Okay. I'll be the first to admit it. Here goes:
I AM IMPATIENT. I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO HUFFS, PUFFS AND STOMPS THEIR FEET UNLESS THINGS HAPPEN INSTANTANEOUSLY. I HAVE SPENT MY LIFE MOCKING THOSE WITH THIS CHARACTERISTIC BUT I KNOW FULL WELL I AM GUILTY.
There, I came right out and said it. I feel better already.
Like most people I get annoyed waiting in shops. It's not the actual having to *wait* that annoys me, it's more the fact that most of the time there's no good reason why the queue is moving so fucking slow. What irks me is when staff are dicking around or the people in front of you are so busy talking on their phones that everything takes fucking ages. It's more the reason *for* the wait that grinds my gears. I've noticed supermarkets are always bad for this. The fourteen year old cashier will be trying to have a conversation with an equally young girl four tills away, sometimes shouting to be heard over the background noise. So will not acknowledge you and then proceed to scan your things so fast that only Superman could pack them all away.
Costa coffee on the other hand are slow but this is for the simple fact that they do not have enough staff. I am fine with this. Yes, I am usually pressed for time when queueing but I know the staff are working at a reasonable place so am usually quite forgiving. It's not their fault that they are struggling.
What enrages me more than anything else is self-service tills.
I think Tesco pioneered these (correct me if I'm wrong) but I've noticed every single supermarket seems to use them now. Mr Leahy, I blame it all on you.
Don't get me wrong, in principle they are a good idea. Instead of having to wait for a cashier you can be a bit brave and purchase your horrible food at high speed. This is laudable. If ATMs had never been invented we would still have to go into the bank and withdraw loads of money. We would then be mugged. The problem we have here is complex and best broken down in to numbered points:
1) These machines rely on the intelligence of the average person. Now, I know I am generally quite sardonic by nature (some would say cynical) but anything that relies on the general public having intellectual powers is bound to fail. Again, this is well known and the people that designed these machines must know. This is why any machine designed for use by the public needs to be idiot proof. I'm talking simplicity to rival the buttons on pedestrian crossings, post boxes, doorknockers etc.
Anything more complex just doesn't fucking work. My Dad cannot work a cash machine.
Which leads me on to my next point:
2) The machines are fucking rubbish. Every single item requires a red-faced woman to come over and swipe a keyring it make the stupid thing unfreeze. The type of bread roll I am buying neither has a barcode or features in the dropdown menu. What can I do? I can't use my own shopping bags because the machine thinks the previous user has left their stuff in the bagging area. I can't change my mind about things once they have been scanned in. I can't buy booze without a the same red-faced woman checking I am over 18. The queue is taking ages because a granny has just scanned in a plasma TV as a button mushroom. The item will not scan. There's not enough room in the bagging area. Nobody understands if they are queueing for a specific till or merely the first one to become available. Despite the screen asking me to put my card in the chip & pin machine is now saying 'REMOVE CARD'. It says 'ASSISTANCE IS ON THE WAY' but the red-faced woman is now having a conversation with her colleague.
The upshot of all this is:
IF EVEN A SIMPLE PURCHASE TAKES LONGER THAN A NORMAL TILL THEN THERE IS NO POINT EVEN HAVING THESE STUPID MACHINES.
Tesco, I've got some words of advice for you:
Either start running courses in how to use these damn things, sort them out so that they are idiot proof or rip them out totally.
What do we think?