Monday, November 03, 2014

Difficult Customer

Carol went back to work at Milton Keynes Academy today. We went to the Shell filling station in Grafton Street, which is where we usually go to fill up the car with petrol. I did the filling and then we went into the shop to pay as Carol wanted to buy newspapers for a lesson she is teaching and a sandwich for her lunch. We had to queue up at the till to pay and there were several people in front of us. A man and a youth were at the till when we got there, having chosen Carol's sandwich (which wasn't much of a choice, I have to say.) and she got a coffee from the self-service Costa machine in the shop. We could hear the older man at the till having an argument with the cashier. He had asked for vodka and the youth bought a multi-pack of lager. The older man began to get quite abusive when it came to having to pay 5p for a carrier bag. He was covered in tattoos (I know that shouldn't have any bearing on the incident, but I'm afraid it did underline the sort of cliche of the 'type' of individual he was.) From what I could hear, he sounded somewhat 'tanked up' or drunk, as he had a slurred voice. He continued to hurl abuse at the cashier, who pointed out that the 5p was going towards a charity to fund research into leukaemia. It seems most companies have a similar policy over plastic carrier bags and it's seemed reasonable to me as a way to reduce the use of carrier bags, particularly in supermarkets where you can now buy 'lifetime' bags and take them with you to use when you shop. But this individual was more interested in being abusive. Carol then intervened and said in quite an assertive voice that could he hurry up as there we people waiting who had to get to work, a very reasonable request. The man took a 5p coin from his pocket, or from some place I have no idea where, and threw it very bad temperdly across the shop. A pointless exercise as he might just as well have given it to the cashier and accepted the bag and left. We were somewhat surprised and anxious that this man was driving a vehicle, from what we saw of the vehicles on the forecourt a taxi, so we were concerned that he was going to be drunk in control of a vehicle. It seemed doubtful that he could have been working or at least driving a taxi as the taxi company would not want i's employees driving and drinking. As there are so few police to be seen on the grid-roads of Milton Keynes, the man was going to get away with his behaviour. It's not so much the man's driving that was our concern, it was the fact that his alcoholic state could cause a serious accident and injure or kill innocent people. I also think it's somewhat irresponsible of Shell to sell alcohol in it's petrol stations. I was very impressed by how the cashier handled the situation as it could have got quite nasty. I don't think the two individuals were going too far away to drink their booze. Most likely going to sit in a carpark or lay-by and drink themselves into oblivion. I just hope they didn't go off drinking and then drive around Milton Keynes as the older man must have been several times over the limit and should have been apprehended by the police and charged with drunken behaviour, but I very much doubt that will happen, unfortunately.
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