Sunday, 27 July 2008

Dear Tesco

“Unexpected item – in bagging area”.

Somewhere in Britain, there’s a suited corporate mingefucker who gets paid hundreds upon thousands of pounds to come up with the solution to all our shopping woes. The idea this busybody eventually hit on – and this really is good – was the replacement of half the nation’s supermarket tills with that miracle of modern technology: the talking self-service machine. What an innovation. Why, it’s brilliant! So brilliant, in fact, that ever since they were introduced, the average wait-time to whip through a packet of crisps and some bog-roll appears to have doubled. What a fucking boon!

Now, I have an idea. It’s a wacky one, but hear me out. Here it is:


That’s it. A real person. Preferably one with actual till-training who’s capable of operating the bastard without causing a three-year hold-up. Pay someone £5 an hour to perform this simple task. It’s not that much in the grand scheme of things, especially since you own so much of the nation’s wealth that we might as well all start making voluntary contributions to the company trust-fund out of our monthly pay-cheques as an alternative to National Insurance. The funny thing is though, since you already have two members of staff on-hand to sort out these infernal machines each time they go wrong, you wouldn’t actually have to recruit any extra staff at all.

Why, that’s genius! Can I have my million-pound bonus and stock options now, please?

Self-service machines: a great idea in theory, I’ll give you that much. They just fall flat on two minor counts: one, the fact that most people are incompetent spack-merchants incapable of making the connection between bar-code and scanner, and two, the fact that the wretched things don’t fucking work.

On the plus-side, I did manage to nick a packet of donuts while the attendant was fiddling with the adjacent till this morning, so it’s not all bad news.


PS – Stop asking me for ID whenever I buy alcohol. I’m nearly 30, for god’s sake.