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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.

Poo Patrol
In my teenage years I worked as a shelf stacker in a well-known posh supermarket. The work was dull but they paid the best rate per hour in the area and you got a nice bonus at the end of the year for doing your job.

It was a standard Saturday afternoon and I was filling the shelves with washing powder when an elderly guy taps me on shoulder. He's literally hopping up and down on the spot and glowing red when he asks if I can point him in the direction of the gents. I politely explained that the store didn't have a public toilet, so in his obvious and growing desperation he asked if he could possibly use the staff loos. This was a new one for me, so I asked him to hold tight while I ask the store manager's permission.

The store manager initially said no, but changed him mind when I explained the guy looked like he was about to shit himself in the aisle. The staff toilets were in the locker room, so the guy was allowed to use to toilet on the condition that I escorted him there and back and stood outside the cubicle to ensure he wasn't trying to steal any valuables.

The guy sprinted up the stairs to the toilets and dived into the cubicle. What followed was five of the most excruciating minutes of my life as I was forced to listen to an old fellow empty his bowels while moaning in obviously relief. I hadn't had time to explain that I would need to wait outside the cubicle, so as he emerged he was clearly shocked and embarrassed to see me there.

I led him back down to the store to reunite him with his wife who had obviously been worried about him. It was only as he gave her a hug that I noticed the enormous shit stain right down the back of his cream slacks. I guess he didn't quite make it afterall.
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 9:39, 2 replies)
My favourite customer: The local mental who used to take the shelf edge tickets
off the shelf and present them at the check out proudly belming "money off coupon" and expecting me to reduce the price and somehow fit the shelf edge ticket in the till, despite the fact the price was already reduced automatically on the computer.
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 9:32, Reply)
Excuse me do you work here?
No, i just wear this company branded uniform for fun.
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 9:10, 5 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)
I have loads of these tales but no time right now so you'll have to have a Pearoast....
It's from not that long ago but they're my peas and I'll roast them however I see fit.

Many years ago, as a teenager, I had a weekend job working for a supermarket in the fruit and veg department. On the Saturday I'd have to start at 6am, unloading the delivery truck before putting out all the fresh produce. The early start was a bit of a pain in the arse, but as with most young men of that age, Friday night beer didn't really affect me in the way it does today.

This one particular Saturday morning, whilst unloading the lorry an unsavoury odour was noticed but my colleagues and I dismissed it as the work of a beer/curry/physical exersion/fart combination on behalf of the driver.

We were wrong. Once the stock was off the lorry I loaded up the trolleys and wheeled them out onto the shop floor. It would all come in these collapsable green trays, and loose veg would be in a black polythene bag inside one of these trays that you'd slice open and tip out.

Not today though. I sliced open a bag carrots and was immediately hit with the stench of farmyard excrement. Not just excrement though, there was an artistic bonus too. The tray was packed with horse shit and someone had rather thoughtfully layed out eleven carrots on top of it spelling out the world 'CUNT'. This wasn't a spur of the moment act though- these carrots were massive and whoever had performed the act must have been saving these carrots over his shift, which I imagine was his last.

Truth be told I really admired his artistry- the slight itallic lean in the capital letters and the choice of word itself- this farm worker had clearly had enough and was going out with a bang.

So Mr Unhappy Carrotpacker, if you ever read this and have wondered after all these years just where your handywork ended up, It arrived at Hertford Waitrose one Saturday morning and caused one of my colleagues to dry wretch repeatedly for about 90 minutes before eventually throwing up in the cardboard box compactor out the back.

For that I salute you.
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 8:50, 1 reply)
Best customer question ever:
I'm busy reading the description cards to a woman shopping for a Palm Pilot, and I say "And this one has a camera" . . . she looks up at me and asks:

"What does it do?"

I so wish that I had explained that when you push the button it creates a jpeg file.
I told my manager and she immediately came back with "It bakes a cake!"
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 4:44, 1 reply)
The Disabled.
The Safeways I used to work in when I was a teenager had this policy where the local intellectually disabled were sometimes hired to do odd jobs fill bags etc.

They hired a guy called 'John' who was a little slow, but a lovely bloke.

On the second day, he started hurling his own shit from his toilet cubicle into the next one.

When they went down into the aisles to find him, he pulled out his box cutter and slashed one of the grocery boys before pelting out of the store screaming that he'd lost his bible.

So that plan fucking worked then.
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 4:21, 6 replies)
The most vital part of the shopping experience...
I live in Canada, we use quarter coins here. I remember a long time ago our local supermarket had the kind of carts that are chained together and you have to put a coin in to disconnect the cart and when you're done, reconnect it and get the coin back. One day mom and I are sitting in the supermarket parking lot (can't remember why, waiting for someone?) when this car peels into the parking lot and an extremely angry man gets out, dragging a younger guy with him. He storms over to the cart corral, pulls a quarter out of a cart, and drags the poor guy back to their car, waving the quarter at him and yelling all the way. I'd like to have pointed out to the guy that he probably used up several dollars worth of gas on his trip back to claim his precious 25 cents.
Also there was the time I was in sandals and my toe got caught in the wheel of the cart, and the nail was almost completely ripped off and I bled all over my feet in the aisle. Good times.
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 3:48, 1 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)
"How much is this?"
Turns around product to show price tag. "Oh..."

"Are these the only ones you have?" No, follow me to the secret room where we store the 'Other ones'.
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 1:19, 6 replies)
bloody muzak
I worked in the warehouse at the back of the shop, with one tinny speaker warbling out a 15 minute loop of the crappest tunes and the same competition question. You almost welcomed the PA breaking thru for a price check on a tin of beans (although the best PA announcement from from a new member of till monkeys asking for Mrs Death to come to the customer service, when it should have been Mrs De'Ath).
Anyhoo, peed off with the mind numbing burble, I shinned up to the top pallets located the swinging speaker and cut the wire. Peace at last. My mate loved it as he was a relief till worker on the weekends and never ever heard the PAs for him....
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 0:34, Reply)
chocolate washing up liquid
clambering upto the gods in the store room where no body could see us, me and my mate started to eat a huge bag of m and m's. Turns out you can only eat so many without wanting to barf. So the pallet we were sitting on was bottles of washing up liquid. Cue us pair opening up many many bottles and putting a handfull of m&ms into each one. Never heard of any complaints tho.....
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 0:25, Reply)
talking dog food
My mate used to write all sorts of speech bubbles coming out of the dogs mouth on dog tin foods saying all types of random stuff, quoting Kafka to really purile comments like "this is the cheap stuff you tight cunt!"
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 0:22, Reply)
Poundland is doomed!
There's a shop unit in Derby's Westfield Centre that must be cursed.

Way back, when it was still the Eagle Centre, it was C&A, until they buggered off back across the channel.

Then it became Woolies, and we all know what happened there.

Then came TJ Hughes, and they closed down.

Now it's a branch of the purveyor of the finest quality tat you can buy for a pound. Oh dear.
(, Fri 11 May 2012, 0:08, 9 replies)
Processed cheese and joined-up thinking.
I used to work at McDonald's, but my story concerns being the other side of the counter, at one of the other branches of that fine comestible emporium in my fair city.

At the time, there was a promotion on - 2 cheeseburgers for the princely sum of 99p. Now, I'm fond of hamburgers, but not so much cheeseburgers, so I asked the comely serving wench if I could have two hamburgers for 99p. 'Sorry, the promotion's only on cheeseburgers,' came the reply.

'In that case, I'll have 2 cheeseburgers without cheese, please.'

Serving wench toddled off to the production bin, where the chap who controls the burger flippers stands.

'Can I have two cheeseburgers without cheese, please?'

'You mean 2 hamburgers?'
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 23:57, 4 replies)
Someone suffered a fatal heart attack in a supermarket recently and died on the shop floor.

Sooner than close the aisle, they dragged the body out back and dumped him in the warehouse. I'm sure given half a chance they would've chopped him up and sold him on the meat counter.
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 23:52, 15 replies)
I work as a fridge engineer...
Supermarket fridge motors are noisy old things normally found in a plant room. Not many people have reason to go in the plant room. Only really fridge engineers... And a married manager getting his weasel waxed by a shelf stacker. Every little helps...
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 23:30, Reply)
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)
what is it with trolleys having a wobbly wheel, eh?

(, Thu 10 May 2012, 23:08, Reply)
Internet Shopping
What a fantastic invention.
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 22:44, Reply)
Oh the shame
Of having to seek help because of poor trolley loading. It was all going fine until I failed to spot a carton of sour cream in the bottom of the trolley as I loaded a crate of beer on top. The resultant mistake was pretty obvious and I had to seek staff assistance. The in store PA announcement then exclaimed "Wet spillage incident in aisle 16" (I even remember the aisle number). For years after this has remained a running joke in our household regarding any form of "wet spillage".
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 22:23, Reply)
Pearoast, but a goodie.
Not me but the shop nextdoor
was a very high class maternity wear shop.

It had nice comfy chairs just outside the changing rooms.

One afternoon when all the changing rooms were full of pregnant ladies a man came in, sat down in the chair, got his lad out and wanked himself square and round again.
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 22:17, 4 replies)
I have a face for being a supermarket or shop assistant
This happens one or twice a year. I will be in Tesco or B&Q or where ever and someone will walk up to me and say "Do you work here because I can't find....". I can be in my worst t-shirt and jeans and someone will still walk up to me in Sainsburys and ask me. I don't work in retail at all. I did a Saturday job in Comet when I was 15 and some mindless till work while looking for a job after graduating !#?* years ago. I do not understand what people see in me that says to them "shop worker". I've started responding "Do I look like I work here?".

Actually the till work was quite good mindless fun. I used to see scan slowly till I had a nice long queue and then see how quickly I could empty the queue of customers. Scan scan scan scan scan scan. I was practically throwing the tins past the bar code reader.
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 22:02, 2 replies)
The supermarket down the road here still sells cassettes.
I use them to make mix tapes which I then hoard away.
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 21:29, 4 replies)
Anyone in Devon or Cornwall, and possibly south wales knows Trago.

Pile it high, sell it cheap, and read the billboards ranting about the evil EU while your Polish till monkey types in the prices. Barcodes being some wicked EU plot or something. It's only the last few years they started taking debit cards, being strictly cash or cheque before that.

Anyway, it's the sort of place that raises the blood pressure as soon as you walk through the door. I was in there this weekend, stuck in an interminable queue to buy stuff and get out the hell out. The little kid in front of me, maybe 5 years old, was well stressed, and was being a total arse to his mum. To the point where he punched her.

Mum had clearly had enough, and picked him up to get him eye to eye, and shouted
'If you hit mummy again, I'll...'
And then stopped as several dozen heads all swivelled towards her to find out what she'd do.
Her eyes glance left and right. It's a standoff.
'...er....do something bad!'

An unspoken 'that's alright then' spread through the crowd, and we continued our endless wait.
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 20:26, 8 replies)
On the other side of my town there is a Lidl.
I occasionaly drive past when visiting my poor friends. I have no intention of going in, I'm pretty sure I'll never go in.

But for years now I've found there is no finer pleasure in this world than reading the 'what we're selling in Lidl' paper that arrives regularly on my doormat.
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 19:43, 5 replies)
Kwik Save
Amongst the bananas I saw LITERALLY the biggest most hairiest spider in the whole world ever.

(, Thu 10 May 2012, 19:24, 2 replies)
Shopping for books?
Whatever you buy avoid this.


It's shit.
(, Thu 10 May 2012, 19:07, 8 replies)
I've got a plastic bag full of plastic bags.

(, Thu 10 May 2012, 18:10, 8 replies)
I went to Waitrose once.

(, Thu 10 May 2012, 17:57, 3 replies)

This question is now closed.

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