Everyday life

There was one savoury muffin left at the muffin shop in Covent Garden. It was Spinach and Cheese. There was a tourist in front of me. I guessed that she was a tourist because she wasn’t speaking English, or the little bit of English that she tried to speak wasn’t very comprehensible. But she took a long time ordering and I was just standing there, looking at my lovely muffin through the glass.

Do you ever notice the security personnel at the entrances of the high street shops? I am always acutely aware of the one working for the MNG at Covent Garden. Perhaps it is because the entrance is so small that he can’t stand¬†unobtrusively. In any case, I wonder what he thinks about all these people walking in and out of the shop.

Constant stream of bad news coming from the papers every day.

Developed countries have another common problem–that of the ageing population. And what I want to point out specifically, is that of pension and retirement age. I think it is difficult for a young person like me, to comprehend the dissatisfaction with having one’s retirement age pushed back (so that one has to work longer), having less pension money to draw from when I retire, and having to contribute more to the pension fund. For a young person like me, I rationalise it as the fact that the younger generations are having less children, so people in my age group and the generation after me, will have a huge burden to bear (caring for both old and young dependents) in the future. In order to ease the burden and ensure that these group of people don’t collapse, some people will have to lose out now.

But it is “not fair” to the current batch of old people is it? They’ve worked so hard for so long and now the “fruits of their labour” are being taken further away from them.

In my opinion, there is a real generation gap there that needs to be reconciled.

Self-check out counters at Tescos, Sainsbury and Waitrose.

The voice sounds strangely the same, only that they say different things. At Sainsbury, they go “have you swiped your nectar card”. At Tescos they go “please scan your clubcard”.

Isn’t it a strange concept?

Waiting in line as people pay for their purchases in front of a machine, never having to interact with another human being unless there is some problem with the machine.

So here are the steps to a self-check out process.

1. Decide between self-check out and the human-manned cashier.

2. Wait in the appropriate line, while trying to see if the other line is going to be faster/slower.

3. When you’re the next person in line, keep scanning up and down the rows of the self-check out machines, trying to guess which will be the next one available.

4. The moment someone takes the bag off the bagging area, approach the self-checkout counter. Occasionally, there will be some people day-dreaming or not noticing and the staff will call “next please”.

5. This could be any of the following step:

a. Open up the plastic bags or put bag in bagging area.

b. Scan the respective stores’ card.

c. Start scanning the items.

d. Press start

6. And any combination of a and c and also e. Put items in bagging area.

7. Sometimes, raise hand to call for help.

8. there will be a reminder to scan the stores’ card if that hasn’t been done already.

9. Payment is by card, which means you’ve to press the screen, or by inserting cash or coins into the machine. Great pleasure is taken in inserting 1p and 2p and 5p and all other forms and sizes of coins. The machine can differentiate between euro and british coins.

10. Wait for change if required and curse the machine when it gives 10 coins for a 1 pound change.

11. Wait/collect receipt.

12. Collect bags and leave.

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