Friday, 15 April 2016

Meanwhile, in M&S...

A NERC scientist chats happily to an M&S worker. Possibly
It was announced yesterday that NERC and Marks and Spencer would share data. Now read on.

The check out of Marks and Spencer’s. A woman is at the check out with a Per Una top and a plastic box of chocolate bites.

Check out Assistant: That will be £53.99, please. Can I interest you in our store card?
Customer (fumbling for her credit card): Um, no, that’s alright, thanks.
Check out Assistant: You get an extra 10% off today’s purchase.
Customer: No, I’m fine, thank you.
Check out Assistant: You can spread the payments. Help you to manage your costs.
Customer: No, I really am fine, thanks.
Check out Assistant; Very reasonable rates.
Customer: No.
Check out Assistant: No problem madam. We do have an offer on the chocolate bites today. Buy two, get a third half price.
Customer: No, thanks. I only want the one.
Check out Assistant: I understand madam. Can I interest you in a Research Strategy?
Customer: Pardon?
Check out Assistant: We’ve teamed up with the Natural Environment Research Council to bring our customers the very best Research Strategies. This is not just any Research Strategy. This is an M&S/NERC Research Strategy. Would you be interested, madam? It really is an exceptional strategy.
Customer: No. I really just want this Per Una top. And these chocolate bites.
Check out Assistant. I fully understand, madam. A copy of Planet Earth, perhaps?
Customer: What’s that?
Check out Assistant: It’s an excellent publication detailing the latest research being undertaken by NERC-funded scientists. It’s not just any research, it’s…
Customer: Yes, I get the point. But no, I don’t want a copy of Planet Earth.
Check out Assistant: No problem. Perhaps a bit sized environment fact? They’re perfect for that time in between full David Attenborough documentaries, when you’re feeling a little peckish for environmental information. We’ve got a two for one offer on them today. They really are exceptional facts, madam. These aren’t just any bite sized facts, these are…
Customer: No! Now can I just pay and go.
Check out Assistant: No problem, madam (takes the card, and processes the transaction). Here’s your receipt. Have a good day.
As the woman walks out the check out assitant turns to his colleague on the next till.
Check out Assistant: It’s the strangest thing. I can’t seem to shift any of these Strategies or copies of Planet Earth. I thought this link with NERC was a no-brainer. I mean, both organisations have a shared interest in cutting edge research into the natural environment, and it goes without saying that fashion for a certain suburban demographic is central to the business models of both M&S and NERC...
He suddenly stops and stares into the middle distance as if something has just occured to him.
Check out Assistant: hang on a minute...


  1. Chris Satterley15 April 2016 at 13:01

    "Per Una top and a plastic box of chocolate bites."

    Which along with dine in for £10 are the only items M&S sells as far as I am aware, having been in an M&S at least once I think. I can understand NERC's interest in ensuring that Chocolate Bite Environmental Impact research is well catered for.

    I presume that successful grant awardees will now get some vouchers, or a discount at least.

  2. NERC are really doing well at the moment - this coming after Boaty Mc Boatface...

  3. NERC are doing well at the moment - this coming after Boaty McBoatface...