Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Next Customer Please

My previous post about awkward British social idiosyncrasies
was inspired by the first scenario I mentioned- the next customer please divider on the supermarket checkout counter.  I try and avoid supermarkets as much as possible but on the last few occasions I have visited I have noticed how important the baton thing that divides peoples shopping has become to British culture.  I've been experimenting with not putting the next customer please baton down to see what happens.....
  1.  If my shopping is already on the conveyor belt I have discovered that the next customer will not under any circumstances unload their shopping until the baton has been put down.  Try it out! Ignore the baton thing, don't touch it, and even if you both only have a small handful of items the next person will be physically incapable of putting their items down.  What will likely happen is they will barge into you saying "excuse me, excuse me" and reach over your shopping flopping their sweaty stomach or saggy breasts all over your broccoli to grab the sacred baton.  Only then can you both relax safe in the knowledge that none of their shopping items have touched any of yours.  Sigh of relief all round!
  2. If your arrive at the checkout behind someone else try unloading your shopping right next to the person in front of you.  Don't reach for the divider and maybe even let some of your items roll precariously close to their jar of pickled eggs.  Feel the tension rise, arghhh what if some of your items get mixed up?! If nothing is done by the time the last few items reach the checkout girl then you might have to speak to each other! and say "yeh that ones mine".  What will actually happen is the person in front of you will start to twitch and panic, when they can't stand it anymore they'll firmly and precisely place the baton before your shopping whilst now looking a bit serious and slightly unnerved. Next customer please!
In both cases you'll find that once the divider is in place everything is okay! and life carries on as normal.

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