Thursday, 4 October 2012

A little less conversation: I'm not having a good day, and you're not improving it.

I stopped at Sainsbury's today on the way home from work because we'd run out of milk and sugar.

As I waited for my shopping, I had a conversation that went like this:

Checkout person: 'Are you having a nice day?'

Me: 'Nope.'

Her: 'Oh, OK.' (Shuts up).

I know that they are told what to say to us. Partly because I once saw it written down on a piece of paper and partly because it's obvious. Whey else would they ask 'Do you want any help with your packing?' when you have two items?

But sometimes I wonder, who writes these scripts for them, and why?

And why do they assume that someone who has come in at 6pm – obviously straight after work – is likely to be enjoying their day? At best, at 6pm I'm tired and would rather be at home than in a shop.
And best is not always the case.

Being forced to have a conversation with a stranger does not make my day feel any better. If it was a real conversation, perhaps it would; if they actually communicated like a human being. But this just feels like an interrogation.

I know that their jobs are probably worse than mine so I don't usually give them a hard time but what I really want to say is: it's none of your business, leave me alone.

And the person I really want to say it to is the person who wrote the script in the first place. For forcing me to collude in the fantasy that we all live in acosy TV-advert world where everyone is happy all the time and everybody likes going to the supermarket.

I am real and I want a real conversation. If you can't do that, leave me alone.

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