I don’t do it on purpose.

I do it because is bothers me.

It really bothers me.

It bothers me how big businesses tell us one story.

And deliver us another.

I think it is disgusting.

And that is why I write about it.


This short story is dedicated to Lucy Sermon.

A lady kind enough to comment on yesterday’s 50odd story when it was reposted to Linkedin.

Here’s the story: https://www.50odd.co.uk/dragons/.

And here’s what Lucy said about my story on LinkedIn yesterday.

It sounds like you’re anticipating disappointment Michael?!

I really hope you’re not, it would be such a shame.

Will you fill us in when you’ve visited? 

I wish I lived nearer to one to find out for myself 😉

Lucy was commenting because I said that I really, really hoped that after John Lewis and Waitrose had raised my expectations.

With the delivery into my home of such a polished and high quality visual story.

A Christmas advert.

I hoped that the experience would extend to an actual store visit.


All that John Lewis are doing.

Is spinning total and utter bullshit.

They’d just be incompetent liars.

Because by their investment in advertising.

This is what I, as a consumer, hear:

We will invest millions of pounds on conceptualising and crafting a beautiful story and experience for you and your family.

A beautiful story and experience that you can enjoy in your own home.

The implications of which will be that.

When you actually visit our stores.

You will experience the same love, care and beauty.

The story and the experience will continue.

Because that is the right and honourable thing to do.

Both for you the consumers.

For our team of front line people.

And for our shareholders.

Little Waitrose. Kings Cross Station. 

The photograph accompanying this story is the checkout that I was asked to use at Little Waitrose.

At Kings Cross Station.


Take a look: https://www.50odd.co.uk/waitrose/.

It’s fucking disgusting.

It’s filthy.

It’s surrounded by piles of magazines still wrapped in the plastic straps that hold them together for transit.

The fliers that are there for customers to take and carelessly thrown into their containers.

(As staff stand motionless.

Unable to see or care about any of this).

There is a laughable, crude sign sellotaped to the top of the self-serve checkout.

Created by a pig-thick staff member that thinks good enough is good enough.

Scrawled in blue ballpoint pen.

On a torn piece of paper.

The piece of paper shouts:


And just at the bottom of the photograph.

If you look closely.

And I do encourage you to look closely.

(I have left this photograph full colour).

Is the worst thing of all.

You can see a sticker that is brown and black with shitty fingerprints.

And the sticker is about 40% worn away.

Almost half of it is completely worn away.

The result of thousands of filthy fingers and hands passing over it.

And I am expected to put the sandwich that I am buying from Waitrose on there.


Fucking food.

A Message To Retail. 

Get your priorities right.

That disgusting, filthy sticker will have been there for weeks.

You will have looked at it.

And you will have ignored it.

Every morning.

Every afternoon.

And every evening.


For endless reasons at the moment I sometimes find myself ashamed to be British.

Largely because of our self-serving politicians.

But I have to say that if this is what the (apparently) best retailers in the UK think is acceptable.

Then my shame deepens.

It is vile.

You are vile.

And it is disrespectful.


As an Endnote I want to mention Hotel Chocolat.

A retail outlet less than 100 yards from the filthy, thrown-together shithole that is Little Waitrose in King’s Cross Station (see the photograph with this story).

Hotel Chocolat is beautiful.


Masterfully assembled.

The three lovely young people working in there yesterday were excellently presented.


They cared.

I felt like I mattered.

They looked at me when they spoke to me.

They hustled.

They helped.

Hotel Chocolat is a retail hero.

They get it.

And as a consequence.

They get my custom.

Where as you, Waitrose.

You don’t.

1 Comment

  1. Having been in both recently I completely agree – they will argue it is because it is busy, lots of through traffic etc but I don’t car.

    As we are in King Cross trains are the same – minging! I had my first Azuma ride this week and was so excited – but the journey back the train was dirty and the toilet was disgusting with no toilet paper. I was so disappointed.

    Brilliant service isn’t hard but maybe being consistent it. They should work harder.

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