Sunday, April 29, 2012
Only Eroski and Carrefour, to my knowledge, have the 10 items or fewer cash desks. Even they only have a couple of cash desks open in the 2pm-5pm afternoon lull in which case the same problem arises as with smaller stores.
Queues are slow. Time saving strategies like having your cash or card ready, preparing your shopping bags or not having a chat about something of great import are not the Spanish way. So, if you just pop into the local supermarket to get a few items it can take a frustrating while. The seasoned Spanish shopper out for only a few things has a strategy. They buy the main items and park their basket in the queue. They anticipate the slowness of the queue and leave it to inch forward whilst they abandon the basket and finish shopping. Of course those last things always take longer than they expect or the queue moves with unusual swiftness and it is soon the basket's turn with no owner present.
I am always the person who arrives at a cash desk to find the queueing basket. Or maybe competing queueing baskets. The way is symbolically blocked. I could step over and ignore the presumption. I usually though stand dutifully behind fretting over the virtual race between the checkout process and the absent shoppers.
It happened today. The absent owner returned just in time. In reality she was two customers as she divided the contents of her basket into two piles. Now where is that coupon? Oh, I probably need some bags. Money? Oh, yes I probably have my purse here somewhere - now where did I leave it? Terrible about that little girl isn't it? Let me see I may have the coppers somewhere.
The Black Cap is too good for 'em I say.