I won't stop shopping at Whittards, but I'm seriously considering doing all my purchases online from now on.
The last few times I've been to my local branch, the sales assistants have been quite "enthusiastic", to say the least, but today was utter nuts.
I just popped in there to get another jar of my favourite instant coffee. Between picking up the jar and getting to the till (approximately 5 metres, if that), I was asked by two separate shop assistants if I needed any help. Fair enough. I held up the jar and said "Just this, thanks" to both of them, and they backed off.
However, when I got to the till, the cashier:
- asked me if I was sure I only wanted one jar. (Well, duh, if I'd wanted more, I would have picked up more. Surely?)
- tried to persuade me into buying ground coffee instead of instant. (I don't have a coffee maker.)
- tried to persuade me into buying a coffee maker / percolator. (I don't want a coffee maker. I am a heathen who likes instant!)
- asked me if I'd considered buying any tea or hot chocolate products. (I came in for the coffee, dude.)
- asked me if I'd had a chance to look at their china cups/mugs. (Seriously, I just came in for the coffee.)
- asked me if I wanted to buy some single-serve-sachets of their new instant tea flavours - "only £1 today!". (There is a massive sign, and no, I don't.)
- asked me if I wanted to be on their mailing list, and sounded quite put out when I said I already was. (Which I am.)
- started on a clearly practised lecture on the evils of plastic bags. (At this point, I had to interrupt him, and tell him that I didn't need a bag, but that I was in a bit of a hurry.)
After all this, he then finally got around to actually scanning my jar of coffee, and letting me pay, but I could tell that he wasn't happy that I hadn't taken any of his other suggestions. All in all, a quite uncomfortable experience, which lasted almost 15 minutes when it could have been done in 2.
So yeah, I think I'm going to shop online from now on.