I hate being at the back of the Aldi checkout queue when the call comes up “We are opening till number one. Please unload your shopping at till number one” because I think, yeah I could do that.
And then they’ll say: “Store assistant required for till number one” and I wonder how long is that gonna take to get the assistant in place and ready to serve? I best stay here at till number six. I’m here now. I’m committed. This is definitely the right queue.
And then, the lady shopper in front of me does that weird thing where she divides her shopping into two – like she’s shopping for herself and then the Invisible Man – and does separate packing and separate paying (she even closes her purse and re-opens it) and the queue at till one invariably moves like an express train and I’ve wasted five minutes from my life because I was, for once, decisive.
Then, once served, I have a tiny shelf where my shopping has been hurriedly stacked and feel under immense time pressure as I decide whether it’s better to pack my 9 items, then pay or pay and then pack?
Then, mid-packing, I’m asked if I’m paying by cash or card and I’m so flustered I only know the answer begins with “ca.”
And if that isn’t bad enough, they’ll always put my till receipt under my change and I have to try and organise it with one hand to put them into my jeans pocket without the money dropping and rolling all over the floor, forcing me to embarrassingly apologise for something that clearly isn’t my fault.
With half my shopping bundled haphazardly into my overflowing, open holdall and the rest balanced precariously between my fingers and along my arm, I’m obliged to retreat to the long back shelf where bored children sit and congregate like abandoned Cabbage Patch dolls waiting to be picked up by their beleaguered owners, randomly carrying bananas and ski wear.
It’s very stressful…