Last week in Wickes I picked up some electrical bits to wire in an outdoor lamp. Usual stuff, outdoor switch, outdoor socket, cable and a length of conduit. At the checkout I dutifully paid for my goods and then casually asked the young lady behind the till if I might borrow a saw to cut the conduit in half so it might fit in my car. I was astounded to hear her response of 'Nah, we aint got nothin' like that 'ere'. Being in one of the UK's largest DIY stores, it so baffled me that I was unable to mutter a single sarcastic word, but gathered up my bits, took them outside and bent the conduit in two. I laughed like a lunatic all the way home. It reminded me of a time in Virginia several years ago when I went into a fast food shop and asked for a breakfast bun which came with sausage, bacon, egg and cheese. I told the girl behind the counter I didn't want it with the cheese. Confused, she told me it came with cheese. I told her to leave the cheese out but she remained puzzled and politely explained that the cost of the bun included the cheese. I said I was happy to pay for the cheese, but just leave it out. She called her manager from out the back and explained the dilema. he politely explained that cheese was standard and included in the price. Fine, I bought the damned thing, immediatly opened it up and threw the cheese back over the counter. So, is this the way we are going with our service industry in this country? Do we train people to do a job crib card style removing any risk of outbreaks of intelligence or initiative? Anyone else been served by similar chipped clones?