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August 11, 2006

Taunton Deane and the Wimpy Chicken experience

On the way to Cornwall we stopped at a service station and had Wimpy Chicken. Having worked inside the media and with marketing people I could already hear the focus group results in my head - "Yes, we've found that whilst people associate Wimpy with burgers, they don't realise that you also sell chicken, so we are going to co-brand your service station franchises 'Wimpy' and 'Wimpy Chicken' with their own logos". Claire on the other hand thought that "Wimpy Chicken" sounded like a poor bird who had ben bullied in the pen.

On the way back we stopped at Taunton Deane services, and crossed the bridge to get our second fix of Wimpy Chicken. What a mistake that was. On the Friday we'd been served promptly, and the food whilst pricy was pretty reasonable for motorway fast food. Not so on the Sunday. V & I queued for the best part of half hour before being served, gradually losing the will to live. When we did get served I found that they didn't have half the products on the menu available, so I had to randomly order something I didn't want. Then it took forever to get our food.

An irritating woman next to us kept trying to engage us in conversation with the opening state-the-bleedin'-obvious gambit of "They need more staff don't they?". It wasn't so much the number quotient they needed to improve, as the competancy quotient. The one guy serving didn't appear to be able to comprehend anything said with any kind of regional accent - and bearing in mind this was at a motorway service station, there were quite a few regional accents to decipher.

But the question I still haven't been able to resolve in my mind is this, if you believe in karma and reincarnation, what do you think somebody must have done in a previous life to end up working in a motorway service station on a summer Sunday afternoon?

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