Thursday, March 20, 2008

How to make a pedant happy and then perplexed

(a) Happy

The sign over the supermarket checkout said:

5 items or fewer

Fewer! Marvellous. And there wasn’t even an apostrophe in ‘items’.

(b) Perplexed

But the five-items-or-fewer(/less) checkout is usually the one with the mini-tobacconist’s behind it. So: if you queue up at one of these with five items, are you still allowed to buy some cigarettes?

8 comments:

m said...

Does cash back count too? That’s where all my friends would head for cash back and it is an extra service.

Of course, most people don’t really care. I mean they aren't really going to turn you away if you wait in queue but have 7 items, are they? (Within reason, obviously. I'm open to being accused of lots of other naughty things now.)

I ended up just ordering them when I lived in the UK; supplemented by trips to a corner shop, where there would be no glares if I was struggling with a bag and a place that gave me free Christmas decorations. Showing my naiveté, nice people are great.

Tom Freeman said...

Cashback from those checkouts is OK, as long as you only get £5 or less.

m said...

Perhaps it would be better if such lanes had a built in lock that only allowed so many items to be scanned for each transaction? For the day time anyway, I realize it could be a staffing issue for the night shift.

I don’t use those lanes anyway, as I typically allow people with fewer items to go ahead of me and I’ve found others may do the same. (Rural mentality?)

I wonder if some supermarkets in England will adopt the banking and post office queue system in the future? I know Whole Foods is trying it out in some locations. And the English love a good queue right? (kidding)

m said...

I take that back, you already have them in some supermarkets, naturally. How could I forget?

(Silly me. Although I do find the rules of the queue are ignored by smarmy men who either are flirting with me or pointing out the inadequacies in my life by peering into my shopping, and nice, old ladies that must find me affable or are trying to soften me up so I’ll donate hair for a good wig…damn, perhaps that is what the men were after too? So many reasons to stick to the Ocado man.)

Tom Freeman said...

"Checkout number six, please." I just do what the robot lady tells me.

I have a pathologicaldistrust of delivery services - I've never even used Amazon. My attitude is that the more things I rely on these companies for, the likelier I am to get screwed over somehow.

And yes, I love queueing, the second-slowest English national sport (after cricket). But I don't think I've ever solicited hair from women next to me in the queue. The smaller specialist shops are better for that, I find...

m said...

Company reviews, pitiful really...

Well it is good to get out in the shops, but I do think Amazon is fantastic. I'm quite cautious about online shopping in general.

If the prices fluctuate within a 30 day period (or something) at Amazon and if you bother to pay attention, they'll refund your money. And if an item is lost they'll express it out to you, although being in London and considering delivery times in England, I imagine that isn't a big deal anyway? My friend adored Play.com, but giving my paranoia I stuck with Amazon. One thing people complain about is packaging, before it was the kind Earth types that scorned the company for excessive packaging but now people are complaining that an album case can be harmed because there is too little packaging.

Ocado was the best in my location back then (I did try out a few), they didn't make many mistakes and I must have ordered just from them for at least 9 months (that only means about 11 times but it sounds good in a 'review'), but I could have just been lucky and I was never ordering around those crunch holiday times. You'd probably end up without a turkey or eggplant for dinner and curse the company. On a brighter note, they will start trying to be more competitive price wise (I'm a dork and still read UK papers, not obsessed with Ocado or anything!).

Anyway, you should try Amazon sometime, you'll like it. It will fill you with click delight, unless you get into online banking and realize you have no self control.

anticant said...

Amazon is reliable, and helpful about mistakes and returns.

Ocado is great!

Tom Freeman said...

Yeah, I'm sure Amazon is reliable. I guess I'm just a bit of a Luddite. Ridiculous attitude in a blogger, I know...

I have no self-control, though. I try to avoid going in to bookshops!