Ever since we moved to Madrid, I've been doing the shopping at the local Dia. This is a super-cheap supermarket brand that belongs to Carrefour, and I sometimes think they get the crap that Carrefour can't sell. They certainly have an interesting employment policy: anyone with any trace of charm or positivity is either not hired or given some kind of programming to make them miserable, rude and unhelpful - or maybe it's the shite wages. They also have an interesting attitude to queues: they will only open a second checkout when the queue at the first has reached thirty or forty people. And they don't like to keep money in the tills in case somebody steals it: whenever a till has more than 200 Euros in it, the 'manager' comes and takes it away to put in the safe. This means, of course, that the next person in the queue who presents a fifty Euro note to pay for ten Euros worth of purchases (and it's always me), gets a mouthful of abuse from the checkout operator, who then has to go and find the 'manager' to get some change. In short, I hated it. If there's a worse word than 'hated', I did that too.
So, a month ago, they closed it. For refurbishment.
This was slightly inconvenient, because the next nearest supermarket (also a sodding Dia), is at least twice as far away, and it's half the size. Although they do manage to keep their queues down, and there is a rather nice Irish bar close by.
The local Dia re-opened about a week ago. It's nice and shiny and fresh and clean. They seem to have an expanded range of stuff, and they sometimes have more than one checkout open at a time. The staff are still not exactly wonderful, but I no longer dread my little shopping expeditions.
So I guess the only loser is the guy who used to open the street doors in the hope that you would tip him (as if: these people shop at Dia, for God's sake - that means they have no money!) - it now has automatic sliding doors.
RIP Christophe de Margerie
46 minutes ago