It’s been a while since I’ve shopped in Waitrose in New Malden. I’ve been avoiding it since February last, when I got into a heated discussion with people who left their loaded trolleys in the queue while they went off to get a free coffee and finish their shopping.
This morning I was in a hurry; I had a full day ahead and my mother’s shopping to do first. I had a feeling that it was all going to go wrong…….but New Malden’s Waitrose was handy, on my way. I cruised the aisles and was halfway through the checkout when I heard a woman behind me squawk in a Home Counties voice; “I say, would you get my lottery ticket for me?” This was addressed to the supervisor; I was already keeping her busy by having presented a half filled bag of satsumas at the checkout and then having dropped a gravy-filled ready meal on the floor.
“No.”, said the supervisor.”I’m sorry, it’s not my job. I’m busy, I’m afraid. You’ll have to queue up and get it yourself”, and off she went to get a full bag of satsumas for me.
I turned round. The woman had a full trolley. She was immaculately presented. It was only nine o’clock in the morning and she’d been up since six putting her face on. She was bouncing on the balls of her feet, appealing to all and sundry. “Thing is, if I leave my trolley here, and go and get my ticket, someone is bound to complain. They always do.”
“Of course they’ll complain,” I said.
“Well yes, they will, but I don’t know why they should. ”
“They’ll complain because you’ve left your trolley in the queue in front of them and you haven’t finished your shopping, while they’ve finished theirs. You should do things in the right order.” I was fairly calm, because at least I was in front of this one.
“Well the manager said it was alright,” she said, eyes rolling, nose turned to the ceiling.
The supervisor returned with my fruit. The woman was relentless.”Why can’t you go and get me a ticket?”
What was she doing even buying a lottery ticket, I wondered. She’d already won the birthright lottery, that virtual ticket that gives you the feeling you are entitled to spend your time on your make-up and make up for that lost time by making demands on everyone else’s time. Why, upper middle class woman asks herself, should I have to queue? and concludes that she doesn’t, she shouldn’t, and that someone else can compromise their time for hers.
“I’m sorry, it’s just not my job.” repeated the supervisor, wiping the gravy I’d spilled off the floor. She really should bend her knees when she does that.
“But the thing is there’s a queue at the lottery till, and a queue here. What am I supposed to do?”
“Why didn’t you get your lottery ticket first?” I said. “you could have done that before you got your shopping.”
“But it’s at the other side of the store to the entrance. I just did my shopping first.”
“Oh it’s alright, I’ll do it.”, said the supervisor.
I knew she would capitulate. It’s the Waitrose way, pandering to people who treat the staff like servants.
I’m not going there again. The people drive me crazy. For further details on why have a look at this.