Even ‘cashier number one’ has their problems

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

I was reading a funny story in the Sunday papers at the weekend.

It was about the man whose voice you hear on those automated queuing systems in supermarkets and shops.

Actually, it wasn’t funny for the person involved in this story – I think it was about a messy divorce and problems about money.

Anyway, the voice on the queuing system.

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That’s a real man. A man with problems, worries, hobbies, and bad habits just like the rest of us.

It’s funny to think of all the millions of lives going on out there, and we’ll never really know anything about anyone.

You’d think that you could count on a recorded ‘cashier number one’ announcement to be impersonal, but seemingly not.

Often I think people could be nicer to us in everyday life, for the simple reason that life is tough enough without a stranger adding to your worries.

Yes, I’m desperate to have a pop at someone.

It all started innocently enough. I had had hardly any sleep the night before.

I had been babysitting my grandson Jack who had found my Smarties stash at 8 p.m. and was jumping around daft until midnight.

When I finally got him down, the sweets came back up and we had a vomiting incident at 3 a.m.

Anyway, exhausted the next day, I drove to the supermarket to collect a few things.

As I got out the car, a women wearing a purple velour outfit stared at me with an angry look.

I tried to ignore her, but then she started muttering something about “not caring about rules”.

“Sorry,” I said to her, “is something wrong.”

“Well, yer parked in a parent and child space, and unless yer wean is in yer bag, you’ve got nae right being there.”

I hadn’t even realised. I’d had at least one of the grandkids for the past 48 hours and now I was on my own, but still acting like they were in the back seat.

“Sorry, I’ve not woken up yet,,” I started to explain but she had already marched.

We’d all love to be perfect, but...