You can see it very clearly in the shops. They are simply not as busy as they used to be. People are not buying so much these days. So you’d think you might get in and out of the bloody places a bit quicker, wouldn’t you?
On two separate occasions, the other day, I went into a shop and queued and waited and waited and queued. In each case, the solitary person behind the only manned checkout gazed wistfully at the other dark checkouts and doubtless wished for some help.
The shops weren’t dreadfully busy – there’s a Recession on, after all – but there was more custom than one measly till could handle. So I waited.
“Deal with it!” I hear you roar. “The shops are short staffed on account of The Recession, we all have to knuckle down and suffer together.”
It’s a good argument – except it’s totally wrong – and herein lies the rub. There was loads of staff in each of these shops. Gangs of the little feckers. But they were all out doing some nameless bloody stuff on the shop floor. They were all engaged in something-or-other instead of coming in and firing up till number two and letting me be on my merry bloody way.
And what were they doing?
One of the shops was the video rental shop. The poor bugger behind the counter was sweating diamonds and the queue was like a Miley Cyrus concert ticket line. Meanwhile yonder dozy pillock is out among the DVD’s apparently doing nothing more taxing than trying to figure out what he might bring home and watch that evening after they ejected the last of the un-served customers and shuffled off home.
In the other shop, where I was desperately trying to buy an umbrella, one of the floor-people – a guy – seemed to be seriously contemplating trying on a sports bra. I kid you not. Meanwhile, I was seriously contemplating stuffing said undergarment up his arse.
I eventually let the ‘umbrella mission’ go and walked home in the rain but, in the video shop, after five minutes of needless queuing, I cracked and asked whether the mega-star down in the romance section might sidle over here and let some of us poor bastards go home sometime tonight.
And he did and we all saw that it was a better way.
Customers – Ask for another person to man a checkout… because you're worth it.
Retailer – I left your shop without purchasing anything for one reason only. Because 50% of your male sales staff were out checking out the bras. What does this tell you…?
… yeah, me too.