An Evening in Tesco Express.
Jamie, my son, and I were shopping in Tesco Express a few months ago; we had filled our basket and were about to pay.
These small Tesco shops have very narrow isles, and I was coming down the centre one when I heard one of the assistants say that the self service tills can only accept cards, so anyone with a card please come forward.
I could see that one or two people queuing in the first isle next to the tills, remained still, obviously they needed to pay by cash.
I thought that’s handy, so I stepped forward and quickly placed my basket on the self-service counter.
Unfortunately, I had never used one of these new contraptions before.
I looked at the instructions above the machine but could not work out what I had to do.
The assistant was looking at me over her glasses with what I can only describe as murderous intent—she probably has had a hard day and when I said.
“What do I do now”?
I think the intent had now become real.
Not only that, but the one or two people I thought were alone in the first isle, turned out to be about twenty, they were hidden to me by the shelves of goods.
There was a unified moan, as not only had this old duffer jumped the queue, he was completely out of his depth with any new technology.
The assistant started to tell me how to work the machine but soon realized it was futile and started to slam my purchases down on the scales herself, in what I thought was a quite aggressive way.
Finally she said.
“Put your card in there and you are all done”
I’m sure most of us at some time in our lives, have a mental block, and with so many pockets on modern trousers we don’t know where the credit card is.
There was another collective moan from the now rather excited queue.
As I slapped every available pocket on my entire outfit and then to feel, with great relief the outline of my wallet.
I looked for Jamie, but he had run out and was looking through the window, making out he was nothing to do with me.
At last I put the card in, but with all the commotion I could not remember my number and when I said to the assistant.
“This is a new card and I’m not sure if this is the correct number, but lets see shall we”
For some reason she took her glasses off and just looked at me, I actually think she thought it was some sort of ‘candid camera’ game.
The rest of the queue didn’t seem to think it was a game at all, and they were becoming quite agitated.
I finally completed my card transaction and left the shop, to what I think was a rather nice round of applause.
The British public is so generous and forgiving when faced with the older generation.
On the other hand Jamie said.
“Dad, that’s last time I’m going shopping with you”