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Day: July 2, 2013

Is carrying on a mobile phone conversation at a checkout rude or not?

Sometimes Twitter really is great and most of those times are when I get to see a story that I would never have seen otherwise. Today that story was entitled Hang up or I won’t serve you: Sainsbury’s worker gives shopper ‘lecture on checkout etiquette’ and was in the London Evening Standard.

A young woman called Jo Clarke was talking on her mobile phone when she got to the checkout and the checkout assistant informed her that she wouldn’t be carrying on putting her items through the till until she got off her phone. Miss Clarke has since slammed the ‘rude’ assistant and has informed Sainsbury’s that she will be shopping in Waitrose from now on.

Sainsbury’s are busy falling over themselves to apologise profusely but they should read the comments on the article – the vast majority are in support of the checkout assistant and you can count me among them. I have never worked on a till at a supermarket but have worked on a till in other shops and agree that someone talking on their phone is extremely rude. Whilst I won’t say that I wouldn’t put through their items if they were on the phone I would do what most Brits do and that is curse under my breath about lack of manners.

When shopping I often have an iPod in and I ensure I either take one earphone out how I can communicate with the person on the till if needs be or turn the iPod off for a minute or so. It is just basic common decency.

I hope that Sainsbury’s don’t discipline the checkout assistant involved and I dislike the way they are fawning over themselves to apologise. By carrying on with your conversation on the phone Ms Clarke was showing that she had no concept of manners and was in fact being rude herself and not vice versa. I would like more checkout staff to do this and quickly we could eradicate people using phones when at a checkout.

Whilst I’m on this subject can people please learn how to queue properly? In my local shop the amount of times I see people pick up a paper and go directly to a till even if there is a queue is ridiculous. We are British so we should know how to queue and yet I see it all the time. Even if someone is being served at a till I will see people go stand right behind them even if people are queuing up in the designated queuing area. I mean come on people…

Basic checkout etiquette is simple and when I see people failing to adhere to it is really bugs me. Ms Clarke clearly thought she was in the right and is now getting pilloried by the general public she was hoping to get sympathy from. I do hope that the checkout assistant gets a job at Waitrose and is there the next time she shops because that would be truly magic.

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Wendy Davis and her Herculean filibuster (now that would be a good title for a book…)

Over the weekend I was in one of those scary positions for any person who is attached to the modern way of living. Yes you guessed it. I was internetless. You see as much as I love my sister her world does not include the internet so when I go to visit I am cut off not only because of her lack of access to the information superhighway but she also lives somewhere which isn’t covered by 3G. Disaster.

So on Saturday morning with both a lack of internet and a lack of Sky television (seriously I am addicted to all the mod cons) and my sister having left to go and pick up her husband from work. I sat down at the kitchen table and actually read the newspaper. She had bought i. So I was flicking through and then I came across a story I had missed from the previous week. The story of Texan Democrat Senator Wendy Davis speaking for just over 11 hours to ensure a vote on a bill on abortion could not happen and therefore collapsing the bill. Here is a link to the online version of the story I read on Saturday.

This story focuses not on her efforts but more about the possibilities of a potential run at the White House. That might be a few steps away yet but this 50 year-old has essentially come from nowhere in terms of a national profile to become a very realistic prospect to run for the Governor’s office in Texas next year. Now to outsiders we see Texas as a proper Republican stronghold but the reality is that the top position in Texas had been more blue than red although no Democrat has lived in the Governor’s mansion since 1995. It should be noted however that between 1874 and 1979 no Republican was voted into the top job in Texas.

The reason why I decided to blog about this though is that it shows that someone with principles can do what they believe is right and it can have an effect. The bill will pass after Rick Perry called for an emergency 30-day session and the likelihood of the Democrats being able to filibuster their way through that is pretty darn low but the seeds have been sown. Her performance aided by a tweet of support from the President has put her on the fast track to national attention.

There will be those who say her performance was undemocratic and used a technicality to stop the vote from happening and in a way I can see that. However she played within the rules as currently written and her performance was out of this world. It showed passion and tenacity. It also showed that even when the odds are heavily stacked against you that you can come through. Whilst she won the battle she will in all likelihood lose the war but in doing she has given herself a chance to win other battles and other wars which can influence the lives of people within her state and you never know across the whole of the USA.

For now though she is the darling of the Democrats – and quite rightly so.

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