Unrealistic Canberra retail opening hours: a big whinge

popgoescanberra 23 December 2008 146

Does anyone else find Canberra retail opening hours totally unrealistic for the average public servant?

Take myself. I tend to get into the office at around 9am, have an hour for lunch to get some sunshine and eat in peace, and knock off around 5.30pm. The thing is though, I have a life outside of work, which necessitates going shopping. Today, for example, I had the unfortunate state of affairs where a shelf in my fridge broke, I had a package to pick up from the Kingston post office, and my broken mobile phone to replace. The mobile phone took priority. A quick lunch-time trip down to Woden Plaza’s 3 Mobile shop ended up taking almost two hours, thanks to dawdling Christmas foot traffic in the shopping centre, people standing all over the place on the escalators, and the shop itself being quite short-staffed, and those that were there seemed a bit clueless (although polite, I’ll give them that).

Despite having already taken a long lunch, I left my desk in Barton at 4.55pm. By the time I was in Kingston to pick up my parcel, the Kingston Post Office had shut at 5pm. Disappointed, I thought, at least I’ll make it to the fridge repairers in Fyshwick by 5.30pm. I did! But they shut at 5pm. I had tried ringing ahead but there was no answer.

Another similar story: I like to buy vitamin tablets from the Healthy Start Discount Vitamins store near the carousel in Civic. I left my desk in Barton at 5pm, but with traffic along Parkes Way at peak hour (caused by people slowing down too much at the Anzac Parade roundabout), I didn’t get a park off London Circuit and reach the shop until 5.41pm. After clinging to the desperate hope they would shut at 6pm, I had arrived to a dark store. I ended up buying some overpriced vitamins at Coles Manuka.

My point is that shops should open a bit later if they want business. Of course, I understand retail workers have lives too and don’t want to be working forever, they want to get home. But which office workers (of which there are many in Canberra, I am led to believe) go shopping at 9am in the morning? Surely there can’t be that many. We’ve got to get to our desks to make sure Question Time Briefs are up-to-date and all that. My suggestion is that shops open a bit later in the morning and close a bit later at night, for example, 6pm.

On a related but separate matter, I would be quite content to see shops closed on a Sunday. Nice to have the Fyshwick markets and some supermarkets open, the cinemas, gyms, etc., but anything else isn’t really necessary.

What are your thoughts? Anyone else tired of fruitless attempts at buying merchandise or procuring services after work only to find empty and dark shops, then having to make harried shopping trips the following day’s lunchtime, when we really should all be sitting under a tree enjoying a healthy sandwich and a break from the drone of the air-conditioning? Coles Manuka and Woolworths Dickson, those temples to average-quality fruit, smelly fish, ordinary bread and disinterested check-out workers, must do very well out of other retailers’ early closing hours.


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146 Responses to Unrealistic Canberra retail opening hours: a big whinge
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Watson Watson 12:36 pm 09 Dec 11

Mysteryman said :

It sounds like the OP is just disorganised.

Disorganised people are a gold mine for the retail and services industry, so don’t knock ’em!

Mysteryman Mysteryman 11:59 am 09 Dec 11

It sounds like the OP is just disorganised.

Jethro Jethro 10:08 am 09 Dec 11

WifiDeTech said :

Wow, I am so happy to find others that agree with me out there. I have been complaining about this same thing, opening hours in Canberra, for years. Just seems strange how empty the shops are during business hours and then at lunchtime in pours a crowd of both frantically, hurried people along with the relaxed people who want to browse and have something to eat for lunch. Bedlam sets in and all of a sudden it’s every man for himself.

Surely there is better way? Here is a lateral idea, if not all employees have access to flex for one reason or another then perhaps we ought to be lobbying for more occupations to have access to some degree of flexible working hours.

3 year old post, but what they hey.

Canberra shops have some of the best opening hours I’ve seen in Australia, certainly better than QLD and WA. Plus we have the added bonus of the famous 2 hour lunch.

WifiDeTech WifiDeTech 9:53 am 09 Dec 11

Wow, I am so happy to find others that agree with me out there. I have been complaining about this same thing, opening hours in Canberra, for years. Just seems strange how empty the shops are during business hours and then at lunchtime in pours a crowd of both frantically, hurried people along with the relaxed people who want to browse and have something to eat for lunch. Bedlam sets in and all of a sudden it’s every man for himself. Surely there is better way? Here is a lateral idea, if not all employees have access to flex for one reason or another then perhaps we ought to be lobbying for more occupations to have access to some degree of flexible working hours.

bubzie bubzie 8:04 pm 24 Dec 08

peterh said :

ok, for all the other retail people out there, I have a joke for you. Lunch Break.

bahahahahaha.

oh wait..its funny because it IS A JOKE!!

hax hax 2:03 pm 24 Dec 08

Does anyone else find Canberra retail opening hours totally unrealistic for the average public servant?

popgoescanberra.. who cares? Public servants choose to be public servants. If the job doesn’t suite the lifestyle, find another job that does. (I suspect it’s not that bad)

That’s why things don’t change – too many people are willing to put up with sh** and instead of changing themselves, expect that everything around them should change.

peterh peterh 11:56 am 24 Dec 08

bubzie said :

Rightio, i seem to be in a flood of frigging pubes. great.

so, i work in retail, and …for godsake, everything in woden today is open to 9-10pm tonight, pretty sure the others are all the same, stop your winging.

and extended opening hours are just a fat joke. Gahhhhhh.

(oh, and i hate both prams and scooters equally..stop wasting my time, so i can serve some pube who’s “in a rush, and really doesnt have time to be shopping!”)

yeah..some built up hate there..

ok, for all the other retail people out there, I have a joke for you. Lunch Break.

hwahahahahahaaaa!

oh, wait. Siesta!

sorry, sorry. Never heard of “overtime” either.

now i know why i am not in retail any more….

but i still have a 20 second smoke break, and eat my lunch in the office whilst working…

AngryHenry AngryHenry 11:17 am 24 Dec 08

popgoescanberra said :

Thanks for those who understood the point of my message, by for example, commenting on how things are done in other countries. I don’t quite understand what was so “troll”ish about it. I was simply suggesting a, perhaps, better way of doing things. I suggested that businesses might get more business and have happier customers if they adjusted their opening hours SLIGHTLY. I didn’t suggest that retailers change their hours to suit ME. I wondered if some of you might have suffered the same fate as me. I’m lucky to have a car, I wondered how people with a bike would manage going to Kingston, Fyshwick and Woden on a rainy day, all at lunch time.

The fact that I have chosen to write about this topic is not a reflection of the overall state of my life. I have plenty of more important things to worry about, but they aren’t really relevant to Canberra or RiotACT readers. I find it soothing to pen my thoughts. I thought having a whinge was one of the major topics on this blog, for example, people are often whingeing on here about the police force or the number of bike lanes on Canberra roads. This post was clearly titled as a whinge, so if you don’t like whingeing, you were not forced to read it.

Regarding lunch: I like the European approach of enjoying my food at lunch. What if we went as far as introducing siesta in Canberra?

Plenty of people stick up for businesspeople. People go into business to service a customer need and make a profit – by changing opening hours to suit the majority of their customers, they might make more money. By posting this message I was inquiring about whether other people found opening hours in Canberra a little limited. Canberra may well have decent opening hours compared with other cities. But if we never suggested changing things at all, then things would never improve.

People have also spouted vitriol and said they work much longer hours than me. You all seem a little bitter. No, I don’t work particularly long hours, but I work hard when I’m at work, I’m no bludger. Good on you if you do work long hours, I’m sure you do a great job (I’m not being sarcastic), but again, it must be tough for you also to get to the shops, and different opening hours would help?

My original message was not meant to be rude, I was just asking if some of you might have suggestions for a better way of doing things. Surely there is nothing wrong with that.

Nope, you asked for our thoughts and you got them, in spades!!!

Moving on…

audioangel audioangel 10:49 am 24 Dec 08

Can I suggest you get your mail sent to your work address? Then it will be delivered to your desk while you eat your european lunch…You can also send outgoing mail though the mail room, just buy a bunch of stamps and envelopes and you have your lunch break back.
I am a public servant and have never had an issue with getting things done in my lunch break. If you need more time, as others have said, go into work earlier and work later or just take a few hours off if there is a lot you need to get done. I have spent many lunch hours in lines at mobile phone shops etc, seriously just get over it.

deezagood deezagood 9:44 am 24 Dec 08

Whatsup said :

popgoescanberra said :

Regarding lunch: I like the European approach of enjoying my food at lunch.

One might consider putting ones European approach aside once a week. Eat lunch earlier at your desk and free up your 1 hour for miscellaneous tasks of lower priority.

Thanks for the giggle!!!

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 9:08 am 24 Dec 08

> It is unfortunate that in an internet forum, as with driving a car, it is easy to treat people in ways one would never dream of doing face-to-face.

Normally I’d agree with you Granny. But when this kind of guff gets spouted in public, I have no hesitation in calling someone out for being a douche. I’m the angry guy who grabs you, calls you a f**kwit and tells you to calm the f**k down and get a life when you start berating some 15 year old shopgirl (and I quote from an incident this time last year – people become even bigger jerks to retail staff at Christmas).

You want a opinion on how trading hours could be improved, popgoescanberra. Fine. It’s “trading hours are over-extended. Nothing should be open after 7 and nothing (and I mean nothing) opened on Sundays.” It might put paid to shopping-as-recreation; so people would have to start using their brains and making their own fun. It might even be a social good. It’s not like people will stop buying stuff.

poptop poptop 8:52 am 24 Dec 08

Certainly used to be able to do so, when I worked in Woden and was a bus rider, I used get them shipped across to there. Cost nothing but time. I’d just ring, say I’d received their little card and would only be able to get to Woden Post Office during their hours.

It was too easy!

popgoescanberra popgoescanberra 8:39 am 24 Dec 08

Thanks for the advice Whatsup and Poptop!

Poptop, so you can ask the post office to send your packages (not that I get many) to any post office?

Whatsup Whatsup 8:32 am 24 Dec 08

popgoescanberra said :

Regarding lunch: I like the European approach of enjoying my food at lunch.

One might consider putting ones European approach aside once a week. Eat lunch earlier at your desk and free up your 1 hour for miscellaneous tasks of lower priority.

Granny Granny 8:29 am 24 Dec 08

Sometimes I get sick of doing Poptop’s menial chores, but!

*chuckle*

poptop poptop 8:09 am 24 Dec 08

A quick glance at the income survey for the RiotACT posters shows we are, in the main, millionares. This being completely true, we send our slaves out to do the menial chores. I tend to shop and bank online (I have an extensive list of purveyors I patronise now), tell the AusPost people to send my parcels to the Tuggeranong Post Office, which means I can pick them up at 07:30 on the way to work. The PO inside the Hyperdome is open on Saturday mornings, so I include outgoing postal as part of my Saturday morning domestics.

If I have something that requires doing I’ll either start V early or V late at work and work the other end of the day to suit.

I don’t find the suggestion that because you tend to work from 9 til 5:30; retailers should rejig their opening hours particularly compelling. As the economy tightens, extended opening hours will be death to marginal businesses; I’d rather keep them around and try to be flexible with my timings.

Granny Granny 8:03 am 24 Dec 08

popgoescanberra said :

My original message was not meant to be rude, I was just asking if some of you might have suggestions for a better way of doing things. Surely there is nothing wrong with that.

No, there’s nothing wrong with that, popgoescanberra.

People have raised some very good points on both sides of the discussion. It is unfortunate that in an internet forum, as with driving a car, it is easy to treat people in ways one would never dream of doing face-to-face.

When I was upset once that someone had called me names on RA, a more experienced poster told me, “You’re kidding right? It’s just an internet forum.” That has helped me to put things in perspective from time to time. You know who you are, and it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks – you are still you.

Peace to you and yours,
Granny

popgoescanberra popgoescanberra 7:42 am 24 Dec 08

Thanks for those who understood the point of my message, by for example, commenting on how things are done in other countries. I don’t quite understand what was so “troll”ish about it. I was simply suggesting a, perhaps, better way of doing things. I suggested that businesses might get more business and have happier customers if they adjusted their opening hours SLIGHTLY. I didn’t suggest that retailers change their hours to suit ME. I wondered if some of you might have suffered the same fate as me. I’m lucky to have a car, I wondered how people with a bike would manage going to Kingston, Fyshwick and Woden on a rainy day, all at lunch time.

The fact that I have chosen to write about this topic is not a reflection of the overall state of my life. I have plenty of more important things to worry about, but they aren’t really relevant to Canberra or RiotACT readers. I find it soothing to pen my thoughts. I thought having a whinge was one of the major topics on this blog, for example, people are often whingeing on here about the police force or the number of bike lanes on Canberra roads. This post was clearly titled as a whinge, so if you don’t like whingeing, you were not forced to read it.

Regarding lunch: I like the European approach of enjoying my food at lunch. What if we went as far as introducing siesta in Canberra?

Plenty of people stick up for businesspeople. People go into business to service a customer need and make a profit – by changing opening hours to suit the majority of their customers, they might make more money. By posting this message I was inquiring about whether other people found opening hours in Canberra a little limited. Canberra may well have decent opening hours compared with other cities. But if we never suggested changing things at all, then things would never improve.

People have also spouted vitriol and said they work much longer hours than me. You all seem a little bitter. No, I don’t work particularly long hours, but I work hard when I’m at work, I’m no bludger. Good on you if you do work long hours, I’m sure you do a great job (I’m not being sarcastic), but again, it must be tough for you also to get to the shops, and different opening hours would help?

My original message was not meant to be rude, I was just asking if some of you might have suggestions for a better way of doing things. Surely there is nothing wrong with that.

hetzjagd1 hetzjagd1 3:01 am 24 Dec 08

Anyone suggesting people take a longer lunch break should consider that customer service and retail staffing in Canberra is so poor that there’s usually a line just about anywhere at that time and it is difficult to get much accomplished. Not everyone is a public servant with ‘flex time’.

el el 11:13 pm 23 Dec 08

‘Bout sums it up, G-Fresh.

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