30 January 2012

Let them Eat Cake

This afternoon, I popped into Sainsburys and Lidl to do my weekly shop. (I often make a point of doing a separate Lidl shop because I can fill up with all the things I miss from living in Germany and browse round their tempting non-food bargains too.) In both shops, the person in front of me at the till had difficulty paying.

In Sainsburys, it was a young woman with her child.The woman nervously fingered the change in her purse and then handed back a tin of baked beans as she did not have the full amount to cover the bill. In Lidl, there was a man in front of me. The cashier was quickly scanning the items through for the man to pack, but he was too busy searching in all his pockets for his debit card. More items went through, still he frantically searched through jacket pockets, then trousers, then even shirt pockets. With nearly all the goods scanned through, he then announced to the cashier that he could not find his card and would have to pay by cash. The trouble was, he did not have much cash either. The next 10 minutes was spent with him sorting out from the scanned and unscanned items, what was essential and what not. He kept the bread and cheese, but returned the fruit juice and sausage rolls. Then he swapped the cheese for some meat. Later he added the cheese back in. The poor cashier was furiously cancelling items on the scanner, then scanning new items, then even rescanning some of the items earlier rejected!

It got me thinking..........Here were two people in the space of an hour, both happened to be in front of me, both having trouble paying their bills and then there is Mr Hester at the Royal Bank of Scotland. Spot the deliberate mistake!

9 comments:

Kelloggsville said...

No mistake, the bankers know they are breaking the Country's back. Problem is there isn't a way to regulate globally and if Piere or Jose or Bud or Heinrich or Angelo can do one thing then Peter must do it too or else he loses out and they are all robbing Paul. I am so worried about my daughters future, she will emerge from school at precisely the wrong time and about my pension which isn't growing at all. I would like to talk to Hester.

DogLover said...

Kelloggsville would like to talk to Mr Hester. So would I. I would ask why he has abandoned his enormous bonus. He has done extremely well in starting to restore the finances of RBS - for us - and the bonus was not enormous in comparison with banks which are not owned by the taxpayer.

It shows an eternal truth. That we don't want to bother about details, we like to shoot first and ask questions later. Envy does that sort of thing to us.

Achelois said...

Good point well made

On the fast scanning in Aldi and Lidl I was told my a cashier that it is how they keep their costs down. I can't do the packing lifting thing, so husband does all that but now he has found out the reason they scan and throw the food at one in the latter at the checkouts and been told thats what the long counters are for behind or in front of the checkouts depending on where one is in the shop! The long counters are for organising ones shopping into some sort of sense before taking it out of shop! After all these years we had no idea and husband would put up with extreme stress trying to pack quickly as the food came flying into the tiny space. He said they should have a sign up to say thats the way to do it, I just wondered whether we were the only people on the planet who didn't know the protocol.
I doubt though that Mr Hester even does his own shopping let alone in Lidl - or maybe soon we will see him there if he has already spent his large income having mismanaged his finances.... and had anticipated his bonus as writ in stone!

Elizabeth said...

Hester turned down his bonus. The fact that he was even offered it show our systems are unbalanced. Sorry doglover, the bonus IS enormous. You should compare with what other bank staff earn .... he can't turn the fortunes of the bank around all by himself (actually he needed us, the taxpayers too). Comparing with other executives got us into this mess in the first place.

Nota Bene said...

I think you know my views are totally in accord with yours...isn't it terrible when people don't have the money for a basic like baked beans

Flowerpot said...

I quite agree Addy. I do so feel for the poor mum with the baked beans, and the other man. I am very fortunate.

Furtheron said...

it is a good point but to play devil's advocate - this is the point of capitalism - these people should "get on their bike" (remember him) and get a better job.

Don't shoot me I'm just saying what some will say...

Some 30 odd years ago we really started going wrong I feel. I was in the City at the time of deregulation and saw the avarice that some people instantly were filled with...

I read Robert Peston's blog (BBC Business editor) yesterday where he said privately that Mr Heston was really annoyed at the level of public scrutiny his package was receiving... er we bailed your bank out to the tune of $45billion pal! We have a right to ask questions! Peston indicated that he thinks he will leave to a job without that level of intrusion - well I hope he doesn't get any payoff and anything in his long term pension scheme etc should be forfeit if he walks away. Amazes me how "dumb" CEOs of major firms can be.

ADDY said...

Achelois. I used to live in Germany so know Aldi well from those days and know Lidl operate in the same way. They keep their costs low by selling stock direct from their cartons rather than paying someone to unpack them onto a shelf. They also hurry things through the checkout so they can get more customers though and avoid unnecessary waiting. These cost-savings then get passed on to the customer, making things much cheaper than other shops. As you have found out, the idea is to take the scanned items off the conveyor belt and put them straight back into your empty trolley. Packing them into bags can be done near the exit AFTER you have paid. I think a lot people don't know this system, as they have not lived in Germany. I think Lidl and Aldi should put up helpful leaflets.

the veg artist said...

From what I have read about Mr Hester, he employs quite a lot of people. Not in the bank, but privately, in his home and on his estate. Gardeners, house staff and the like. He was not born to this life. Far from it. He rose through the ranks. He took jobs based on contracts offered. Those contracts are legal documents. They say such things as "If you achieve this, we will pay you £xx".
He achieved. He has rescued an institution at risk of collapse. Failure would have cost us all dearly. Now we are saying that he should not take the money he is owed. His staff will be worried. They will be many, many people affected by Mr Hester and his ilk not getting the money which they are contracted to earn.
This is the politics of envy at work.