Why can't customers just be reliable? OK, so I know they're going to moan, complain, cause complications and, generally, make my life hell. But why can't they co-ordinate themselves to do it?
What I'm alluding to are our store trading patterns. It goes without saying that Monday and Tuesday tend to be relatively quiet. Wednesday is usually very busy due to the town market dragging people from far and wide. Thursday is steady, Friday is similar to Wednesdays and Saturday and Sunday are hell on earth. Wednesday, Friday and weekends are easy to staff. It's simply a case of tapering the staff in until all the tills are full by 11am. Keep them full until 7pm and then taper everyone off until 10pm. Except Saturdays, when the trade declines to a mere trickle from 6pm onwards.
But just lately, stupid customers have been bucking all the trends of a normal Monday trade. Take yesterday. The entire population of the surrounding area decided to come shopping at 7pm, when we only had three till staff. I was the first person to end up sitting down and serving, followed closely by Steven being dragged, kicking and screaming, from dairy. This still didn't improve matters and Michaela had to be taken from the deli and Kieran had to abandon the shop-floor. When the queues still raged, Sean, who was managing the store, had no option but to hop on himself. So there we were. Virtually everybody in the store, all sat on checkouts.
And, it's not just me, but the customers are getting slowly snottier. I served at least five people yesterday who where too far up their own backsides to even respond to my friendly greeting. I took great delight in, totally overtly, pulling faces at them when they weren't looking. Got some chuckles from the people behind.
The whole store has an air of boring blandness about it because Kate is on holiday this week. I rely on her hilarious outbursts and comments to keep me going. And I don't have anybody's accent to mock. Kate is Scottish and I could spend all day imitating everything she says - badly. But she isn't much better at impersonating my broad south Wales accent (and I don't live there anymore before the Security Mafia teams of several supermarket chains narrow my location down to Pontypridd). Still, it keeps us amused.
Had a bizarre moment yesterday evening. I went into the cash office, and the sensor that normally triggers the lights to come on, failed. I went in and door closed behind me. Leaving me standing there in pitch darkness. For some reason, I was afraid to move - an action that would have solved the problem immediately. I think I was just wondering how close I was to smacking my face into the lock-box.