“I used to work at a place, in England, as a team leader. Basically doing a manager’s job, on a bit more than checkout operators wage. Anyway, at Christmas time, for some reason, we were quite busy. We had a good 35 checkouts in the store, and 35 of those 35 checkouts were open. Yet they were still queues. Ultimately, if thousands of people decide to do their Christmas shopping terribly late, and you have every single till open, what can you do?
Anyway, this woman comes over to complain that she had to wait. I explained that the checkouts were all in use, and we could do nothing. She asked why I wasn’t on a checkout (something often asked – simple answer being that if I’m the one who has to sort out any problem in case any of the 35 checkouts break, or needs something, or a customer can’t walk the five paces to change their broken packet of biscuits – and I’m on a checkout – nothing would be done), and demanded that everyone should be on the checkouts. Which they were.
‘I want to see the store manager!’ she demanded, ‘You need to have more people working on the checkouts. Where can I see the store manager?’
‘Well,’ I replied, ‘He’s currently sat on that checkout there, because we are so busy.’
She shut up- I really don’t know what she wanted us to do.”