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Anorak | Off Their Trolley

Off Their Trolley

by | 3rd, February 2004

‘AS far as our research goes, we have no idea if the aisles at Lidl supermarkets are wider and straighter than those at their rivals’ stores.

Lesson 6 – How To Park A Trolley

Our survey falls short of discovering if the wheels on supermarket trolleys at the German-owned grocers never fall off or buckle and appear to have minds of their own, as they do at British equivalents.

And we cannot yet be sure if the voice on the firm’s PA system in the group’s Swansea store is that of a descendent of William Joyce. We are still looking into these things.

But we do know one thing, chiefly thank to the Mail, and that is that the Germans have ‘vays of making you queue’.

The paper hears from 50-year-old Patricia Evans from Wales who disobeyed the company’s strict rules on shopper behaviour by pushing her trolley the wrong way into the checkout area.

She was reprimanded for her actions and asked to turn the trolley the other way around. She refused. The cashier forcibly tried to turn it around.

Still Mrs Evans, with the spirit of the Blitz burning in her eyes, would not back down. A manager was called, and he told the customer that is was company policy to have trolleys all facing the same way.

He too tried to turn it round. And he failed. And the upshot is that on her way out of the store, Mrs Evans was told not to come back. Entry was verboten.

As Mrs Evans puts it, in a language we can understand: ‘You don’t get anyone speaking to you like that at Marks & Spencer.’

She goes on: ‘It was outrageous. I know we all hear about German efficiency and management, but this was going too far.’

But the Herrenvolk who confronted Mrs Evans might have just misinterpreted their orders. It might even have been a joke – a jolly jape, as we Britishers call it – and not meant to cause offence.

It might just be that the Germans were laughing at themselves, a gag at their own expense, a subtle play on national stereotypes.

And don’t dismiss this theory out of hand, as the Star tells us that The Producers, Mel Brooks’ musical about the delights of the Nazi regime, is set to debut in Berlin.

Surely the Germans have a sufficiently well-developed sense of humour to watch this satire on the Third Reich. The accusations about their lack of humour can be finally laid to rest.

Perhaps. But some Germans and supermarket staff might see the thing in an entirely different light. After all, in Nazi Germany it was always springtime for Hitler.

Take them away, Mel…’



Posted: 3rd, February 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink