A little bit grumpy

I’m writing this post whilst keeping one eye on the snooker. I like snooker but this one is an incredibly boring game, hence I cannot justify engaging both eyes. Last night when Ronnie O’Sullivan was strutting his stuff was a whole different ball game so to speak!

Today started well – cold, but the brilliant sunshine made up for having to scrape the windscreen. It was most definitely a sunglasses day. I met a friend in town for coffee and that was good too. It was about 11am when we said our goodbyes and the day went downhill from that point.  Let me first say that I am not a supporter of the customer always being right, but surely some consideration should be given to what we want.

First stop – the bank. Excuse me for a moment whilst I scream at the memory! Truly it was not my intention to start a riot! Some time ago the bank got rid of the counter staff and installed self-service points. I wrote to Barclays at the time listing my various concerns. Their response assured me that their research showed that ‘this is what customers have been telling us that they want.’ I dispute that strongly but I suppose when they are working they serve the purpose. The problem arises when they are not working. There are three; one is fairly often out of order. Today, a Saturday (surely the bank’s busiest day) TWO were out of order. Three members of staff were standing around to ‘help’ customers.  Clearly they could not. what should have been a five minute transaction took 20 minutes. A conversation with one of those staff ensued. She toed the party line of course and reiterated that customers like the system. A man in the queue said, “Excuse me for interrupting but I agree with the lady [i.e. me]; customers do not like it.” He then turned to the lady behind him and asked her opinion. Several others in the queue then joined in and said that the didn’t like the self service system.  I departed at that point leaving the man demanding loudly that the manager come and speak to him.

Debenhams was next on my list but the experience echoed my last three visits. I want to talk to the Bare Minerals consultant but she is variably at lunch, on holiday or has a day off. It’s all very well for the smiley Clarins or Estee Lauder representative to say that perhaps they could find what I want but the point is what I want is advice. Isnt that the point of a consultant? I want to speak to someone who knows Bare Minerals. It probably didn’t help that I’d already been made cross in the bank, but by now I was feeling decidedly grumpy.

Why oh why does the fashion industry take a what is initially a successful design and then carry on producing it season after season, year after year? I detest dresses with ruches at the waist but it’s all I ever seem to find. I want a couple of jersey shift dresses that reach the knee and have three quarter or long sleeves, and importantly no ruched waistline. No new dress today. And I’d yet to go to Tesco!

Actually the dreaded ‘big food shop’ which I’ve been putting off wasn’t so bad apart from the bit where I handed over a grimace-inducing amount of cash, but hey-ho, apart from the fresh stuff, it’ll keep us going for about six weeks. Bargain of the month – the Natvia natural plant sweetener that I buy was reduced from £4.99 to £2.20. I bought three  which will last me ages. I just hope that this doesn’t mean it’s being discontinued which is what so often happens to things I like.





  1. New to your blog, this post was so entertaining! I had many nice chuckles – I’m from the southern U.S. and I love the way you write and make even an annoying day sound funny; the British humor and expressions just tickle me! ditto on the banking and trying to find a dress!!


    • Thank you so much for your kind comments, Kay. It’s good (or is it bad?) to know that banking and dresses are not just British problems. Take a look at my post ‘It’s a girl thing’ if you want to read about bra problems too! I try to post quite often (sometimes it’s a day or two, occasionally a week) so I hope you will visit again.


  2. Sorry you had such an aggravating day, Eloise. I refuse to use the automated teller machine at my bank and use the real-life teller. It does mean that I have to stand in line for some time, because, apparently, a lot of other people feel the same. 🙂


    • There is only one real bank teller, Bless, and she deals only with business accounts or people who are paying a bill via giro (generally for people who have no bank account)! However, in shops I refuse to use the self service checkouts on the grounds that they are responsible for job cuts.


  3. I think we’re all entitled to be grumpy occasionally! Politeness or rather lack of politeness is always guaranteed to make me a tad grumpy! I’m also a fan of shift dresses and I have to agree that any kind of gathering around the middle of a dress is so unflattering. Unless you are a child.


  4. Greetings Eloise. I can identify with everything you write today about banking. I’m in the US and we still have bank clerks where I live but my goodness, banking had changed so much. And, the change is not for the better. Many, many years I worked for a bank but now it would seem foreign to me the way they handle their customers. Re the dress shopping, many of the styles are not for me. I guess this can happen when I’m over sixty 🐱 Anyway, I hope you’re having a great day! Pat xx


    • Hi Pat, it seems either a case of dresses being too old and frumpy or too young and tarty! I have some that I like but finding replacements now that they are past their best is proving very difficult.
      It’s not just here then that banks are so customer-unfriendly! And they call it progress. Hahaha (said sarcastically)!


  5. Why is it that on some days nothing seems to go right?
    I’m not a fan of self-service machines in banks either. I could understand it if they were to save time but I’ve yet to see evidence of this.
    At least you now have a lovely full store cupboard for when the forecasted snow arrives.
    Hoping today runs much more smoothly for you. X


    • Today is running far more smoothly thank you! I’m hoping that the snow will miss us, but as you say, at least I’ll be well stocked up should we be snowed in….I do hope not! Self service is certainly not aimed at the customer and the only thing saved, I suspect, are salaries.


  6. I do my best to avoid having to go into a bank these days with all this self-service nonsense. We do have a personal banker in Lloyds, but we only go once a year to see him (or sometimes her if he is away on holiday.) We find their service there, when it’s not automated, very good. Sadly, Barclays, although I had an account with them for over 20 years, didn’t know me from Adam – or make that Eve – whenever I went in there, so about 6 months ago I closed my account. I was simply fed up with them, no other reason. I want to be smiled at and someone say, “Good morning, Mrs Powling, and how may I help you.”

    Dresses. Don’t get me started. I love that simple shift style but sadly, when you are five foot two and a bit on the dumpy side, you end up looking like an oblong. Well, I do. But as you say, the ruched-around-the-waist is even worse. I would look best in a tailored dress from the 1950s if someone would design such a dress for today’s larger women – we are just larger than we were in the 1950s, if not exactly fat, then just larger all over. We are no longer dainty little ladies. We are well-built women. I even contemplated a Barbour dress not long ago, at an eye-watering price for a shift-style dress, but while the pattern of a grey check was smart, the material was itchy. I don’t want to pay oodles to have to be scratching all day long.

    I’ve never shopped for a period of 6 weeks. That must’ve needed a mortgage!
    Margaret P


    • It’s not just me, then! I remember the days when the bank staff knew their customers too. It’s all so impersonal now.
      I didn’t intend shopping for six weeks – it was meant to be a month but I think I overdid it. It’s a new strategy. The idea is that I save time (a very precious commodity as I so often seem to have very little of it) and give husband a list every few days to pick up any fresh bits and pieces needed. We will see how successful it is.


  7. I often think how similar you and eldest son are in some ways and he could’ve written this himself! I won’t tell him if you don’t though!


  8. Did that make you feel better now that you have it all off your chest.
    Lloyds bank for me. Only self service if you want to use it. They still have the helpful counter staff at least in the Aldridge branch.


    • Haha, I think I already felt better by then. Especially once I’d seen the gorgeous photos of the two little grandson’s day out! I wonder if My local branch of Lloyds has counter staff. There is only one counter in Barclays which is for business banking and paying bills and the queue ifor that is always really long. But even if you were to join it, they don’t do the ‘normal’ stuff there.


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