Years ago I had a a friend whose mother-in-law had a few pithy comments which she trotted out on suitable occasions. One of them was, “Sorry to interrupt your conversation.” She made this comment to sales assistants who kept up a conversation with each other while serving her.
I have often been tempted to say this myself to shop assistants who have completely ignored me while serving me. Yesterday was a typical case. Four assistants standing in line carried on a conversation with each other. The one serving me never actually uttered a word to me.
The worst case I encountered recently was in M&S. at one of the food tills.The woman serving me had put through only two items when another assistant came up, jammed her chin on the woman’s shoulder from behind and started to whisper in her ear some tittle tattle about the store. The one serving me stopped what she was doing (she had little choice) while for a second or two I looked on in amazement. Since this scenario didn’t look like stopping any time soon, I said, “Excuse me” in a loud voice.The woman who had caused the interruption threw an insolent “Sorry” at me and with a smirk said she had more to tell later. A third assistant watched all this from the aisle.
I certainly do not believe that the customer is always right, but surely normal good manners is not too much to ask. The perpetrator was ‘dishing the dirt’ to use that horrible expression and obviously she couldn’t wait to pass it on.