Having spend a good half an hour of my day queuing in my local supermarket, I am ready to rant. As a new fledgling writer of recent months (having returned to writing after kids, jobs, other distractions) I am now an avid observer of people and social interactions. More importantly (to me anyway, my observations of people have given me lots of food for thought when it comes down to getting my characters as succinct as possible.
For example, I can now get my new book into shape and my new characters in place, all by observing people chattering/arguing/stamping about impatiently in a line. I certainly did not realise that as a writer, you can observe most walks of life in a checkout queue! (and let’s not get started on the checkout girl).
This morning, the checkout girl had a very stern demeanour. The expression on her face was stern to say the least (a face like a bag of wasps, as my hubby calls it, and who am I to argue?). Faced with a line of people that went past the end of aisle bargains, and down into the biscuit section, the checkout girl was not happy. With her frown lines noticeable from the back of the aisle, she tried to send people to another checkout further along (which had a flustered young school age boy on it who was out of till roll). But no, none of us in the line was falling for that ‘ole chestnut!’
‘If I walk over to the queue, you can place money on the fact that I will be standing there like a lemon as this queue gets smaller. It’s happened to me so many times,’ observed the woman in front of me to anyone that would listen.
The man in front of her turned around, and nodded in agreement. ‘I’m only after paying for a few groceries, myself. Why don’t they put another checkout person on? Look, that young boy is still fiddling around with the till roll! He has my sympathies, he’s obviously still training, so the manager should put on enough staff!’ the man puffed and moaned.
I have to agree. Supermarkets it seems, never get it right when it comes to serving customers. They have now put into place self service tills which would seem to ease the problem, but they’re not much good if they all decide to break down. aye?