I've come to the conclusion that the Franklins supermarket up in Drummoyne is a looney magnet. Seriously. Whenever I go in there, I end up dealing with a looney. On my last visit, I was verbally abused by a nutjob woman who stalked me around the supermarket after I committed a minor transgression of aisle etiquette, and this time I had to put up with a bloke in front of me going postal with a case of checkout rage.
Where do these nitwits come from?
The supermarket closes at 9pm. I hit the checkout about 8.45pm, just as they were turning down the lights to let customers know the doors were closing soon. There was a woman at the checkout trying to pay with a credit card, and a bloke in the queue behind her waiting for his groceries to be processed.
For whatever reason, the woman's credit card wasn't being processed. The bloke manning the checkout tried a number of times, then called his manager over, who was the only other staffer on site. It transpired it was not a credit card problem - the checkout terminal had frozen.
It was pretty clear to me, and the four people patiently standing behind me, that they had a problem. The bloke tried to unfreeze the terminal, while his boss went to a phone on the wall to call their help desk. As I watched, she made 2 or 3 calls, trying different numbers as the help desk was not picking up the phone. She was obviously busy with that. The bloke running the checkout was obviously busy trying to get it working again.
After at most five minutes of faffing around, they made a decision to move to another checkout terminal, which turned out to not be suffering the same problem. I quietly packed up my groceries into a hand basket and carried them across to the next checkout. The queue reformed in the same order as it was before, and this time the woman's credit card was processed.
The bloke in front of me then started going off. He verbally abused the manager for being an idiot, for having no customer service skills and when she had the temerity to say something like, "We are trying out best, sir", he accused her of being aggressive and confrontational and having zero customer service skills.
Everyone in the queue went a bit red at this point, and most looked at the floor in embarrassment. I was about to butt in, because this idiot's purchases had been processed and his credit card had been swiped through the machine, but the checkout bloke was waiting for him to key in his PIN. He kept trying to interrupt the idiot's flow of invective to ask him to key in his PIN so he could finish serving him and deal with the rest of us.
But the idiot payed no attention to him, and continued his rant without regard for the rest of us patiently waiting for him to clam up and go.
I was in a quandary - if I tapped him on the shoulder and told him to shut up and key in his PIN, because the rest of us wanted to go home and hear nothing more from him, would he have then gone off at me? My experience with the previous nutter was that they fixate on the last object to hold their attention, so he would have ignored the supermarket manager and gone ballistic at me for daring to touch him (on his hairy shoulder - he was wearing a blue singlet) or some other trivial transgression.
So I let it go, and waited for him to run out of steam and depart - which he eventually did.
In the process, he of course managed to completely wind up the manager and put her in a state - just what you really want at the end of your shift on a hot night. Once he was out of earshot, I told her to ignore the idiot - it was clear to the rest of us they had problems, and we didn't need handholding like he did. I thought the staff did the right thing. I was satisfied. He was clearly a jerk.
As I was walking out to my car, this guy passed me going in the opposite direction. He had put his bags in his car and was going back to give them another serve.
That was something I was definitely not going to get involved in.
I bet this guy is the sort of jerk that walks in the middle of our bike paths. I bet he drives like he owns the road too.
And to think that I was going to write a nice post tonight on tomato and tarragon salad, and the pleasure of eating in a cool backyard in the midst of this heatwave.
Thanks arsehole, for ruining the evening for lots of people.