Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Postscript to the previous post.

I see there was an incident in Sainsbury's where a cashier refused to serve a customer at the check-out who was on their mobile phone. Quite right. The number of times I have stood behind someone with their phone crooked into their shoulder making a fist of putting their shopping into bags or fumbling for a wallet. It's as if the check-out person, other people in the queue, the entire world come to that do not exist. I phone therefore I am - and no one else is.

Coincidentally, in the Murnau film (1924) this very issue is explored: how people are erased in unequal social exchanges. The door man, relegated to a toilet attendant, proffers a towel to the hotel guest who ignores him completely (much as, earlier, the hotel manager sat at his desk smoking with his back to his employee).

Returning to 2013 and the lesson has passed unheeded. Sainsbury's have compensated the customer (&, no doubt, the cashier will be sacked or otherwise disciplined).

Big society. Big deal. Loser wins all.


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