Saturday, 14 September 2013

The times they are a changing

I remember a time when customer service was king. When the staff in shops were smart, showing a good company image, when you were treated with politeness, after all, you were paying their wages. What has happened?

This morning I went to put some fuel in my car at the local Tesco petrol station. While I queue behind people doing their weekly shopping at the one checkout that is open (that is another story which I think I have covered already) some witless troglodyte is rearranging the cigarettes. There is no thought of opening another checkout, obviously the conversation between the staff members is more important than the secondary objective of serving the customer.


There was a time when shopkeepers wore a brown overall, do you remember that? The men always wore a tie, they were smart, tidy. Now it seems that the more piercings, tattoos, weird hairstyles and the more untidy you are the quicker you will be put in front of the customer. It seems that there is an agenda to scare off the customer. Maybe the plan of Tesco, Sainsbury et al is to do away with the shop entirely and just do home delivery.’ How dare these people come into our shops and take things! Let us tell them what they can have’

I have an urge to open a shop and show them how it should be done. Let’s get back to smartness, politeness, intelligence and all the other things that make us more human.

Or maybe I am just a little old fashioned.Picture0001[2]


Giant68 Smile

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Steam and Dust.

So we went camping. Again. Once more I loaded the contents of my house into the car and unpacked in a field. Every time I hope that this game of Tetris will get easier, but it never does. I carry everything to the car and rearrange it several times in the hope that it will fit better. I fail every time.

This time we went back to Dorset. We figured that we could visit the Great Dorset Steam fair on the Friday and then spend the Saturday sitting around the tents, maybe having a drink or several, and relaxing.


We set off on Friday morning for the steam fair, to travel 28 miles to Tarrant Hinton. 2 hours later we arrived in a dust storm, driving through fields where wheat had just been cut, that were bone dry, where the marshals were wearing dust masks and we couldn’t see the  end of the car bonnet. Once parked we faced a long walk to the gate and then a walk to the show. The site of the show is awesome. It is massive, being somewhere in the region of 700 acres. There was a pall of smoke, steam and dust over the area giving it the impression of a Victorian steampunk landscape. There were hundreds of steam powered traction engines, vintage trucks, row upon row of food stalls, beer tents, coffee bars, people selling everything from army boots (I did buy some of these) to parts for your steam engine.


There comes a point in the day when you realise that you are knackered. We had been walking for what seemed like days. We had covered more miles than there actually are on the face of this planet. I felt that we had walked across the universe. I had a new pair of boots, very comfortable, Mrs Giant68 had been on a vomit making fairground ride where she had been upside down, side to side and inside out, her face was a picture. I have never seen anyone quite that shade of green before. We were all covered in dust and sweat. I had been photo bombed, thanks Jill!


Time to find the car among the acres of cars. We were smart, we made a note of where ours was unlike the couple we saw aimlessly wandering around the fields muttering ‘I thought it was around here…’

I felt sorry for the person with the mkII Cortina who had left a window open and the car was full of dust. I felt sorry for some newly made friends who were having their first camping experience that night at the show.

We went back to the tents. We lit the bbqs and put the sausages and burgers on. Beer o’clock. But after a hot sunny day the weather let us down. Myself and Rob huddled under an umbrella trying to keep the bbq dry as the rain pelted down. Rob even managed to spill his wine, normally he would have been under it before it hit the ground but this time he would’ve needed to be a contortionist! Now we were two grumpy blokes in the rain. God help everyone tonight!

Saturday went as planned, just lazing around reading, drinking, eating ice cream. Nothing much to say really. Maybe one day I will tell more, like exposing myself to  the elements, unintentionally I hasten to add!

Next time I feel that I need to get back to my grumpy roots.



Giant68 Smile

Promise. Next time i will be proper grumpy.