Consumer Item Limbo

“For the love of God give me my item”. The man in front of me in the queue at the Argos store had finally lost his patience. His number called as ready for collection long ago he had watched as his item moved from dispatch hatch to shelf and then seemingly to literal limbo.Argos counter anxiety

His way of ‘losing it’ was interesting in that he suddenly raised both arms skyward with one hand still clutching his item ticket and proclaiming his ‘love of God’ utterance as if attending an evangelical religious event.

His mild outburst stopped the two customer service operatives in their tracks as they were forced finally to acknowledge both the man and the overdue item. Each fixed him with a look of annoyance and disapproval. His long arms moved down to his side and the hand clutching the item ticket pointed to the item not 4 feet from him and that he could identify as his. The man’s pointed finger almost trembled with a mixture of frustration and anticipation.

He got his item and soon it was my turn to wait puzzled that my item number had long been called but couldn’t obviously be seen in my line of sight. I drifted in and out of daydreams and numb vacant stares (a speciality of mine) before finally my item had spent enough time in limbo for an operative to call my number.

I declined a bag, clutched my item and was only slightly waylaid by a poor man who seemed to walk and sway in a stilted manner akin to a drunk robot though it soon became clear that he was not drunk or otherwise intoxicated but afflicted with this method of motion as the norm. He swayed around a tower of catalogues and special offers that he seemed unable to reach out and grasp despite repeated attempts so I offered to assist in a completely non-verbal interaction  that was mutually beneficial to both parties whilst balancing my own item under one arm.

For us both the frustration was temporarily over.

Photo by cubemate under this creative commons license

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One thought on “Consumer Item Limbo

  1. It raised my blood pressure just to read about Argos. If I were Zeus I would destroy it in an instant – all branches in one go in a mighty series of thunderstorms and lightning strikes.

    My children often drag me in there to spend their birthday money as it is often the cheapest place to buy things but I have to take a very deep breath before entering and keep an eye on the door so that I can bolt for it if it gets too much.

    I shall have nightmares tonight!

    Funny what you said about that Captain Kirk track as I have had that in my head. Perhaps it was played on TV recently or something? Very odd.

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