I’m fed up.
I’m fed up with being asked if I want my car washed (no, I want to buy some eggs and bread, that’s why I’ve come to Sainsbury’s), whether I have an Advantage card (if I did I would have given it to you, Push-y-Boots), whether I’d like to purchase any of our promotional items today (I’m buying a newspaper, why would I want a freezer bag and what are you doing selling them anyway, WHSmith?) and whether I’d like to save 10% (you can keep your 10% with my blessing, I’ll even give you another 5%, my beloved Debenhams, if you’ll only STOP ASKING ME EVERY TIME I SHOP WITH YOU!).
My neighbour has a sign on his door to deter unsolicited visitors. If one has the temerity to ignore the warning he is quickly dispatched with a tale about a request from the police to report all cold callers in the area. It’s a brutal system but it is efficient. Why can’t there be the retail equivalent? What about one of those ribbons – pink for breast cancer, red for HIV and green and black stripes for “Service Without The Pitch, Please”? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the staff; they’re made to do it, trained and drilled within an inch of their lives, mystery-shopped to check they comply until, like the retail equivalent of a Stepford automaton, they spew forth the same trite phrases every time they speak to a customer. Where is the job satisfaction? The intimacy? The personal service?
Forget that. I’d swap it all for “Hello, that’s 1.99 please. There’s your penny. Bye!”