Shirley Mason, a sales assistant from Acton, has been awarded the coveted ‘Lifetime Achievement Fellowship’ at this year’s glitzy Department Store Awards Ceremony held at London’s swanky Dorchester Hotel.

Shirley who has worked on the haberdashery counter at Pargiter & Wellsby in Croydon since joining the independent family-owned store over fifty-five years ago, was nominated by her Manager Old Mr Wellsby for ‘consistent and uncompromising surliness’ over her long and illustrious career.

After being helped on stage by two buxom nurses, octogenarian Old Mr Wellsby gave a glowing tribute to ‘Our dear dear darling Shirl’.

‘I have watched young Shirley for many years now as she’s handled countless thousands of customers, and never once in that entire time has she failed to astound me with her pompous, overbearing, supercilious downright brusque and exceptionally unfriendly manner as she makes her sales.’

‘Indeed I don’t believe she’s even uttered a single word to any customer since 1989. She just throws whatever they’re after onto the counter-top, sneers at them and then takes their money. She’s quite a star.’

In accepting her award when the applause died down Shirley glared menacingly at the audience, sneered at Old Mr Wellsby then rolled her eyes and tutted, before wearing an expression of pained exasperation, stalked off the stage.