Sunday 28 August 2011

Every Little Helps World Domination

For the purposes of not naming names, the following theory discusses a hypothetical supermarket chain. Let us call it, ‘Tesbury’s’.
It’s often said that stores like Tesbury’s want to control the provision of everything from Custard Creams, to Car Insurance to DNA and the human soul... and keep quite a nice display of fresh fish with ice underneath it on a table.
But why would Tesbury’s want to strive for world domination? Why, when we can do it for them? We’ve already made a start. We all do our bit taking the strain off the checkout operators by learning how to struggle with the self-service tills (see ‘Love Eggs and Self-Service’, August 2011). (CLICK ON 'Read more' LINK, BELOW)

This appears to be voluntary work, but we sometimes forget that the self-service checkout is our friend or incapable lover (because of its limited range of functions – at time of writing). It speaks to us in a very, very friendly voice. It says ‘cash’ as in ‘Insert cash’, so joyfully that you want to rejoice too. It says ‘cash’ but it could just as easily be ‘I think I love you’, or ‘I love these little meetings, these little cash transactions we make together’. You want to dim the shop lights and light some tea candles around it and share the intimacy of being told to take your paper change from the notes dispenser. Isn’t this what Britain’s coalition party’s Big Society is all about? Engendering a sense of belonging? A sense of community? And you can’t suggest community more than naming your shops ‘Local Metro Tesbury’s’, can you? Be fair.  
The next step for Tesbury’s is to deepen that relationship. Reprogramming, adding to the repertoire of the joyful Lady of the Checkout:
‘…Insert cash or touch 'Pay with card'… Can you put in for planning permission with the appropriate council to build another Local Metro Tesbury’s in that rural idyll village full of cottages with thatched roofs (one selling fudge) voted Britain’s tidiest?’
Or how about this?:
‘Do you have an Ambrosia Card? Insert cash or touch 'Pay with card'. You know you did take the last packet of ‘Rejoice in the Difference’ onion bhajias? Do you mind having a little look, see if you might restack that shelf?’
Careful wording can make her sound like your loving, coaxing partner, who doesn’t demand you do things, but makes the suggestion that you ‘might’ do them. And do you mind? But not actually saying God help you if you don’t do it, I’m nearly on my period.

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