Proud Tesco

A few weeks ago, I was enroute to visit a couple of our regulars in Burnley. Between the bus station and their home is a large Tesco superstore. I planned to go in and buy some chocolates. The tills were entirely unmanned but there was a queue of perhaps a dozen waiting for a self-service machine to become free. One young member of staff was tasked with keeping the queue moving and dealing with the expressions of frustration from the waiting customers to whom self-service checkouts were designed to add speed, not delay, to their shop. Here is capitalism at work- staff laid off and customers kept waiting to maximise profits by cutting costs. I did not wait; I placed my chocs on a shelf and walked out. If Tesco can only employ a skeleton checkout staff, it can do without my custom.

On the escalator back down to the entrance, however, I was met by a large plastic banner which boldly proclaimed:

Standing Together: Everyone welcome and

We support LGBTQ+ charities all the year round

-followed by a few more cliches.

Great. Everyone is welcome apart from adequate numbers of staff, and customers who do not wish to spend 10 minutes waiting for a robot to become free. Big business is so phoney. Posturing to look good: Tesco is a wonderully generous, fully paid-up subscriber to the new equality ideology, which is now clearly more important than serving customers efficiently. Why cannot Tesco just concentrate on selling groceries at reasonable prices, employing a reasonable number of staff to facilitate this? It can give its profits to whomever it sees fit, but please don’t leave one staff member by the tills looking like she’s about to cry. Where is the plastic banner showing Tesco’s pride and respect for her?