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This is a question Shops and Supermarkets

I used to work in a supermarket where the girl on the deli counter cut off the top of her finger in the meat slicer, but was made to finish her shift before going to hospital. You can now pay £100 to shoot zombies in the store's empty shell, haunted by poor dead nine-finger deli girl. Tell us your tales of the old retail experience, from either side of the counter

(, Thu 10 May 2012, 13:50)
Pages: Popular, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

In the back
I've delivered to many supermarkets and the back door staff usually contain the same two guys, Brian and Darren. They don't work the floor for reasons that will become clear.

Brian is a big lad, very strong very tall and very very slow. But he wouldn't hurt a fly.

Darren is the opposite. Scrawny, foulmouthed, he lives to bark orders at Brian and act the cunt.

On one glorious day, I saw a Brian retaliate. Darren was snarling his usual filth "get a move on you fat useless bastard" and so forth.

Then, as Brian wasn't getting any quicker (Brians have only one speed in case they lose count of their feet) he shouted "you'd move quicker if yer mum wanted fucking".

Brian picked him up and shoved him into the refuse chute headfirst. Darren now had a problem: the chute had a one-way flap,and the skip at the bottom had no other exit.

I told Brian's disciplinary hearing quite a lot of lies, and he kept his job.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 18:38, 4 replies)
Sometimes, being the IT geek isn't as good as it was cracked up to be.
Years ago, when the web was just starting, I was working doing the whole shelf-stacking shite a lot of us end up doing at some point in our lives. So far, so dull.

That was, until the boss got wind of the fact I was good with a computer, and wanted a website making for the shop so he could get his "business out there". My protestations of this being pointless back in 1998 fell upon deaf ears. Ah well.

So, nutting up and shutting up, I learned html, and more importantly, the joys of comment code, which thankfully the boss was too daft to spot. I've just looked at the old website, and it's still there, with the comment code intact.

Why not take a look?

www.woodmanwholesale.co.uk
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 17:20, 27 replies)
Can't think whether I've posted this before...
One day the missus woke up and decided we needed a trampoline. I heartily agreed, having realised months earlier that these £250 You've-Been-Framed-worthy spinal mishaps weren't going to magic themselves out of thin air, and so off we trooped to our nearest DIY store (mentioning no names, but I suspect theirs stood for Bellends and Quunts).

We walked in and immediately spotted what we were looking for - An eight-foot trampoline in a box. We decided against the optional safety net (which, if anything, served no purpose other than to give you something to tangle your leg in after you've fallen off the bloody thing), and so lugged the box to the till.

The cashier was about to scan the barcode when he noticed something. "It's not all there" he grunted.
"Isn't it?" we enquired.
"No, look" he replied, pointing at the label. "It says 'Box 1 of 1'"
"Yes?"
"So you need box 2 of 2 as well" he explained.
"Oh, I s- What?"
"It says Box 1 of 1, so you need to go and get Box 2 of 2. It should be on the same shelf"
We weren't convinced. "Surely 'Box 1 of 1' means there's only one box, and it's this one?" we asked.
"No, there's a Box 2 of 2 as well."
Now, this was a Sunday morning. And clearly there's something special about Sunday mornings that makes your brain extra-malleable and willing to believe any old toot, be it tales of invisible sky-wizards or imaginary boxes of trampoline parts, because we decided to humour this man. We ambled back to the shelf, cashier close behind, to look for box 2 of 2. Imagine our surprise when we found a metric arseload of box 1 of 1s, but precisely zero box 2 of 2s. It was almost as if they didn't exist.
At this point, the penny dropped with the cashier.
"They must all be out the back."
Fucking hell.
"I'll just go and check"
He just went and checked. Meanwhile, we enjoyed the feeling of our Sunday slowly ebbing away, pulled by a tide of tosswittery. A few minutes later, he returned. At this point, you may be ahead of me.
"There's none out the back" he revealed.
We were agog. It was time to try a different tack.
"Tell you what" we said, "Why don't we just take box 1 of 1 now, and then come back another day to pick up box 2 of 2?" Brilliant plan, chiz chiz.
"Hang on" he replied, completely ignoring our ingenious idea, "I'll just ask my colleague"
Aha! Someone to gently point out his dimbuggery in words he might understand! He called over Darren, a boy in an orange shirt.
"They want to buy this trampoline, but we can only find box 1 of 1, there's no box 2 of 2 anywhere" he explained to Darren.
"Well yeah, because there's only meant to be one box. That's what 'Box 1 of 1' means. There's one box, and this is it"
...is what Darren would've said in a perfect world.
"Have you checked out the back?" is what he actually said.
"Yeah"
Cue gentle sobbing. But wait! All was not lost.
"I'll check the computer" the cashier suggested. "There might be a box 2 of 2 at another branch."
Well yes, if they've just opened a branch that deals in fictional boxes, we could be in luck. To the computer!

The computer was surrounded by two more employees. Now, at this point you might think one of them would see what was going on, smack someone upside the head and calmly explain that there was no box 2 of 2.

Or you might not.

"No, there's none in the Bedford branch..."
"Have you tried Huntingdon?"
"No, I'll try them too"
"I can give them a ring and ask"
"What about Cambridge? They usually have loads"
"No, they've only got box 1 of 1"
"There, look, click on Wisbech, they've got - Oh no, that's a lawnmower"
"Have you checked out the back?"

As far as I know, they're still there to this day.
(, Mon 14 May 2012, 23:51, 7 replies)
Skilled wife embarrassment
In Smiths, purchasing Civ 4, wife queuing with that and some fizzy water. I wander over to look at some rather exciting StarWars collectables, wife shouts loud as she can 'You've got a computer game; you're not having stickers too" in perfect Mum vs recalcitrant child tone of voice. Old lady behind her doubles up with laughter. I knew then that she'd make a fine mother. She also often leads an entrance into M and S with a shout of "I need some pants for this one". Brilliant.
(, Sat 12 May 2012, 13:53, 4 replies)
I used to work at the local One Stop at uni
They made me supervisor over all the local dweebs in a second because I could count and was capable of rational thought. I would work the late shift with one well meaning but hopeless simian helper. One of the brands of cigarillos ran a promotion where 1 in 5 ten packs had replaced one cigarillo with a £5 note instead (in those days you would have been up around £2 per pack after purchase). It happened to be the local mole man's brand and he would come in each night and eagerly purchase a pack. I would observe stony faced the child like excitement in his eyes as he eagerly tore off the wrapper, as if it were some kind of cancerous wonka bar expectant of finding a golden ticket, each night his disappointment would be crushing, "Better luck next time, mate" I would commiserate. Little did he know that as soon as the promotion started, I, being a penniless student and having the run of the shop, had taken all the stock of that brand out back and put the super accurate money scales to good use. Sure enough 1 in 5 packs were much lighter than the others, I put the other packs back, dumped around 20 packs of cigarillos in front of my dull chimp faced helper and paid for them, then proceeded to extract a £5 note from each pack right in front of her bemused face. For my sins, my spliffs were tainted with horrible cigarillo tabacco for many months that followed.
(, Mon 14 May 2012, 2:26, 2 replies)
Clingfilm.
About 20 years ago, I escaped from my birthplace of Tasmania via a one way ticket to Western Australia.

The was a major recession in Australia at the time, and skilled job opportunities were thin on the ground.

I managed to gain part-time employment working in a pub. It was a fairly non-descript place, situated on a busy road with very few walk-in clientele.

the owner dreamed up a sure-fire strategy to boost punter numbers...employ naked women.

So, in an attempt to convert a dull pub into some kind of Gentleman's club (minus decor or ambiance), he arranged for two "hot chicks" to arrive at 3 o'clock each day, get naked and wander around behind the bar.

In another brilliant twist, the male staff were to wear formal attire, thus completing the transformation to an " upmarket" masturbatoriam.

It was shit. There was a building site next door, and as predicted, once word had got around a about the "naked chick pub" next door, every afternoon the bar would be full of pissed up labourers, slathering to grab the girls.

After a few incidents involving drunk horny semi-violent customers, we were issued with cut-down pool cues to "subdue" the more energetic customers.

After a bit, the Health Authorities got wind of this place, and told the owner he had to cover up the girls, as presumably there was a health risk from a naked badly wiped arse, or evil minge vapours infecting the beer.

So, not wanting to lose his hard gained custom from the hordes of sad masturbators, he wrapped the girls in clingfilm!

Now, a shapely woman in a tight fitting dress looks magnificent, and lends a small degree of mystery and imagination, due to the simple fact that the exciting bits are covered up.

A woman wrapped in a snug suit of clingfilm just looks plain fucking weird. Everything gets squashed and grossly distorted. Especially the pubes. Imagine a big black spider squashed beneath a pane of glass. It was also self defeating, as clingfilm doesn't breathe so there was a lot of misting and sweating happening under the plastic. The body odour was quite confronting too.

Eventually business dropped off, and the scheme was abandoned as the display of squished flesh was too much for even the most hardened drinker.

I left the place not long after and embarked on a proper career, but thankfully the experience cured me of the desire to ever enter a strip club.
(, Sat 12 May 2012, 20:42, 9 replies)
When I used to get the bus, I'd hang around by the Aldi car park next to the bus station, so I could avoid the majority of the mentalists.
A few things I saw there -
• 2 kids deciding to push trollies at full speed into one another. I think they both lost teeth, and were seriously winded. Gave me a good laugh though.

• Multiple people try to go into the store through the 'OUT' door, meaning the sensor didn't work, and they'd just splat against the glass.

• However, my favourite was the young lad (probably about 18-19) running headlong out of the store, having just stolen something. As he made it out of the doors, he turned to give the staff the fingers, and ran bollocks first into a bollard, collapsing over the top. That one nearly killed me with laughter.
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 15:43, 3 replies)
It was Christmas Eve, babe....
Being a bloke and thus, obviously, terrible at Christmas generally - but especially the shopping part - I'm very lucky to have a convenience store (a One Stop, if you're nosy) right at the bottom of my road. Now, don't get me wrong - I'd bought all the pressies in good time - for I am familiar with Santa's little cheat-shop, Amazon; but had I bought wrapping paper, sellotape, labels?

Had I f....

So I'm in said store on said Christmas Eve; my arms full of wrapping paper, waiting at the till. There's one woman in front of me, making chit-chat with the sales girl. They're clearly friends as, when I join this very short queue, I catch their conversation.

"...you hadn't heard then?"

"No! When did all this happen!?"

"All since Wednesday! Dan found out she cheated at the Christmas party and has chucked her so he's in Devon with his parents. Little Jake's gone up with him and then - to top it all off - no bloke, no kid - just this morning, her dog gets run over and she needs to find a vet who'll put her down before Christmas....."

....It was at this *precise* moment that I felt that split-second vibrate from my phone, in my jeans pocket, before the message-alert tone kicks in. I have my hands full... I can't stop it... I know what's going to happen. I am already inwardly dying. Re-read that previous paragraph again and this time, after the word 'Christmas' insert a very, *VERY* loud "WOOOOO-HOOOO!" from Homer Simpson, courtesy of my phone, in my pocket.

I'm ashamed to say it made me produce a snot-bubble for the first time since school.
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 23:28, Reply)
Mistaken for a sales droid.
One Saturday many moons ago I found myself by coincidence all dressed in black in a certain retail outlet where the staff wear an all black uniform. Whilst there I was accosted by a gentleman who proceeded to quite abusively tear strips off me for "my" companys shoddy customer service, he wasn't happy with the product he bought, etc., etc. I tried to butt in a couple of times and tell him I didn't work there, he kept telling me to be quiet and let him finish. Eventually he does and signs off with a triumphant "Well, what are you going to do about it!?".

"Well.....I'm going to say you're a massive fuckwit" I responded and returned to my browsing. He went purple, spluttered and stormed off to return shortly with a bemused manager, who asked him what the issue was. He pointed widly at me and stated I was very rude to him, the manager looked even more puzzled and enquired as to why this should concern him to which said gentleman shouted "I WANT AN APOLOGY AND I WANT HIM FIRED!".

The manager looked at me, I grinned, he looked back at the now foaming gentlemen and calmly said "But he doesn't work here, sir". This was just too much, the guy howled with rage and stormed out of the shop, leaving me to explain to the now very confused manager what had just happened. I got discount on what I decided to buy after I'd told him the story.
(, Mon 14 May 2012, 22:46, 4 replies)
Get out of my house!
In the late 90's they began to build a new supermarket just round the corner from my parents. This was the main talking point for some time, as being southern we had never had the chance to set foot in a morrisons before.

Part of the planning permission to build this was based around the preservation of a old building. The shop was allowed to knock down all of it but had to keep the front façade. This resulted in the outer walls being finished some months before the rest of the store. Holes were cut for cash machines in the brickwork and then boarded up.

Some time later as the supermarket was nearing the big grand opening, the bank sent round a chap to open up and install a cash machine.

Prying off the boards, he was then promptly attacked by a homeless man who had been living inside. Apparently as soon as he had opened up the ATM hole, this dishevelled guy had shot out alien-face-hugger style and began punching. All the while screaming "get out of my house"
(, Sat 12 May 2012, 9:13, 1 reply)
'Staff can no longer engage in conversations with Daniel about football on the shop floor'
Waz4444's tale down there reminded me that the shop I once worked in also had a 'employ a local mentally disabled individual to give them more interaction with the public' scheme.

The young fellow who graced our supermarket was called Daniel. He had Down's Syndrome and was about as wide as he was tall- he could lift 25Kg sacks of potatoes like they were bags of crisps. He would challenge anyone and everyone to feats of strength and even once queued up at the checkout on his way out to ask one of the old dears if she wanted to arm wrestle. To accept a this challenge was a shortcut to defeat and pain.

One surefire way of avoiding such contests was to quickly change the subject onto football. Daniel loved football and could only come in every other Saturday for his 4 hours as on the other Saturdays he was taken to watch Tottenham Hotspur at their home games. He once asked me if I thought I could catch a cabbage if he threw it at me as hard as he could. An enquiry into last week's score soon but that one on the backburner.

Until one fateful day. I can only speculate about what happened the Saturday before. I assume that the game had not gone well for Tottenham and a member of the crowd has voiced his anger about it. A week later a challenge was offered and deflected with talk of football.

-"How did Spurs get on last weekend Daniel?"
-"SORRY BUNCH OF CUNTS!!!!"
-"Oh Christ."

This happened every time- You would think, 'It's safe, they won 4-0. He won't say it.' You'd be wrong. We'd make a game of it, calling out to Daniel as you were leaving the shop floor so that hundreds of middle class women would be serenaded with 'SORRY BUNCH OF CUNTS!

Eventually we were told in no uncertain terms to stop this, but Daniel had come out of his shell and would start conversations of his own. (So I guess the social interaction aspect of the project worked) In the end the lady who would come and pick him up announced that Daniel wouldn't be coming back. It turned out that he'd regale the elderly at his care home with his thoughts of the Tottenham squad too.

Years later I heard that Daniel had passed away and my first thought was of him at the pearly gates telling St Peter just what he thought of those eleven men he watched running about a few days before.
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 11:10, Reply)
tesco direct. what? it's still a supermarket!
i'd used the tesco website a couple of times before, so i was confident i could get pretty much everything i needed using the online delivery service.
i don't know exactly how it happened, whether it was some computer glitch, or more likely, i just brain spazzed and thought i'd ordered everything i needed to see me through the week.
nothing more, nothing less.
anyway, the following day, my allotted time came and the delivery van arrived.
i opened the door expecting to see a small tower of the those plastic boxes stacked up by the door, but was met with a grinning driver, holding a small paper bag.

the bag contained one single, solitary, mushroom

i'm sure somebody saw my order and went out of their way to find the single finest specimen of mushroom, as it was absolutely perfect. perfectly proportioned, shaped, and not a blemish on it.

it wasn't enough to make a spag bol though
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 2:53, 3 replies)
Posts below have reminded me of this story which I shall shamelessly pearoast:
Many years ago I used to work in theatre as an assistant stage manager.

We we working on a production of The Rivals, on stage was a bowl of fruit. As the fruit had to be practical, i.e. eaten, we used real fruit. One of my jobs was to buy fruit every so often from the supermarket over the road. They used to give us gift vouchers in return for a mention in the programme.
One other thing that we managed to get for free was fags. Yes this was that long ago that we could get fags to smoke on stage for nowt in return for a mention in the programme.

One problem was that when people smoke on stage they have to put the fag out in an ashtray filled with water, health and safety and that. When changing the set the water tended to splash. So we came up with the idea of using KY jelly.


So that is how I one day found myself in Sainsburys buying bananas and KY jelly with a gift voucher.
(, Sat 12 May 2012, 21:05, 8 replies)
Parenting fail...
When I was a child and had to be forced into visiting the supermarket with one of my parents (immensely boring for any child) I always used to go and read the comics on the magazine stand and await my parents to pick me up at the end. This one time my father took me shopping on his own and I did my usual "I'm off to read the comics". I'd read the whole of the Beano, The Dandy and a few others before my father appeared and without mentioning a word just said "come on now, we're going home". It was only when we got home that it turned out that my father had already been home and had been promptly asked by my mother "Where's the boy?" followed by "Oh shit!" He'd forgotten he'd taken me shopping with him.
(, Sat 12 May 2012, 19:51, 1 reply)
Awkward Christmas mornings
When I was a student I had a weekend and holiday job at a popular chain of catalogue-based retailers. There were many low points to the job, but the lowest of all was the horrendous Christmas period. It was insanely busy beforehand, with queues out the door and an endless stream of parents who got very unhappy when you told them the 'in' toy that year was out of stock. Then, once you had survived the pre-Christmas period, you got the influx of people bringing unwanted junk back.

After going through this cycle a couple of times, in the third year I decided I was going to get some revenge on Joe Public. I used to work all over the shop, sometimes on the tills, sometimes on the collection desk, but it was when I was working in the stockroom that my opportunity presented itself.

One of the big toys that year was the 'Magna Doodle' - a drawing board kind of like an Etch-a-sketch, but with a pen (and therefore more chance of producing a legible drawing) instead of dials. We had LOADS of them, probably thirty or more, in a great pile in the stockroom. One Sunday morning, in a spare bit of time before the doors opened and the crowds descended, I found myself in one of the toy aisles and noticed the Magna Doodle boxes were not sealed at the end, meaning one could extract and replace the toy with no sign of tampering. My plan was formed.

Initially, I removed one, wrote a naughty word on it, and carefully placed it back in the box. My crime complete, I was pretty satisfied, as I thought about little Johnny opening his present on Christmas morning and asking his parents what WANKSOCK meant. But then, the excitement of it all got the better of me. In the next ten minutes or so, I defaced every single one, starting with rude words and then progressing into drawings of an ever increasingly explicit nature.

Amazingly, this really was the perfect crime as there was zero fallout afterwards. No-one ever brought one back, or complained - maybe older brothers or sisters got the blame instead. I still smile when I imagine all of those awkward Christmas morning discussions.
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 16:52, 4 replies)
It's the way I tell 'em
I was an assistant at a B&Q garden centre. Old woman approaches me:

Woman: Have you got bird nuts?
Me: No - it's just the way I walk.
Woman: Eh?
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 16:24, 15 replies)
I once had a job in a supermarket unpacking boxes
Some of the boxes had blue packing tape, while other boxes were secured with brown adhesive tape. My job was to cut open the boxes, and stack the contents on the shelves. I used a knife we called a Stanley knife, though Stanley was just a brand name. It was just a standard cutting knife with an extendable and replaceable razor. I would cut the tape down the seam of the tape, where the two edges of the box lid met. That way, I could open the box without damaging it, and shoppers could then use the boxes to take home their groceries if they wanted. Some of the boxes we would flatten by jumping on them and throwing them in the skip in the rear alley of the supermarket. Obviously, this was after I had unpacked the contents. Some boxes, especially the fruit boxes had a waxy coating on them. This stopped them absorbing the moisture of the fruit or vegetables and getting soggy. Occasionaly, some of the box contents would have broken during transportation, and the inside of the box would be soaked with Norsca body wash, for example. Or Tropicana Fruit Drink, to give another example. I think they called it a Drink because it didn't have enough juice in it to be labeled a juice, but I don't really know much about product labeling laws, if I'm honest. The job didn't pay very much, and was fairly monotonous, but I got to learn a lot about boxes.
(, Tue 15 May 2012, 16:21, 7 replies)
Some years ago I wrote EPOS systems that were implemented in Department stores.
After a particularly stressful day preparing the final configuration for the Cash Registers whilst being hassled by the installation team I accidentally left a test configuration file in the final build.

At about midnight on a Friday night before the grand re-opening of the store I was rudely awoken by a very angry phone call from one of the installation managers.

"Why the FUCK do all the customer-facing displays say 'Would the next victim please step up?'"

Could have been worse. At least I hadn't included my test product database of such delicacies as 'Wankspanners' 'Fucknuts' and 'Monkey spunk Mopeds'
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 9:07, 7 replies)
Smells like piss woman
When I have a need for money I can stick it out at crap jobs longer than most. I started with 12 others at Morrisons, and lasted 6 months longer than any of my fellow graduates of the 'how to use a mop' instructional video.

It was during this time on the arse end of the checkouts I became acquainted with one of the regulars, known only to the staff as 'smells like piss woman'. Most Elderly people like to get their shopping done during the week, or early in the morning. You know because its quiet. Not SLPW, she loved to come on a Saturday afternoon when it was heaving. One can only assume this was because of a grudge against society and Morrisons in particular. Thongs of shoppers in a packed supermarket would part in her malodorous wake in a manner akin to the red sea parting for Moses.

One particularly hot day she decided that my till would be the best place to go. presumably as the air conditioner above it was broken. There was easily 20 people queuing up with full trolleys, waiting as much as 20 mins to get their hands on BOGOFF pies. I looked up and suddenly this queue of 20 had been reduced to 3, and people were hurrying to join even busier checkouts.

Then the smell hit my nose like a sack of ordure soaked bricks. The air was textured all of a sudden, and in her full stinky glory SLPW was waiting to be served. The first customer didn't even bother to pack his bags he just slung all the stuff back in the trolley and ran to the car park. The woman behind him had turned pale, and was chocking back vomit as she handed over her credit card. SLPW only had a handbasket but tit seemed like an eternity to serve her.

She trundled off to the cafe, leaving me gasping for air. Then an apologetic supervisor loomed over me. "I'm sorry about that willenium, we call her SLPW and shes here every week. Look I'm sorry about this but im going to need you to clean your till.

Apparently she smelled so bad that it was store policy to clean the checkout she had used. I closed my till and spent 5 mins scrubbing it with bleach before anyone would even come near it again. The people who had left my line and were still queuing in nearby tills stared at the whole process with the only sympathy I ever received from customers in that store.
(, Sat 12 May 2012, 11:26, 7 replies)
'Like a sunburnt Terry Nutkins'
One of the characters who frequented the supermarket I worked in was not quite the 'town drunk', but you sensed that he has eyeing up the role and was updating his CV.

He'd come in of a lunch time(already pissed) and sniff around the booze department for an opportunity to pocket something that he could drink down by the river later. As soon as he entered the area, staff would flood the aisles and he'd shuffle out of the shop muttering under his breath. He walked on crutches so quite how he planned to make a quick getaway is beyond me.

One day I was walking back from lunch at the exact moment that the manager was informed that a customer had 'fallen asleep' in the frozen section, bent over with the top half of his body in a chest freezer full of frozen vegetables. 'What did this customer look like?' was asked and the messenger replied 'Er, It's that old guy on crutches who looks like a sunburnt Terry Nutkins'.

And so it came to be that the manager and his assistant dragged a semi conscious drunk through the shop and out to the bus depot outside, followed by me carrying his crutches, and bizarrely, a prosthetic foot and ankle. We sat him down on a bench and he told us to 'fuck off' and 'leave him alone'. This sudden outburst caused a young girl, about 6 or 7, sitting on the next bench to start bawling her eyes out.

'It's OK little girl', says the manager, 'he's not very well and we're going to take him home.'

'I know' blubbers little girl, 'He used to be my dad.'

Both managers held it in before they got round the corner and started laughing. I wasn't quite so kind. Looking back on it it's obviously quite sad, but the little girl's timing was exquisite.
(, Sun 13 May 2012, 12:13, 2 replies)
Photo shop
Before digital cameras and picture phones gave us an easy way to create our own erotica, enthusiastic amateur snappers of bedroom antics had to entrust their intimate images to the local photo-processing lab.

My first Saturday job was at a large high street camera emporium and much of our trade was sending off film for developing and printing. For the record, no it wasn’t completely automated, yes staff reviewed orders for ‘quality control’ purposes and no, that wasn’t always completely at random. But I digress.

One day in walked a rather ample lady, plain featured, wild hair; think a younger Susan Boyle on a good day. She’d lost her counterfoil slip for her photos, which was fairly common and not really a problem. I took the name and picked out a couple of possible candidates.

“We’ll just check if these are the ones” said I, opening the first pack and fanning out a few prints on the counter. Her various children craned their necks to see the exciting new family photos.

I looked down, then up, then down again. The enduring horror is probably a combination of my embarrassment, the images themselves and the realisation that those kids had just seen their mum, recumbent, legs akimbo and exhibiting her frankly astonishing muffro to maximum effect.

All I could manage to say as she hurriedly gathered up the pictures and stormed out of the shop was

“Yup, those are definitely yours….”
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 14:22, 10 replies)
Comet
I’ve posted stuff here about my time as a sales person for the 2nd rate store…

Here’s another…

Having been re-hired for the xmas rush after leaving 3 months earlier to go to uni – the store had a new manager who said I came highly recommended but she was aware that I had a tendancy to ‘dick around’ and not take the job seriously (harmless stuff really – but it never looked professional). Basically, I would start straight away but there would be no probation period. I was on her radar and she was ready to pounce if I was up to no good.

I was on the 12-6 shift and was having a productive day. It came to 5:55 and I was in the storeroom by the office when I spotted it in all its glory. A huge cylinder of helium used for promotional balloons. Then I spotted the tannoy microphone in the office. I really couldn’t afford to miss this opportunity.

Several gulps of helium later and I hit the tannoy button.

“Staff announcement, Staff announcement”
(Now imagine a combination of Frankie Howard and Kenneth Williams with chipmonk voices)
“OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”

I looked on the CCTV to see most of the staff falling over laughing and then spotted there was at least 10 customers still in the shop, then I spotted the manager storming towards the back office.

I was royally bollocked!!

It took me just under 6 hours at my ‘new job’ to get my first written warning
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 11:55, Reply)
This ones about a number of shops.......
A good 20 /30 years ago (God I’m getting old) I had a part time job as a night-time security guard at a mall and this QOTW is perfect for me to shoehorn in a couple of mundane stories that vaguely fit the topic. The job was pretty cushy; check the entrances and loading areas, walk through the empty complex and check the outside areas for anything suspicious (Laughable for the area the place was situated- we got the odd skateboarder or bored teen but that was it really).

One night I was doing my rounds and saw a large van pull up, treating it as a tad suspicious I decided to keep my eye on it. My suspicions that I was going to have to call 9-1-1 subsided when I realise that it was E driving the van. E is a local old duffer, slightly senile in my opinion but totally sweet and harmless. A couple of minutes later another well known local nutcase turns up (He looks ok at first but theres a rumour going around that the mother likes to do more than kiss him to sleep at night if you know what I mean, nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Chuckling to myself I decided to carry on with my rounds and keep checking on them rather covertly each time I passed.

Halfway into my circuit I heard a screeching of tyres, nothing too bad thinks I, probably someone accidentally wheelspinning a car on the main road. Then it sounds like all hell breaks loose, an explosion followed by what sounded like gunfire! I panic and sprint back to the nearest window facing the parking lot and cannot believe my eyes. The two local nutters were packing up the van and one of the kiosks out front was on fire with what looked like the remains of a car smashed into it.

I ran to the exit and grabbed hold of E. He totally feigned ignorance and said he was working in the van when it happened and his mate just juddered a little. I was pretty pissed, what the hell was I going to say to my boss, I had a burning kiosk and the bodies of a few dead Libyans to sort out. I tried to ask them more questions but E mentioned he had to go grab the Delorian that had been left behind in the city centre and got the hellaway from the scene before the police arrived.

Come to think of it, I’m sure they did something to the Mall sign too as I’m sure it was called Twin Pines at one point. Meh.
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 16:27, 9 replies)
pearost
B&Q
be aware, I recently went to a b&q store in mersey side and was approached by a member of their staff and asked if I wanted decking? well, I got the first punch in, but I feel the lesser vigilant person might not be so sharp.
(, Tue 15 May 2012, 15:41, 19 replies)
These boots are made for walking.....
Just in case you are thinking about the faux leather things you pop on your feet, a quick apology.
Its about a high street store that peddles pharmacy goods, and other general healthcare goods, and does a bloody good business at Christmas with their "Three for Two" offers.
And no, its not bloody Superdrug.

Now, a young Tesco Quality had bagged a job at this grand store to be a shelf stacker. Nothing wrong with that, I hear you say, even starting at 7am in the morning to punt out, by onesself, all manner of pantyliners, nappies and shampoos.
After the cages had been returned to their places, I would then be "on the till". Yep, I was also a till monkey, happily serving the good customers of my home town their wares.

Yes, indeed to this day, if you ask me what colour box is the "Tampax extra - Torrents of blood like a raging river", then I will happily murmur the reply in a daze of happy rememberance.

There are always advantages to working in such a place, the ladies on the cosmetic counter... However, I did ask one rather trowelled lady once how long it took to plaster on the makeup - I was met with threats of violence including "how would you like this rather big Denman hair brush stuck up your arse?". I retired to stacking more boxes of Tommee Tippee breast milk devices on the shelves.

Other moments of wide eyed hushedness included...

The old lady, every Saturday morning, as soon as the store opened. She made a bee line for me on the till.
At least 70, if a day. And regular as clockwork. EVERY FUCKING SATURDAY. A basket. She would approach, bolder than a African Lion in heat.

1 x tube of KY Jelly
3 x boxes of Durex, ribbed.

And no words were said while I picked up the items, scanned them into the till, popped them into a "small bag", and of course, she would say "you will double bag it for me deary?". And of course, I would double bag. Fuck you enviromentalists, some old lady is getting some. If she wants it double bagged, I'll double bag it.

Oh, and the "country" types. Dragging their teenage daughter in and baskets full of the aforementioned "Tampax Extra Torrent Strength".
I assure you all, my eyes are on the till, listening to the beep of the bar code as it passes by. No words ever were mentioned of this ever, it is like a secret code to those girls whom I was in 6th form with. I held mighty respect for not disclosing that "Big Tits Sarah" has got a minge exploding like Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park.

And the discounts were not bad either! 33% of own brand and 17.5% off any other stuff. Roaring trade at Christmas, especially on the testers. Want a bottle of the finest Eau de WHATTHEFUCKISTHATSMELL? Tester bottles by the hundred. All upstairs in the canteen, Pop a pound in the "honesty box" and take a bottle with you.
Profits abound, my lovely boys and girls!

However, these promised days could not live forever. I had to leave the sacred aisles of shampoo and boxed gift sets of Brut. But not before, THE BAD DAY happened.

The day started normally, Old Lady came and took her supplies, and various nubiles escorted by their mothers would buy their stocks of Kotex and other assorted goodies. Small talk would be passed to the good people. Please's and thank you's would be happily passed with the smile that I would happily muster.

The stench happened first. If I had known then about the Old Ones, then I would have thought that Cthluthu himself had passed a wrist shaped shit in the doorway.
Eyes watered, strange moans and retches were heard from the hair dye aisles. All I had to assile to evil stink was Vicks Vaporub, which I had been assigned, to be the good keeper of, in case of this day.

The evilness approached the till. My till. Oh mother of all holy please, not this, please no...
Oh yes.
A lady of odd complexity, some may say a look of being shell shocked, perhaps of being faced with a husband presumed dead in some awful accident suddenly showing up and asking for a brew.
She placed a toddler on the side counter, and the stink was magnificent. Since those young days I have consumed some drink, some foodstuffs to ferment in my bowels and the next day the escaping aroma is something that Hades himself would be pleased with.

But, no. This... stench, the evil clagging invisible mist was permeating the protective layers of Vicks Vaporub. It was simply melting from my upper lip, and the my eyes were quickly being consumed by a fog of dense evilness.

All she said was.... "I've had to take a nappy out of this pack, I've had to change him. Can you get rid of the old one for me?"
And with a thump, the most evil thing in the world was deposited in the basket holder. Pensioners were in cardiac arrest, the makeup from the trowelled ladies was dripping off, and in the distance I heard sirens approaching.

I had to be strong. The serve was done. The card was "click clacked" through the machine. All throughout, screams and the noises of pure evil was heard.

And guess what? The kid was chomping on a "Chupa Chup" lolly from the front of the till. Did I charge for that? Did I fuck.

The till was closed for about 3 hours after that, and it never recovered. I left shortly after, and I understand it was burnt down in a strange "electrical fire".

I feel, to this day, privileged though, to have met Cthulthu's Child.
(, Tue 15 May 2012, 23:49, 11 replies)
My friend (our very own ivesb, in fact) was telling me about the time he was mugged
He'd just come out of a shop, with a carrier bag containing his purchases: some beer, to enjoy when he got home. A CD, to listen to while he drank the beer... and a pie, to eat on his way home as he was hungry.

Anyway, someone came up behind him, smashed a bottle over his head and said "give me your money". In a rage, he turned round, chased the would-be mugger off, dropping his carrier bag in the process.

His lament of "I was looking forward to that pie too, I was really hungry" was interrupted by me, in wide-eyed childish wonder asking him what this amazing emporium of delights was, that sold not only CDs, but also beer! And pies! They certainly didn't have record shops like that round where I live... or maybe it was an off licence with a MUSIC section. Just imagine! How exciting, I couldn't wait to go and peruse it. I had mental images of a little smoky bohemian-looking place, smelling of incense, with loads of obscure music. Probably unusual beers too, imported ones that you can't normally get in this country...

Looking at me incredulously, ivesb replied:

"It was Asda"
(, Mon 14 May 2012, 22:26, 1 reply)
Another DIY shop related story
Was putting bike chains onto a shelf, when from behind I hear a lady's voice say "Oh we're too old for that now"

I turn around and say "What, biking?"

"No," she replied. "Bondage."

Her husband nodded and smiled sadly. They were in their 70's or 80's...
(, Mon 14 May 2012, 19:19, 2 replies)
Where in the world….
My wife had just bought a new car, and so eager to take it for a spin, we decided to go and visit her grandparents and take them out to the local Harvester or wherever. Lunch with grandparents is always followed by a trip to Sainsburys, Homebase, or the garden centre – if you visit older relatives, you know the score.

No sooner had her granddad finished his fillet of salmon when he announced that he’d like to be driven over to PC World to buy a new keyboard. No problem, I don’t mind wandering around any computer store for a bit, and it’s nice to feel that you’re helping them out with something that they can’t normally do by bus. My wife and grandma looked in the shop next door, leaving me in PC World with my wife’s grandpa – so far so good…

Unfortunately, old Grandad’s salmon evidently didn’t agree with him, and no more than 5 minutes into the shop, he comes running down the aisle clenching his buttocks like Noah’s Ark had been fully loaded and the tempestuous floods were about to come over the hills and wipe out all humanity. Red-faced, he said something about needing a toilet right NOW… and I could see from his eyes that he wasn’t exaggerating. I stopped a passing staff member, explained that the old chap was not well & could we use the staff toilets etc. They shepherded him out the back through locked doors, but sadly it turns out that they weren’t fast enough. When he re-emerged 20 minutes later, it was evident that he’d removed and tried to wash his entire beige slacks under the tap, and was now 1) wearing soaking wet, shit-stained trousers, 2) making the whole shop smell like a sewage works that’d gone wrong and 3) being escorted out of the shop by a very pleasant (but also quite embarrassed) young PC World Saturday girl, leaving wet brown drips from his trouser legs as he went.

As we reached the car park – and my wife’s brand new car – we toyed with the idea of running in to the M&S to buy new trousers, but in the end, just wrapped him up with a blanket as if it was a sarong, plastered the back seats with loads of PC World deal leaflets, and headed home.

Poor old fella….. To make it worse for him, he got a massive bollocking from his wife the whole way home from the store. Even after steam cleaning the car’s upholstery it still has a musty, shitty smell. Can’t fault the staff in PC World though…
(, Mon 14 May 2012, 12:37, 3 replies)
Llamas
I was admonished (politely) earlier for not posting recently. I’ve not really had the time, but seeing as my brain was trying to take leave of it’s own senses earlier, I thought I’d share my 30-second thought process as I walked down the condiment aisle in Tesco earlier when I saw a new product – Llama’s Baked Bites.

The thought process went exactly as follows. Imagine it as an inner monologue:

"Hmmm. Someone who farms llamas would be a llama farmer.

But if someone hurt that farmer, then that person would be a llama farmer harmer.

Imagine if it was the President of the USA that did it! The press would have a field day and he’d forever be known as Obama – The llama farmer harmer.

And if there were TWO murderers, both called Obama, but one was more violent than the other then in order to differentiate between the two we’d have one nicknamed Calmer Obama – The llama farmer harmer.

But then if it was revealed that the violent llama farmer was a bit of a bastard (maybe he’d been killing the llamas. Who knows. That’s not important here.) who’d been killed by the nice Obama then it’d be known as an incident called Calmer Obama – The llama farmer harmer karma."

I swear that this was a real in-head conversation that happened earlier. Thankfully I was brought out of my llama-based trance by someone asking why I was staring at a pack of Llama's baked bites.

Pray for me.
(, Sat 12 May 2012, 15:21, 3 replies)
I can't imagine I haven't told this before, but...
...when I was 16 I worked in Martin's the newsagent in one of the even less classy than the other non classy parts of Essex. I watched as a tarty looking woman (think stereotypical leopard print skirt, tight short skirt, tits struggling to stay in a too small top, excessive make-up and peroxide hair with dark roots) reached up to the top shelf, took a few copies of Fiesta and then came and plonked them down in front of me to ring through the till. Copies of Fiesta that she was the cover star of.

No, she was not attractive. Yes, I stole a copy and wanked myself stupid over her anyway.
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 14:34, 3 replies)

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