After you’ve avoided the abandoned trolley’s spread all over the car park and dodged the reversing cars, usually 4×4’s taking up a space and a half or illegally parked in the disabled spot, stand still and mentally prepare yourself for the ordeal ahead.
It is best to prepare the mind for entertainment and general observation of human behaviour. That way you won’t throw a wobbler or end up curled on the shop floor holding your hands over your head in frustration and anger!
After you’ve fallen over the eight feet high, thirty feet wide stacks of Easter Eggs, you approach the vegetable containers where most are bruised through customers digging around underneath for the better product in the belief they are not as old as the ones on top.
The next thing you come accross are the neighbours who bump into each other whilst shopping. Why they can’t have a chat over the fence rather than bunging up the gangway of the busiest Aisle (Potato Crisps & Coca Cola) beats me. Meanwhile their kids are twiddling with the TV Sets or having a simulation Formula One race with the trolleys somewhere in the Cat Food area.
At this stage I’ll tell you a little tale. I wanted to buy some Ibuprofen. On the shelves they were £1.25 for 16 tablets and I saw one or two people buying them. I walked over to the Pharmacy and got the same brand at £1.13 for 48 !! Tale over.
So, you finally arrive at the Till. You have only 5 items in the basket, so you join the people with the smaller trolleys with 45 items in them at the ‘Basket Only’ queue.
Some of these people have only 20 items in them, but they have joined the queue and sent their partner off to get the remaining ten items and usually they are one short at the time the Assistant has put everything else through. This usually holds things up by approximately three minutes – or they brought the wrong thing and have to wait for the Supervisor to arrive for adjustment of the coding etc.
The queue is where you learn the most. Someone ahead of you will always have the one and only item which hasn’t got the bar code on it or the customer suddenly notices they have picked the packet of sugar with a hole in it (not realising this was caused by the simulation Formula One race going on at the time).
There’s always the kind old soul who wants to try and part with the exact money and will happily spend two minutes searching for the odd 6p to help the Cashier.
Just as you are about third in the queue, a new assistant appears and opens up the till next to yours and shouts “Would you like to come here”. You’re too far in and have no chance, so you bite your lip as you watch about three people who have just approached just at the right time overtake you.
Finally, you make it to the exit and after you’ve flattened the person doing a survey on customer care, you return to your car which has an odds on chance of being side swiped in your absence and go home for a nice cup of tea.
Of course it could be any day of the week – but isn’t life fun!