I was about the first person into Matalan this morning because ohmygoodfemaledeity I have so much to do today - if anybody asks if you've seen me, say no, because I totally do not have time to stop, drink a cup of tea and read on EHell, so plainly I'm not doing that - shot round the store, picked up the things I needed and legged it for the till. The Matalan tills are in a row along one wall, with a big S-bend funnel to get you past the things you can absolutely manage without whatever the sales staff think, and an electronic board telling you which cashier is free.
It's not even breakfast time, so there are only 2 tills open but you still have to walk through the bend. SS-There's-Nobody-Here-But-Me pushes her trolley into the funnel - which is one trolley width plus about 2 feet - and stops dead to do something with her phone. I come up behind her, all clacking heels because I'm in a hurry, but, you know, EHell expects and all that so I don't barge past or yell 'move it, dingbat!' I hesitate politely for fifteen seconds so that she can finish what she's doing. I don't know what it is - she's either hacking into MI5 or playing Candy Crush - but she isn't finishing it and getting a move on, so I ask her, in a perfectly polite tone, if she minds if I come past. She looks shocked, pockets her phone and sets off towards the till at a speed approximating to that of continental drift, casting an 'oh, sorry' back over her shoulder at me.
I might have rolled my eyes, but I trotted in her wake, and at the tills she turned one way and I turned the other to the two cashiers. I was done in three minutes, purchases under my arm and heading for the exit, which is at the other end of the line of tills. SS-TNHBM had her trolley set right across the aisle, and looked at me blankly when I came up, with a distinct expression of 'what? what do you want?' She seemed completely shocked when I set a hand on the trolley and asked 'may I just come through?' I don't know, maybe she was expecting me to hurdle the rack of sports socks instead?
I bet she's a joy when all 20 tills are in use.