Friday, April 1, 2011

Can I help you?

I've noticed a disturbing trend lately.  It's in supermarkets, where being something of a cook I spend a lot of time, and consider to be quite holy places.  When in them, I like to browse around and try hard to avoid other people, as I don't like being disturbed in my various searches.  Since the days of Vance Packard's The Hidden Persuaders, (does anybody remember that one?) we have all become quite familiar with the lay-out of these institutions; perhaps management doesn't realize that.

As I wander around the aisles I truly dislike some spotty youth coming up to me and saying: Can I help you?  Maybe I look particularly stupid to these young people, but it's becoming quite annoying.  I've noticed that the tiresome habit is spreading to the older employees too.  I was in the act of buying an item only yesterday when some woman in a uniform asked me if I needed any help.  Now the idea of the store, and it's a large one, is that you are supposed to help yourself.  I naturally ignored her and continued with my selection.  Good grief a couple of minutes later she interrupted my concentration and asked again.  She received the same response.  She even repeated it again and was once more ignored.

I do have a solution for this imposition.  I wear a pair of earphones when the store has decided it's not being friendly enough to its unfortunate patrons.  I let the chord end up in my pocket, but it does stop the practice.  So for all you enthusiastic store employees out there, let me remind you that I am not lost, I'm thinking; if I need help I'll ask, and I'm certainly not there to make friends!

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