Over in the UK for the moment ...
Stopping off on the way to the M25, I had my usual showdown at Maidstone services. Placing a copy of the Independent & a KitKat I said crisply & firmly "just these two, please". The saleswoman who's always there scans the items & then asks - gesturing to a pile of Cadbury chocolates - "would you like any of these?" I just look at her & she hands me my change.
Which of these scenarios is the more depressing: a) that she hears me & is so programmed to deliver the set phrase she says it regardless? b) that she is so numbed by the day-in day-out mindlessness of the job that she doesn't listen to customers (maybe a defence mechanism) & in auto-pilot mode simply says the same thing to everyone (fearing, perhaps, the consequences from Above if she went against training)?
At least the cats miss me. Yesterday morning, I'm told, they delivered several puddles in the hallway & kitchen as well as a little pile before the front door. That affection should be shown with such finesse ...
(Rob - if you're reading this, do not tell Gail ...)
Off to Camberley to rifle through the Charity shops for cheap Percy Jackson novels for the Brussels Sprouts. Why pay £5.99 when you can snap them up for 50p?