Far be it from me to criticise the staff of any store - it's a crummy job, customers are generally rude and obnoxious (Red and Mr Charming both worked for Tesco whilst at college and had some hair-raising stories), the pay sucks and the hours are long. So this isn't me having a go at the Staples staff but more a go at the whole Staples experience. Can there ever have been, in the history of stationery retailers, a situation where there are so many employees around but nobody actually doing any serving?
I paid a visit to my local Staples yesterday lunchtime and ending up storming out empty-handed. I should say here that storming out of shops and restaurants is something I do fairly often. Big Man wasn't a 'storm-outer' when we first met but as the years have passed he too has mastered the art of the strop whilst Red has become quite the princess of the flounce. Mr Charming is obviously too, well...charming for that kind of carry-on. But I digress. I needed some packing tape for my eBay parcels so found a multi pack for a very good price and also found a very handy ruler kind of thing that measures whether your parcel can be a large letter. I was excited because I had been after something like that and it was very reasonably priced too. There seemed to be a strange kind of queue near the checkouts...it ran parallel with the Print Station (ha ha) which had several people and employees at it but nobody actually seemed to be doing anything other than - well, it's hard to know what they were all doing to be honest. Staring into space (staff). Looking resigned (customers). None of the checkouts were open. After a while of hanging around a checkout was opened and the first person in the queue went to it and got served. Then a guy appeared out of nowhere and went to the checkout (everyone else was still in the queue parallel to the Print Station in the hope that a checkout there would become free). I said to the woman in front of me, who should have been served next, 'are you going to say something?'. She told me that it was too much confrontation on a Monday. I thought that this was a bit wussy but let it go. The guy on the checkout was well aware that there was a queue and that this...interloper...had pushed in, but said nothing. Then, whaddya know, another bloke came along and was about to go to the checkout at which point both I and the other woman objected. I think he was a chancer because it was pretty obvious we (and the six people behind us) were lining up for something. Retired kind of guy, glasses, looking for a good pasting, you know the kind. By this time I was getting pretty hacked off and all it needed was for somebody to say 'Is anybody paying with cash, the card machines have all gone down'. When somebody came along and said that I had had enough and stormed off, leaving my tape and ruler on top of a computer. I really wanted that ruler too.
So Staples, sort your checkouts out. Sort your card machines out. Sort your queuing system out. Life is too short to spend it pointlessly waiting in line.
Here endeth the rant.