My supermarket-space-cadet story wasn’t quite finished. After a couple of days, I went back to the supermarket with a certain degree of self-consciousness – if not minor embarrassment.
I got off to a bad start by unloading my small trolley on a till that was broken. The screen said to call for assistance, so I did, and the supervisor who usually works there said, in a no-nonsense tone.
“No love, this till isn’t working you’ll have to find another”
I feared this till had been broken all morning, and I would have saved a bit of hassle if I had looked at the screen first, but I was too preoccupied with thinking about my previous week’s absent-mindedness.
On finding a working checkout, I put my shopping carefully through, making sure I didn’t fade out into the land of daydreams and brain-fail.
In my peripheral awareness, I heard a heated conversation between the supervisor and a fellow customer. And as I was paying for my shopping, I saw the supervisor run out of the store – shouting at this lady to come back and pay. Not only that, but an alarm went out for the duty-manager to come to the front of the store. The supervisor and customer were arguing about whether she had paid.
It was a different tone and feeling to my experience last week.
Intuitively, I sided with the supervisor that this customer was a bit shifty and trying to pull a fast one.
But, why did the supervisor treat me differently and assume I wasn’t trying to escape without paying?
This particular supervisor reminds me of Dot Cotton from Eastenders (“Salt of the earth” springs to mind!) I admire the job she does to check up on customers and chase them down the pavement, plus quickly weighing up the motivation of customers. She does a very good job!