Jingle Hell

Stopping at the shop on the outskirts of Bigtown this morning for the paper, I was repelled back out the door by the sound of Christmas music. I know that railing about Christmas music in shops (in November!) is a bit like railing against it being Monday, or self-service tills, or the book you were reading and you thought still had a chapter to go suddenly ending leaving you with a chapter’s width worth of book club notes and plugs for other books (seriously, though, publishers – stop doing this. How would you like it if the last two biscuits in the packet, which you had been counting on to accompany your morning coffee, suddenly turned out to be plywood models* of other biscuits in the biscuit manufacturer’s product range?) but it was combined with a hefty queue, made worse because the shop has installed a self-service till so now only puts one person on the other tills to deal with the people who want to buy lottery tickets or booze or tobacco or a bacon roll or buy a newspaper with a voucher or top up their electricity meter which, given the particular demographic this shop serves, is basically everyone.

Cycling onwards into town to the tune of Winter Wonderland, I was forced to use WH Smith’s where the standoff continues between the people of Bigtown and head office over the self-service tills, so the queues are equally long but where – undoubtedly due to some bureaucratic error – there was no Christmas music, except for the loop of Winter Wonderland which was by now irrevocably stuck in my head.

There’s much I miss about Papershop Village, including the ride there (something I failed to appreciate as much as I could have done at the time), the mordant humour of Papershop Bloke, the wry amusement of Papershop woman, the sweeties for sale by weight in little paper bags – but most of all the certainty that they would never ever install a self-service till and that hell would definitely have frozen over before they played any Christmas music.

It is at this time of the year that I constantly give thanks that I do not work in retail.

Sorry if you’ve now also got Winter Wonderland stuck in your head.

* Unless they’re Rich Teas, of course in which case it would be an improvement


8 Responses to Jingle Hell

  1. Michael says:

    The Christmas music is rather prevalent and annoying here in Wisconsin as well.

  2. Andy in Germany says:

    Thank goodness that the evil of the self-service till and endless Christmas music in shops has’t reached Germany, or at least the shops I go to.

  3. disgruntled says:

    We’ll be spending Christmas in Colorado again, so I expect we’ll be getting it with both barrels on the Christmas music front.

  4. D. says:

    The earlier that Christmas starts in the shops, the more certain I will be to be sprouting green Grinch fur by the time we actually get to ‘proper’ Christmas-time! (and, I still think we ought to get a discount for choosing to use self-service tills, since *we’re* doing the shop’s work for them!!)

  5. Timba says:

    This morning the girl in my Nearest shop responded to my grimace about all the Christmas stuff with the news that a previous customer had just asked if they had any Easter eggs…..

  6. This made me laugh out loud. Not least because I WORK IN RETAIL! It sucks. Really funny post 😉

  7. WOL says:

    That “Winter Wonderland” loop playing in your head is called an ear worm. And I agree with D. Says. They’d get more people to use the self service tills, I think, if they gave a discount.

  8. disgruntled says:

    I always feel a bit bad moaning about it from the point of view of a customer because I know it’s much worse for staff.

    The worst thing about the self service tills is that when people do use them, it takes them longer than even waiting in the queue does. But heyho, efficiency, and once we’ve eliminated all the shop jobs, nobody will suffer the christmas music, so there’s that

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