Wednesday, January 23, 2008

To wait you need a ticket…


Firstly, Happy New Year to all of you, and I hope that 2008 has been exciting with not too many irritations. I am sorry about the delay in posting my next post but so many things have irritated me that had to calm down and get everything into perspective. I have finally made the move from The Greatest Britain to The Kingdom of Sweden…or should that be the Kingdom of go slow to nowhere?

Sweden is a very odd place to be in, especially when you are Swedish and speak the languages as a native. People expect that you should behave and do things like other Swedes, you see there is no language barrier or physical signs that says that I am a foreigner…but let me tell you when you have been away for over 22 years there are so many changes which you have to take onboard, I feel like a foreigner…The Swedes are supposed to be a clever and hardworking people, who invent things and make bad things better, reliable and sometime not just flat packed.

Well let me tell you that everything is not as it seems. When I lived here here last, the government controlled all the off licenses known here as Systembolaget. They ran it a bit like Argos, you could not browse the store you had to take a number and wait your turn. You then proceeded to a till where you kindly advised the cashier what it was you wanted, selecting it from a small catalogue. The cashier collected the items you paid and left. What was the reason for this system? Well one idea was that Swedes should not be tempted by the variety of bottles, browsing could lead to alcoholism and God forbid theft… Now 20 years later the Systembolaget has, as I found out at my last visit there, become adult. It allows the customers browse the store pick up their selection themselves and then pay for it at the check out…pretty normal for anyone who lives in Europe and beyond.
I believed that this would be the last time I saw the ticket machine queuing system, you see Systembolaget also believed that Swedes were unable to form an orderly queue without a fight…

So what do I now find when I enter “normal” stores, if not a bloody ticket machine…everywhere…you cannot move or do anything unless you have a bloody number!!

In every store there are Swedes standing around waiting…waiting for their turn to pay for their medicine, their clothes even bloody H&M have a ticket machine….thousands of Swedes are standing around like sheep in a pen waiting for their number to be called…what a bloody joke. Imagine at Primark back in The Greatest Britain you pick you clothes up and then walk up to a till and say, “could I pay for these?” and the bloody stupid person behind the till says “Do you have a ticket?” “There is no-one else around so let me pay for these and then I’ll be off.” “No sir you must have a ticket.” When you then have located a ticket machine you find out that a busload of happy shoppers has entered the shop and they have all taken a ticket, and the stupid “bingo-like sign” says “We are now serving number 78” and your ticket says 106…which means at least 30 minutes wait…idiots…
This is why the Swedes are so good at inventing things they have hours of just standing around thinking about making things better…apart from a better queuing system…

Swedes are the least service minded people on earth; they even tell me that the service in The Greatest Britain is good for heavens sake…

Well I am not going to go by the flow so I have now banned Mrs E from shopping in any stores which use the ticketing system so that means that we now have two stores we ca go to…the local newsagent and the guy who sold us the Christmas tree…doesn’t look too rosy…

1 Comments:

Anonymous Red in the face said...

What fun, queueing with numbered-tickets. Now I know where the Ikea habit came from where you spend 90 minutes in a line at Reurns with a bag of plank of wood.

But if it's like this in Sweden - what's it like in Ghaahmany! There they have uniforms for almost every occupation - with a peaked cap and shoulder flashes. Most officious but oh so efficiently pleasing to the eye.

Thursday, 24 January, 2008  

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