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Earlier in the year I mentioned that my local shop (etc) had taken one of their doors off and how disturbing I found that. Sure, they put it back but it’s still weird.

About two months ago they were taken over by new management (though are still local etc) and the premises have had a bit of a tart up. The other week they went the whole hog and took out all the old, cracked windows and had them replaced. This led to me wandering past in the morning and glancing in at the person behind the till….who was more or less serving from the street as the lack of glass meant she had nothing between her and the outside world. And therefore nothing between the money and the outside world except her. Fortunately the outside world had become populated with extra shop staff who were standing around on the pavement and pointedly watching the money.

As they were getting their windows done they also installed a magic sliding door in place of the two push-pull doors they (sometimes) previously had. This is all well and good but for two problems:

Firstly, the sensor is set so that you have to be quite close for it to activate the door. Definitely wanting to enter the shop rather than just walking by in the street, in other words. This means that customers have to slowly approach to allow time for the door to open or they’ll walk straight into it. It’s slightly annoying because – being a 24 hour shop – they always just left the doors open before unless it was midwinter. It was the kind of place you could just walk into without thinking about it and be halfway down the aisle laden with mackie’s ice cream and mulberry flavour bleach before you knew where you were. But the door stops all that. Instead of just nipping in you have to amble up, semi-pause because you don’t want to do a slight stumble on the doorstep at the last minute because you nearly walked into the glass, and then enter – frankly, it was better when the door was open.

Secondly, the shop-staff clearly thought it was better when the door was open too and have wedged some cardboard to stop it closing. Let’s go over this slowly. As slowly, in fact, as we would need to amble up to the door. It’s a big, glass sliding door. It’s just been installed. It is immaculate. It has no stickers on, no posters, nary even a fingermark. And it has a slightly slow sensor to open it which – if you are not careful – will cause you to do a slight stumble on the doorstep. And THIS door has been propped open. And because it is so new and shiny and untarnished it’s not actually possible to tell whether it’s open or closed. So you amble up carefully hoping that you are going slow enough to avoid stumbling on the doorstep. Yet the sensor does not activate and the door does not whizz aside. So you amble even slower. And slower yet. But nothing is happening and you end up stumbling on the doorstep while you wait for the door to open. And then realise it was open anway.

After that you get more canny and sort of duck down and jink about a bit as you amble slowly up to the door. You try to catch some sort of reflection in this Magic Glass Which Shows No Dirt. But you still can’t tell if it’s open or not and all that ducking and jinking makes you stumble on the doorstep AND look like a ducking- jinking-idiot in the process.

Talking of idiots….

Another door made me laugh yesterday. I walked up to one of our staff entrances and put the code into the keypad. I heard the locking mechanism click and moved to push open the door – only to see a colleague leap forward and push his whole weight against the right-hand door to prevent me entering. At which point I gently cracked open the left-hand door (i.e. the one that ACTUALLY unlocks) and enquired whether he objected to my laughing til I vomited.

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