Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Rants about snow and customer service

Rant alert!

It's that time of year in the UK again. Yep, the time of the year where a state of near 'National Emergency' is declared, with roads becoming grid-locked, trains grinding to a halt, schools closing and supermarket shelves being emptied as people panic buy food.

'Christ! What's happened?' I hear you cry.

You may well ask. A light dusting of snow happened, that's what. And yet it's like bloody Sodom and Gomorrah, except with snow instead of fire and brimstone.

Pic.No.1. My house and the light dusting of snow that brought Britain to it's proverbial knees

Same old. Every year the snow falls, and every year the government appears to be completely bewildered by its appearance, resulting in spectacularly feeble attempts at dealing with the 'crisis'. For example, the news always features a picture of an overturned snow plough. Now really, you have got to be a complete joey to be overwhelmed by snow whilst driving a snow plough. If you really can't make it in one of those things, you should be nominated for a Darwin award.

Pic.No.2. This year's news picture of an overturned snow plough. Abso-bloody-lutely pathetic

Ok, I know that Oxford hasn't got it as bad as some parts of the country, but the traffic was still crawling into town when I drove in to do a spot of shopping..... even though the roads were free from snow. What's that about? Quick, everybody panic!

As if the general 'snow hysteria' wasn't enough, my shopping experience today was, quite frankly, total pants. I needed to buy a pair of wind-proof gloves for mountain biking, so I visited a shop called 'Go Outdoors'. After much browsing (because the ones I liked were never in my size), I finally found a sexy little pair of Berghaus gloves, and went to the checkout. And get this - I had to wait in line for over 20 minutes because instead of just taking payments, the two checkout girls were farting around doing exchanges and setting up new customer accounts. And one of them really needed her roots doing.

By the time I was served I had steam coming horizontally out of my ears. But I paid for the gloves without complaining and the checkout girl handed me the receipt. It was wrong. The gloves should have been £16 but she had charged me £22. Grrrrrrrr. And it took another 10 minutes to refund me, and take payment for the right amount. Yep folks, that was a total of 30 minutes to buy a pair of bloody gloves.

It was with utter relief that I finally escaped the shop and headed to Beckley (at a crawl due to the snow panic) to pick Izzy up from school. Being only five, she was thrilled by the snow which added rather a nice perspective, completely in contrast with the news doom-mongers.

That cheered me up a bit, so I decided to take Izzy for a hot chocolate in 'Jacobs and Field', a delicatessen in Headington, a suburb of Oxford. Aaaah...... an oasis in the snowy mayhem that was Oxford.

Pic.No.3. Izzy and I popped into Jacobs and Field for a coffee and hot chocolate

Hot chocolates consumed, all I had to do was pop to the local Co-Operative supermarket to get something for dinner. It started off swimmingly dahlinks; I knew what I needed and within five minutes I was at the checkout.

And then, would you bloody believe it? There was a woman in front of me in the queue who was trying to purchase seven adult Father Christmas outfits, and the checkout guy didn't know the price. It took ten minutes and the manager to find out how much the outfits cost. Is it me? Was I bad in a previous life or something?

More to the point, why the hell was that woman buying seven Father Christmas outfits? There's gotta be something sick going on there right?


  1. Was she called Snow White? Were they very very small outfits?

  2. Bloody hell Fran...are you the quickest reader on the planet? I only published this post 2 minutes ago!

    But no! She couldn't be Snow White because the outfits were for adults. How weird is that?

  3. New to your blog and laughing so much after a long day.

    Came across your blog after seeing you mentioned on Empty Nest's blog and now following


  4. When we get snow- any snow at all in Houston, the entire city shuts down. They actually come on the TV and tell people to stay home and off the streets. The people recently transplanted from the North just laugh their asses off.

    Have you and Monty recovered enough to venture out again so soon?

  5. Hilarious! Charleston shuts down when it snows too. But we only get it once every 10 years and that's IF we're lucky.

    Maybe she was going to alter the Santa suits to fit the 7 dwarfs because they don't sell them for small adults?

  6. Ok...so you're saying it was a tough day, and you are surrounded by idiots? Just checking to make sure if I got the long and short of it right. =)

    You are right though...I would offer up these 2 suggestions for you (either to get through this winter or to get through the next so you are prepared).

    1) Don't loose those fucking gloves! If you have to spend 30 minutes to get them, and get them at the right price...sew them to the coat, put little glove suspenders on them and clip them to your body...DON'T....LOSE....THE....GLOVES! =)

    2) Keep a flask in your coat pocket to give your hot chocolate a little extra love for the momma! =) I guarantee it will not only make the common sense numbed by winter easier to handle, but it might help the hot chocolate too. =)

  7. Annie, you were very lucky! They say (don't know who THEY are) things happen in 3's! Be careful....
    When I lived in Vancouver, British Columbia it would snow on occasion....only a few centimeters. The whole city would shut down!! It was a riot as we were so used to Nova Scotia winters.....real winters!!!
    Good post Annie!

  8. 7 Father Christmas outfits -- where in the name of God could this be going?

    Snow plows that roll over - this makes me laugh. Sometimes in a storm, I elect to follow behind the snow plow making my drive easier. This thinking certainly does not work if I am driving in the UK.

    The sequence of events in your day is striking.

    Something must be in the air or we are all being impacted by the holiday 'spirits' above? and beyond?

    Today, I did experience a couple odd things. First, this morning my computer would not allow me to log on. Tonight it seems to be fine.

    During the day while at Whole Foods Grocery Store the automatic door would not open when I approached. There were two people behind me and when I did a little marching step in place the door suddenly opened and let all three of us out. The man behind me said, "What did you do to that door." I told him about my computer log on problem and said, "I'll go home and see what else I can brake."

    The good news is, nothing else has gone wrong. Let's see what happens tomorrow.

    Izzy is so cute, enjoying her hot chocolate and being happy about the snow. Susan

  9. I didn't think that the half-inch of snow we had here, would cause me any problems with driving.

    And it didn't.

    Seemed to be a problem for everyone else though, as the streets were just solid with stationary traffic.

    I gave up trying to get in and worked from home instead.

  10. Now I'm thinking... six Santa suits what kind of team would they be ? or are they just planning a bank heist ?
    Lovely to meet you & compare Evil Dogs. Joe & I have decided that Dillon suffers from Empty Head Syndrome!
    We have a tiny dusting of snow here on the South coast... we want more but not today ... Darling daughter is taking her driving test !

    I was the stoopid assistant yesterday in my stint in the charity shop... managed to break a glass, cut my finger & bleed everywhere ( while looking outside under a tarpaulin for a bloody baking tray for a customer. She had to wait ages for me to tell her that we didn't have one !

  11. Same crap happens around here when it snows. People will go and buy out Wal-mart and every other grocery store there is.

    God forbid any of the fatasses around here lose a little weight in the massive blizzard that we never seem to have....

    I have not, however, ever seen a snow plow overturned. It must take a special kind of person to accomplish that one. ;)


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