I often complain about supermarkets and the whole soulless business of the weekly shop, but I don’t really mean it. It’s by far the most convenient way of getting the chore done, even if it means having to put up with the idiosyncrasies of the staff.
Like the checkout sprint. Why do the people on the tills think it is some sort of race they have to win by whipping items across the scanner faster than you can pack ’em until there is a growing mound of groceries on the packing side?
And yet it can’t be an easy job. The pay is rubbish, the work is boring and on top of all that, they have to put up with customers like me who can’t pack their bags quickly enough. So sometimes I try to cheer them up.
I was in my local Morrisons yesterday queueing at the tobacco and lottery waiting to by my dream ticket. It was busy, the woman behind the counter was on her own because the other woman was off dealing with a customer complaint. She looked harassed and I took pity on her and decided to be pleasant.
‘A very good afternoon,’ I said, beaming amiably. No response.
‘I’d like five of your luckiest of lucky dips for tonight if you would be so kind.’ Still no response as she turned to walk across to the lottery till.
I thought she mustn’t have heard me properly so I called after her, ‘only your very luckiest if you please,’ and still not a flicker, just a curt ‘five pounds please’.
I suppose you’re wondering whether I was indeed lucky or not, but I’m afraid I don’t know, at least as far as the ticket is concerned. I always put off checking my numbers so I can enjoy the unlikely winning dream going for as long as possible.
However, I know that I’ve won the lottery of life because I haven’t as yet had to work in a supermarket.
Changing the subject though, one group of extremely unlucky people are those who volunteered to take part in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here which started a new series last night. I hate to admit it, but I really enjoy this show.
Taking her political message to the masses is MP Nadine Dorries and almost from the word go, she illustrated everything that is wrong with politicians.
She was one of the team of four set the task of paddling a wide canoe across a lake which they needed to achieve in 45 minutes to avoid ‘instant sanctions’.
‘I will approach this strategically,’ she confided to the camera, as we wondered what was ‘strategic’ about paddling a canoe. But then politicians like being ‘strategic’ – it’s their action substitute.
Dorries had decided that she was the ideal leader for the task, even though she had no discernible qualification in the marine department, but again politicians do like to think they can take charge of any situation that they know nothing about.
She demonstrated her political skills by sitting at the front of the canoe – facing the wrong way – and like a good politician, she shouted orders while everyone else did the work.
After a while she could be heard to ask, ‘Are we going the right way?’ Then ploughed on regardless until the whole enterprise came unstuck and the canoe sank.
A case of art imitating life?