Every little helps …
Alert! Alert! Unidentified item in the bagging area.
Alarms start ringing. People stare.
Store staff rush towards you.
And the next minute it feels like Scotland Yards’ rapid reaction force (all wearing size 14 Doc Martens) are sprinting over to apprehend you.
As your face turns puce and your ears burn with embarrassment you realise that you hadn’t swiped the haemorrhoid cream you’d been trying to conceal from other nosey shoppers.
It was all a terrible mistake.
But too late, you’re nicked, sonny, as Dennis Waterman might have said in the Sweeney.
This is all about a campaign launched by a member of the public urging a well-known supermarket to “stop replacing people with machines” after she struggled to use the store’s self-service checkouts.
And it’s something that’s happened to most of us, one time or another.
Yes, technology is there to help us but boy, does it raise anxiety levels when the “computer says no”.
Which is why, like our well-known store, we cater for the fast and the furious with our online shop and … have good old fashioned (and hugely knowledgeable) staff to help and advise before you buy.
Sure, you can go to other well-known online print outlets as we did in a mystery shopper exercise recently.
But even we were taken aback when it all went horribly wrong, and we were hit with a wall of indifference and a take it or leave it attitude.
Which was hugely encouraging, by the way.