Saturday 12 February 2011

Saturday retail therapy? Grumpy Old Woman has 422,800 metres left.

"Can you do me a favour if you are going down to your mums. The department is buying me an Android phone so I can develop apps for our courses - I've reserved it at Argos, could you pay for it (there is money in the joint account) and pick it up for me? " I received this seemingly innocent email yesterday afternoon from my other half, thus starting this morning's adventures in Metro centre wonderland....

As devotees of this blog (my mum) will know, I suffered a Frantic Friday and wasn't able to make Argos last night, so I thought I'd pop in on the way back home after this morning's training session it would only take me 5 minutes right..... wrong!

Have you ever shopped at Argos, it's not a particularly inspiring retail experience the place is a bit reminiscent of a cross between a job centre and an airport check in area and there's hardly any stuff on the shelves.

Undeterred I walked in armed with the reservation slip, to be met with a row of chairs and a display screen showing numbers, thinking it was like a supermarket deli counter I looked around for the machine to collect my ticket from. I was perhaps fortunate that this was early on and the place was pretty empty as a girl at the collections desk explained that I had to go and pay for the item first at the tills, trusting huh?

I walked over to the checkouts and stood in a queue, was it my imagination or did every transaction at the tills take the best part of 15 minutes. The glacial pace of the queue gave me an opportunity to study the reservation form,  Which helpfully actually gave instructions as to how you collect your item; step 2 said:-

Aha I'll use the "Quick Pay kiosk" so I fatally step out of the queue, and locate a kiosk, I enter the reservation number only to be advised that the item I am attempting to purchase must be bought at the till. Back to the queue which of course is now twice as long as when I gave up my spot.......  On arriving at the till and paying for the item I was told that I had to also buy a £10.00 top up with the phone. Blissfully unaware of the details of the transaction my other half had signed up to, I just accepted this and after a trip back to the collection point I eventually escaped with the phone.

As I walked out I was reflecting upon the fact that the etymology of Argos is Greek and means "bright, shining and swift" hmmm not too sure about that, but as I recall Ulysses' dog was called Argos and he spent 10 years waiting for his master to return, obviously the inspiration for this particular retail model.

Of course the £10 top up I'd paid for was part of a special offer and included in the price... so Bob then spent most of the afternoon being Mr Angry to Argos' customer service department and I'm dreading the inevitable "please could you just take this phone back it's on your credit card and they'll need it for the's too short."

Meanwhile earlier at the pool the Fairy Snow Baby hit us with this little work out. My arms were just knackered particularly my triceps but I managed the 400's on 7.15 that's 15 secs quicker than in the session on the "Can I outsmart an Excel spreadsheet" blog and I was repping on about 6.25-6.35's so I reckon all this aquatic madness is having an effect.

800 warm up 100 free, 100 back, 100 free, 100 brst x 2
6 x 400 @ 7.15 1 & 2 swim, 3 & 4 pull with paddles, 5 pull and 6 swim *
6 x 50's kick with fins @ 65 s**
6 x 100 IM's @ 1.55
200 swim down

* times were between 6.25 and 6.35
** this was very ugly

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