7- Eleven. Known locally as just ‘seven’.
3 people are stocktaking, 2 people are stacking shelves, 1 person is on a computer behind the counter and 1 person is trying to serve a big queue. And this is daytime. Nighttime gets even better when all the staff can focus on some funky loud music. Where are you? `Yes` you`re in 7/11 land, where the customer rarely comes first.
I have a love hate relationship with the ubiquitous store. On the one hand it has all the convenient stuff I need. In fact when I want petrol I`ll rarely stop anywhere that doesn`t have a 7/11. And there`s loads of them. Last count was approaching 10,000 in Thailand , 50% of them in Bangkok. The first opened as recently as 1989 on Patpong Road, Bangkok.
I`ve lost count of the amount of the times I`ve felt like shouting “Could you all stop what you doing and serve the bloody customers!”. Or the different pronunciations I`ve tried of Marlboro `Silver` cigarettes. I`ve been told the Thai word for silver, but in the heat of the moment, I forget. So I often have to resort to directing the assistants arm, bit like the arcade game where you direct a claw and drop it to hook a prize.
And plastic…bags, spoons, straws! Don`t get me started on that. I know they`re only doing their job, as per the franchise instructions, but if I hadn`t started to say `No` I could have joined them all up to the moon by now.
It’s also the place where I wished I’d never taught my son the phrase “I want”. Over priced Ultraman or chocolate bars. Although it
s OK for me to indulge in a Snickers bar, twix or Kit-kat. I'm working - he isn't. Ok I know he`s only 4 years old.
However, all that aside, it is convenient, at all hours of the day. Perhaps they should rename it 24/7?