An express checkout at a supermarket in Southend was in chaos earlier today after a shopper carried out a number of steps to ensure that their transaction generally went as slowly as possible. Shortly after 2pm at Tesco in Southend, a 76-year-old man approached the checkout operator with a copy of The Daily Mail and two pints of semi-skimmed milk, and witnesses described a ‘queue of 30 shoppers’ that had formed within a couple of minutes.

Frustrated Nigel Whippet was stuck in the chaos at the time, and he said: ‘As soon as he reached the front of the queue, I knew that he was going to be trouble. The lady who was serving must have asked him to come over seven times before he started to move forward, and once his shopping was on the little shelf he then took thirty seconds to check over his list – he made a point of mentioning the other five items on there individually that he was going to find cheaper in Aldi. He then launched into a three-minute rant about paying 5p for a carrier bag that used to be free of charge, and it took another two minutes for him to recover from his hysterical coughing fit that followed. There was an announcement over the PA system at this point for all multi-skilled staff to attend the checkout area, but they all took one look at him and jumped behind the deli counter.’

Mr Whippet continued: ‘Once his transaction had hit the ten-minute mark, he took out his wallet and removed a Scottish £5 note. For some unknown reason he then automatically assumed that it wouldn’t be accepted and started screaming hysterically about it still being legal tender. He paused for a moment to scowl at a mother whose young baby was crying, and then finally handed his money over to the girl on the checkout who was sobbing uncontrollably. He returned a few minutes later to buy a bag of apples and pay for them at one of the self-service checkouts, but he was ejected from the store by security over fears for their equipment.’

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