difficult because, apparently, they don't like their goods thrown down the belt...
And the French do?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

They can't stand not to have the last word, or take criticism. Mind you, had it been anyone else non-French they would have launched into an equivalent tirade too.

Anonymous said...

The cashiers pass the groceries as fast as possible because the more customers they "prosess" the more they get paid in terms of bonuses.

Today the same thing happened to me. However I didn't dear say anything...
It seems to happen quite often that the cashiers complain about the previous customers.

Open Grove Claudia said...

First - sorry about the baby boomer rant....

I understand French very well. Because I look so, well, dull, people ramble on and on in French in front of me. It's amazing what I have heard.

Compliants about the British, sure. Americans are evil, Ok fair enough. But Moroccans? Who could hate a Moroccan?

A British friend of mine gets back at them by smoking in her room at the Sofitel. I am not sure the message gets through but she feels better.

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Interesting bit about human nature. I think that it's the "group mentality" issue (even on a small scale) ...you have a case of people coalescing around "an issue" and all of a sudden it becomes "us" versus "them." How small minded.

Anonymous said...

I once worked briefly on a checkout in the UK, watched over discreetly by supervisors. An incident like the one you describe would almost certainly have resulted in a verbal warning - for unprofessional conduct. We've lost many old world courtesies, but the maxim "The customer is always right" survives - just.