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Mary Portas speaks about how supermarkets are killing communities. The sad thing is that I’ve come across some great staff at supermarkets, but they’re not rewarded  for their interpersonal skills. There’s a script to be followed that forbids the staff to take into account the actual personality and mood of the  other person in the equation, the customer. Ask the customer how they are today, even if they look like they just want to be left alone.

There are a couple of people that I’ll miss seeing behind the checkouts, but they tend to be the mavericks who are probably unlikely to stay. Like the intelligent and knowledgeable teenager in Dixons that advised me against buying the television I was interested in a few years ago.’Why?’ I asked ‘Because it’s a f***ing piece of shit. Look at it! The remote doesn’t even work properly’. I’m sure he’s gone far, and I’d buy something from him wherever he works.

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist