I am having the wrong conversation


A large portion of my life is spent having the same conversation with a series of strangers. For example, I have the same conversation every day with the bloke who cleans our office:

Him: "Can I…?"
Me: "Yeah."
Him: "Thanks."
Me: "Thanks."

Or the conversation I have with other people on the tube:

Me: "…"
Them: "…"

I also have the same conversation every time with the person on the checkout at Sainsbury's, which goes something like this:

Them: "Hello."
Me: "Hello."
Them: "Clubcard?"
Me: "No."
Them: "Cashback?"
Me: "No thanks."

But now Sainsbury's have started offering to pack your bags for you, I think they might have changed the script a bit. I don't know for sure, because I don't actually listen to what they're saying, I just know what bit comes next. I've got saying "hello, no, no" down to a fine art.

The last few times I've been, the people in front of me have packed their own bags, but when I've said hello the people on the checkout have started packing for me. I suspect they've changed the script so the first question is, "Would you like me to pack for you?"

Maybe I come across as being utterly helpless and incapable of remembering not to pack eggs under a load of tins. I'm not sure. But I certainly feel helpless, standing there with nothing to do while they pack for me.

Next time I go I'll say "No" first to see if it makes any difference. If it has any appreciable effect I'll let you know.

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About this page

This is an entry in Stephen Wettone's weblog, published on 28 May 2003.

Summary of this entry

Do I look like I don't know how to pack shopping into bags?

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