Random Thoughts 2

Carrefour has a chain of hypermarkets and supermarkets throughout Spain and 2 summers ago my local branch issued all the seasonal staff (presumably students) with tabards saying in English, “Happy to help”? I just turned the corner of an aisle to see two of my friends in a heated argument. “Sue” who is a friendly but LOUD Brit of about 70 years old and who is not averse to the odd bottle of gin before breakfast was screaming at some pimply youth whilst Juan Antonio who is a section manager and who has just begun to say “fork” without embarrassing me (LOL) was saying, “lo siento, perdóneme, disculpe, tranquila, por favor” at ten to the docena.” Apparently Sue was looking for clothes pegs. She somehow expected said pimply youth to know what she meant and wanted to know why he did not understand her. Pushing her finger aggressively at his tabard, she screamed, “It says “Happy to help”. So show me where the xxxxx clothes pegs are.” Totally unacceptable behaviour!

Now as I didn’t know what a clothes peg was (being a man!), Juan Antonio did not know what the hell was going on (like a Carrefour manager), “Sue” was getting more agitated (like a _ _ _ _ _ )and PY was conjugating “to go” like some satanic chant (trying to remember whether he spoke any English or not) we weren’t getting anywhere. With a bit of explanation about little “pieces of wood, plastic or metal that clip wet washing onto the washing line” PY almost ran off and came back with a packet for about 2 euros. All sorted,

Morals of the story….

(1) if you see anybody in Carrefour with a tabard saying that he/she speaks English it would be sensible and polite to say ¿Habla usted inglés? and sigh with relief if he says “Yes”

(2) if you need something specific try looking it up in a dictionary before you go and if the worse comes to the worst write it on a piece of paper and show it to an assistant.

(3) if you don’t like the fact that the assistants don’t speak fluent English ….learn Spanish or at least don’t be rude …..or go somewhere they do – and pay more.

(4) If they think that anybody on the “Help” desk speaks English (too logical) go back to steps 1,2,3

(5) Don’t sweat the small stuff!

PS A clothes peg is “una pinza de la ropa”. Now I know what it is I’ll work out how I use one soon. If I haven’t got any I’ll go to Carrefour and find PY and ask his help. Guess he’ll go to his grave knowing clothes peg in English and where they are in Carrefour. LOL

PPS If anybody can explain to me why they keep changing where they display “Sex in a bottle” (A.K.A. as Chovi Ajonesa) I’ll buy them a crate of this gods gift to mankind!