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Sunday, 29 May 2011

How Sainsbury's made us take a walk through the rain

Today we went to our local Sainsbury's supermarket in Clifton Down to shop for dinner.

They had some squid, lying there whole with their little eyes gazing up at us.

"Can you clean them?" we asked.

"Oh, they're already cleaned," said the young man.

This seemed odd. We have never seen, in all our years of sqidmania, a squid that had been cleaned yet still looked at you.

However, we took them. But try as we might we couldn't find a decent roasting joint. So we walked through the rain to Waitrose, where we did.

The two supermarkets sell much the same things, though Waitrose is far smaller, with a far lesser selection and a bit more expensive.

The difference is that Waitrose is cleaner, properly organised - and the people have been trained.

The squid had not been cleaned. Nobody in that Sainsbury's knows a damn thing about cleaning or filleting fish. They have let us down three times. Not their fault. They just haven't been trained. We should have known better.

The longer I live the surer I am that the one thing that matters more than anything else is education.

Failure can be ascribed almost invariably to people not knowing what they are doing.

All bad things come to an end. But after this recession ends, businesses everywhere will pay a terrible price for the way they have skimped on training and education.

I wonder how many people realise just how far we have fallen behind.

The other day I was interviewing a friend for my Commonsense Marketing series.

He teaches direct marketing.

He told me one of his students - with a responsible job, having successfully gone through what is passed off as our educational system - did not know what a percentage is.

God help us.

Our only hope lies in the fact that many Asians are coming to British universities to be educated. I find that hilarious

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