If I have to smile sweetly at another customer who tells me that it’s too nice a day to be working inside, I think I’ll flip. Thanks mate, really great observation – except that at least I’m getting paid to stand and swelter in a grotesquely ugly polyester supermarket uniform. You, on the other hand, have decided that today of all days – the one day of summer – you must have those two packs of lard and a bottle of cheap scotch. Bloody customers!
If they didn’t speak to me it’d be great but they just have to say something, anything. “If you go any faster I’ll break your fucking fingers,” one guy said – and these are the sorts of people that we’re meant to value. Plus, is it really my fault if the store has a policy of making you scan the customers shopping at ludicrous speed, and consequently injuring the odd customer with a pineapple (either fresh or tinned).
It has come to my attention in the year that I have worked in a supermarket that a large percentage of the general public are paranoid, and exceptionally thick. Instead of thanking me for not reporting them for credit fraud when they attempt to use their neighbour’s friend’s cheque, they get all indignant. Hey, is it my fault that you missed out on the common sense gene mate? I mean, if you’re going to use someone else’s credit card or cheque, at least make sure that you’re the same sex, and/or species.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the people who wrote League of Gentlemen worked in a supermarket much like the one I work in. I’ve served too many people with headscarves, piggy noses, and mad-ass voices to think any differently.
But at least these mad people are consistent, and they don’t look down their nose at those of us trying to earn a crust. The snobbery within the supermarket sector amazes me. Just the other week, a girl that I was at school with lorded over me the fact that she worked across the road at a better quality supermarket. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the share price of the supermarket that I work in is higher than the share price of the supermarket that she works in. As I scanned all her discounted items I contented myself with the fact that even though she thought she was better than me because she worked in a more up market supermarket, the fact was that she couldn’t afford to shop there herself.
And another thing, I’ve seen some underage people trying to buy alcohol, but this nine-year-old girl took the biscuit. “But it’s for my dad for Father’s Day,” she told me. I don’t bloody care if it’s to numb the pain of bloody doomsday. I didn’t tell her that though – I just thought it because it seemed a bit harsh. I’m not quite sure if it’s the air inside supermarkets or if these people are just defective when it comes to common sense, but they say and do the most ignorant things. One guy who appeared to be quite normal changed as soon as he’d had a glimpse inside my drawer – that’s the till drawer thank you, I’m a nice girl. His eyes glazed over, and he commented, “It’s almost worth coming in here with a balaclava on for what’s in there.” I deduced that he meant that he would consider threatening me in order to obtain the money, rather than wear the balaclava for a bet. What a dumb-ass thing to say. He’s probably one of those people who joke with Custom and Excise that he’s got a giant anaconda in his suitcase.
These are the sorts of people that I have to put up with, to be looked down upon by. Oh God, I don’t want to be here. I should have the job that I promised myself I would have after graduating. I want to moonwalk on my checkout conveyor belt. I want to wait until a queue has formed at my till at 7pm on Sunday (because we close then you feckwits) and sing “adieu adieu to you and you and you” and lock my till up. The day I leave, this is my plan.