Several days ago I went shopping in one of the UK’s leading supermarkets. On reaching the checkout I found myself faced by a till operater in waggish mood. He relaid the following joke to me while processing my items and subsequent payment
“A lady is driving down a country lane when, suddenly her car stops working. She gets out and peers uncertainly at the engine. A voice, seemingly out of thin air says “it is the spark plugs” and proceeds to explain how to fix the problem. Surprised the lady follows the advice and finds that her vehicle is once again in full working order. Glancing over a nearby hedge she spies a white horse who remarks “see, I told you that it was the spark plugs”. In deep shock the lady drives to a nearby pub and orders a large brandy. On telling the publican her story he says “it was fortunate for you that it was the white horse because the black one has no idea about cars”!
Despite having heard the above joke more times than I can shake a stick at I still smiled politely. However so engrossed was the cashier in relating the joke that he forgot to pay the £20 cashback which I had requested. Fortunately I was on the ball and reminded him of this trifling matter and the money was duly paid.
Before proceeding I want to make it clear that I do not for one minute believe that the failure to provide cashback was, in any sense deliberate. It stemmed from the checkout operator being so engrossed in his story telling that he genuinely forgot to furnish my £20.
The following thoughts sprang to mind as I stood in that supermarket which shall remain nameless
- Couldn’t the supermarket do something to make the work of their checkout operators more varied and/or interesting to avoid them feeling the necessity of relating protracted stories/jokes which distract them from the matter in hand (serving the customer)? And
- Why do some people feel the need to constantly be cracking jokes? Is it some inner insecurity and/or desire to be liked? Please don’t misunderstand me. I like a laugh and a joke along with the best of them. However there is, in my experience a certain type of person who feels the need to be constantly funny which, after a while becomes annoying to those he/she comes into contact with. Perhaps I am being unfair but it strikes me that certain individuals have a deep sadness within, which they attempt to hide by being the life and soul of the party (witness the number of comedians who have committed suicide or who have drunk themselves to death).
No doubt some of you will think that I am a grumpy old so and so. Well it is your prerogative so to think but next time you are faced by someone who appears to feel the need to be a constant comedian think on the above.
Signed a grumpy old sod