Monday 4 May 2009

"Gentlemen, the lunchbox has landed!"

A paramedic was facing disciplinary action today after he walked into a supermarket crowded with shoppers wearing just a thong.
Quite right, you say! The dirty pervert!

But read on:
The ambulanceman had been on duty when he strode defiantly into the Tesco store wearing just the underwear and a pair of socks after staff refused to serve him while he was wearing his ambulance uniform.
Yup, apparantly Tesco have a policy that they won't serve anyone in uniform - any uniform, it seems. Or at least, that's the reason they gave this paramedic for not serving him a bottle of wine. Who knows why, perhaps they've got fed up of the 'you looked under twenty-one' excuse they routinely dish out to grandmas, and the recent spate of 'we can't allow you to buy alcohol when you have your child with you' just wasn't earning them enough opprobium from the MSM, so they've decided to go one better in the 'crazy rules' stakes.

I guess they weren't expecting a comeback straight out of the Hollywood playbook of goofy comedy rom-com. If this story gets optioned, I'll tip Owen Wilson for the part of the paramedic and Meg Ryan for the part of the cashier who falls in love with him as a result...

Sadly, there's not likely to be a happy ending for our unknown here:
The paramedic, who is employed by the South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust, Surrey division, was understood to have been spoken to by his managers and to be facing the possibility of suspension and disciplinary action.
Remember, whether it's Big Government or Big Commerce, they really, really hate being shown up as the incompetent, petty little tyrants they really are.


Rob said...

Why on earth do they refuse to serve people in uniform? What next, women wearing trousers? Bizarre. They seem quite happy to serve fat ignorant chavs in tracksuits though.

Clarissa said...

A spokesman for Tesco confirmed that it was company policy not to serve members of the emergency services if they were wearing uniform...So I suppose the two cashiers who served two uniformed members of the BTP whilst I was in their outlet by Trafalgar Square yesterday can expect be disciplined?

Macheath said...

I suppose one could argue that the tracksuit is itself practically a uniform these days. And what about Man United shirts?

Presumably the issue is avoiding legal action if the uniformed customer then drinks while on duty; in the best tradition of management, the PBI on the tills are not given the reason for the policy but simply told 'uniform = no booze'.

A better reason, for me, would be that I don't fancy being treated by a paramedic whose uniform has been picking up germs in the local supermarket.

JuliaM, rather than Hollywood, surely this has the makings of Britpic 'Full Monty 2' - at least according to this happy eye-witness:
'I couldn't believe my eyes. Normally people would pay to see a man in uniform strip but we got a free show,' added Rachael.

Edwin Greenwood said...

Equally interesting is the fact that he was wearing a thong rather than standard-issue Marks & Sparks kecks. Sheds an entirely different light on your emergency services, dunnit?

The next time I see a WPC in one of those cute little hats, official frumpy-bun hairdo and sensible shoes, I shall be speculating feverishly about the erotic delights that lurk beneath that stern formal exterior.

Damn it, Julia. If I suddenly stop blogging in the next few days, it'll be because I've been banged up for attempting to undress a policewoman in a public place.

JuliaM said...

"Why on earth do they refuse to serve people in uniform? "

I suspect, as Macheath suggests, it's for the same reason they've recently taken to not serving women accompanied by their children. As in 'please Big Gov, don't hurt us..!'.

But as Clarissa points out, that doesn't seem to be meeting with blanket acceptance across Tesco's range.

"rather than Hollywood, surely this has the makings of Britpic 'Full Monty 2' - at least according to this happy eye-witness:
'I couldn't believe my eyes. Normally people would pay to see a man in uniform strip but we got a free show,' added Rachael."

Mmm, I bet it doesn't harm their sales figures!

"Damn it, Julia. If I suddenly stop blogging in the next few days, it'll be because I've been banged up for attempting to undress a policewoman in a public place."

Lol! Still, if you've plenty of cash.. ;)

North Northwester said...

Rob said...
"Why on earth do they refuse to serve people in uniform?"

You know Rob, I'm going to stick my neck out here and guess - wildly and with no corroboration at all - that there might be employees or customers at that store who object to - how shall I say it? - certain kinds of uniform, perhaps predominantly green, khaki, and blue, and that some numpty of a manager has decided to avoid any unpleasantness with his peace-loving staff and has suggested a uniform ban accordingly..

And if so, I wonder which section of the community such employees or customers might come from?

Er, word verification for this comment was 'dimboa.'


Anonymous said...

Police are not allowed to purchase or consume alcohol whilst on duty. On my way home I just slip a civvy jacket over my “job” shirt before I get my Budweiser or Pinot Grigio….This, as I understand it, is an anti corruption measure……

To refuse an ambulance officer or firefighter or member of HM Coastguard or even the Salvation Army is just silly though. Service personnel would be getting it from their messes…. so it is an utterly useless, nonsensical policy which is probably the point Mr G-string was making. Good Luck to him.

woman on a raft said...

Tesco has a history of this. Had a scratch round: this is a response from an LLB who trains people in licencing law:

"Under Section 178, Licensing Act 1964 it WAS an offence to allow a constable on duty to be in licensed premises (unless they were there as part of their duty) and also to supply ANY liquor or refreshment, (this included tea or soft drinks) whether by gift or sale to an on duty constable except with the permission of their senior officer. This has been repealed by the Licensing Act 2003 and no equivalent offence remains. There were no specific offences for other uniform services under the Licensing Act.In practise it often makes sense not to sell alcohol to people who may be drivers such as taxi drivers or public service vehicle drivers who may be expected to drive and are identified as such by a uniform. This is probably the basis of the refusal to serve the person dressed in military uniform."

[But a vendor has no way of knowing whether the person may be expected to drive or is walking home after their shift. In a supermarket carpark, exactly what percentage of purchasers can be expected to drive home, regardless of what they are wearing, and therefore should be refused service? Illogical. The paragraph is bollocks for reasons given later.]

"It is worth remembering that there is NO right to insist on being served with alcohol and there is an absolute right for any bar staff to refuse service without giving a reason if they think it best not to serve any particular customer."At present people in various uniforms, regardless of which one, might be bound by contractual terms imposed by their employer, but that's none of Tesco's business.

As the vendor is not obliged to give any reason for refusing to serve any customer with alcohol and is at liberty to impose quirky and unfounded beliefs on other people, it could enable them to discriminate on the grounds of sex, race, religion or sexual preferrence. A Muslim, JH or other teetotal checkout worker might be prepared to handle alcohol but refuse to do so, imposing their belief that nobody should be drinking. They are not obliged to explain this and thereby might be water-tight at tribunal, if the supermarket tries to sack them.

The recent move by supermarkets to demand ID from people who appear to be under 25, as opposed to the legal age of 18 for purchasing alcohol, might be running foul of age discrimination laws.

There could be good reasons for refusing to serve INDIVIDUALS and that is what the law appears to have tried to accommodate. i.e. using a bit of common sense to avoid a piss-artist getting worse.

Extending that logic to a whole class of persons doesn't look like it was ever intended in law, and is counter-productive since it means that there could end up being an obligation to serve someone when it is unwise to do so, for fear of infringing their general right to equal treatment in the provision of goods and services, regardless of their membership of any particular groups (unless you can show that group membership is relevant e.g. a pissed-up coach party).

I love the smell of clashing shibboleths in the morning. Some people think that's a bit sad of me.

May I state, in conclusion, that if any hunky firemen care to go through my local Tesco clad only in boots, helmets and Nomex Fireproof Thongs, I will buy the drinks.

I'll need a stiff one myself.

JuliaM said...

Lol! I know what you mean... ;)

North Northwester said...

Calm down, calm down...

Rebeca said...

British comedian Steve Coogan, best known for the character, Octavius, which he had essayed in blockbuster hit movie ‘Night at the Museum’, and Owen Wilson who starred with him in the film are still good friends.

American singer, Courtney Love sometime back claimed that because of British funnyman, Steve Coogan, the ‘Wedding Crashers’ star attempted suicide in 2007.
Owen Wilson was hospitalized two years ago, after he was found from his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles in a state which has been alleged due to taking pills and slashing his wrists.

Anonymous said...

I have met this man, and he is 100% genuine and would NEVER drink on duty!...What has this country come to? P athetic!!!