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Self Service

Is it just me or are shops getting more and more lazy towards customers? Last week we was in a national DIY store and notice some rather nice garden furniture at a nice price. It was right beside the door so attracted plenty of notice, piled on top was leaflets also advertising the same furniture. Hmmm, we thought, our garden furniture is nearly ten years old and we could do with a new set so after a little walk around we decided to purchase the table and four chairs.

‘I’m sorry, it’s not in stock.’

‘Oh, do you know when it will be back in stock?’


‘Do you have any idea when it will be back in stock?’


‘Is there any possibility you could find out for us please as we would like to purchase one.’

‘No, it’s out of stock.’

‘Is there any possibility you can stop saying no? I’m sure there is some way to find out if it’s expected to be back in stock surely?’


‘Here, look at this stone, I’m about to squeeze blood out of it. Ok,ok, how do we find out?’

‘Look online.’

‘Gee, thanks for that.’

On arriving home we logged on to the website; alas it was out of stock. It was also not available for home delivery or store pickup in the future or indeed for online ordering anytime. It also included the useful message that they had no idea when it would be back in stock either. Bugger. A quick look at their Facebook page revealed many other customers with similar problems on many different products, just from our experience it was the third time in two months we had the same experience and you know what I put it down to?


Let me explain.

Here’s a piece of vandalism from the bell tower of York Minster. Carved in 1835 a lot of care had gone into this vandalism with well defined letters and numbers showing a disregard for authority but a proud educated hand that had wanted to do their best.

By 1967 the vandalism in the minster had deteriorated a little, it’s still classically defined but has a little more sense of urgency about it.

Now let’s look at 2010, oh dear. Definition has gone and it’s all turned to scrawl, they even came back after the first 2004 entry to add another hasty scrawl making it look like something on a bus shelter etched after a night out on the pop.

And that’s my point, if even ecclesial vandals cannot be bothered then I should not be surprised by a conversation in a DIY store that gives me a feeling that they cannot be bothered either. Quite sad really.

Anyway, on a brighter note yesterday I received (no kidding) an email from Prime Minister David Cameron who was working with Microsoft and The National Lottery to distribute special ATM cards that can withdraw £10,000 a day from any cash machine up to a maximum of £25 million because my name had been associated with reliability. All I had to do was send my details and a small payment of £450.52 to cover secure delivery of the special card. Simple!

Needless to say I can’t be bothered.


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