Sunday, 4 September 2011

Hasta la Vista, Customer!

The Masonic All-Seeing Eye, 18th? century illustration - via LiberalFreemason at Wikimedia Commons - public domain.
There's a piece of sad overseer facetiousness which is very rife in the UK at present. Every other where you go that is open to the public, some professional Peeping Tom will have put up a cheery poster to remind you:

SMILE PLEASE - YOU'RE ON CAMERA!

So I saw one of these signs smirking out at eye-level from the Tesco video racks today; and when I had finished discreetly coughing up my spleen, I thought about it some more. And it occurred to me that we very likely have two wildly incompatible visions at play, here.

I think the managers who order these damn things expect the poor chestnut to lighten the tone of the warning, and make it less officious and sinister. So I imagine them hearing their words come out with a sort of cheeky chirpy cockney barrow-boy breeziness; or, failing that, at least with the sort of office joviality that informs one and all that

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE MAD TO WORK HERE, BUT IT HELPS!!!

It certainly helps explain many an office's customer service, but I digress.

When I saw that sign in Tesco, the voice I heard it in sounded more like Arnold Schwartzenegger's in a cheesy film, where he is exercising his wit along some such lines as:

DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE ABOUT THIS, ASSHOLE!

Which I feel in my bowels is... not the tone one wants to be taking pre-emptively with one's clients.

In fact, I think one might better redeploy these jolly old signs to somewhere they will cause less public offence, because the light of day shall no longer illumine them.

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