We used to queue in Australia. So much so that the title for this blog entry is actually the punch-line for an Aussie joke. Its where the shop assistant tells you to go when it’s really busy and he or she can’t possibly help you.
These days we’re American so we get in line, but indulge me for the duration of this blog (like you usually do). It will always be referred to as queuing on these pages.
I went to the supermarket this afternoon to gather supplies for La Weekend. Just across the road we have a brand new and poorly designed shopping area, where the queues curl around the aisles and everyone gets in the way of everyone else.
I waited patiently in the multi-checkout 10 Items or Fewer* queue. There were three possible checker-outerers; it was a spin of the roulette wheel. I had no control over who I would get.
So, would it be Tess, the smart-aleck Emo chick with a tiny metallic skull on the choker around her neck; like a cat’s bell? She would process my groceries quickly. Or would it be Garth, sort of a munted version of E of Eels fame? Nobody and nothing is cool enough for him. He’s the acknowledged top gun scanner and bagger of the market, even quicker than Tess. Both these kids always ask “Do you have Flybuys?” with a hint of condescension and boredom that I enjoy. I don’t take it personally. On the contrary I share their contempt for the very notion of customer ‘reward points’.
No. It was Kelly of the Vacant Stare. Lost somewhere between My Little Pony and working out which Super Fund she should go with. Kelly doesn’t really know what an artichoke is. Not really sure what a leek is either. In fact she is uncertain about anything that doesn’t have a barcode on it. I get to her checkout just ahead of Garth’s customer and just behind Tess’s. I leave after both these customers are long gone.
As always, the Far Queue is a state of mind, not an actual place.
*Thank You Clive James