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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.

Freshly-baked bread is reduced in price significantly at the end of the day, as it will get stale, unless you freeze it.
Thus Mrs Vagabond regularly goes on a mission "To free the bread".

Mrs Vagabond's ace.
(, Thu 17 May 2012, 10:56, 2 replies)
Overheard in spazda last night.
Him: "I don't think we need that many red onions"
Her: "Yeah, but look! Singles are a pound each!"
(, Thu 17 May 2012, 10:27, Reply)
not me
My wife's best mate, J, worked in KiwkSave in Toxteth, Liverpool.

It was as shit as you would imagine. Probably a little bit worse, in fact.

She often regaled us with tales of old ladies keeping their money in their knickers, in case they got mugged and the like.

The one that really sticks in mind was one Christmas.

There was, as always, a crush of people trying to get more food than they could possibly need at the very last minute. A middle-aged, skaggy-looking woman walks up to J's till and demands to know where the the spuds were.

J points to the fruit and veg bit, the skaghead woman replies with "there's none there, I know you've got some hidden out back, you lying bitch"
J tries to reason with her and points out they would have no good reason to hide spuds from customers on December 24th.
She gets a torrent of abuse in return.
J tries to reaon some more.
So the junkie slag twats J in the head with the frozen leg of lamb she had in her hand.

J is not the kind of girl to take this shit lightly. Her dad works in Ashworth (maximum security hospital) and her ambition was to work there as well. So she launches herself over the checkout at the offending woman and starts to beat the shit out of her.

Quick as a flash, everyone in the shop does nothing. The fight rolls on for a bit before J properly gets the upper hand and starts banging the woman's head off the floor. At this point, the security guard intervened.

J was hauled in front of the store manager and was told to "stop fucking about and get back on the till"
(, Thu 17 May 2012, 10:21, 5 replies)
I was in the gardening centre, when an assistant came over and asked me
if I wanted decking!

How we laughed when I told him I already had some decking in my garden!
(, Thu 17 May 2012, 10:00, 6 replies)
I work for a DIY chain
. I won’t say which one but I have to dress like an inmate from Guantanamo Bay. I have encountered most of the idiots. Sometimes I answer the phone with customers asking questions such as “How much paint do I need to paint my house?”
“I`m sorry, I have not seen your house, how big is it?”
“Average size”.
Scummers that "Forget" to pay for things in their trolley.
I sold a blind man a huge hammer drill as he wanted to remove tiles in his bathroom.
The woman who was `in a hurry` that decided to stop and complain for twenty minuets that she had to queue like everyone else.
Our trolley boy who hides near the burger van, brings one trolley back at a time and carries a bag full of hard core porn.
We found a homeless man asleep in the gulley between the shelves who told us to "Fuck off" as he was trying to get some sleep.
Constantly explaining to customers that if the paint is "Buy one get one free" you don`t get to keep the free one and get a full refund on the one you bring back, you get half of what you paid back .
Someone telling me that it was "illegal" for me not to refund an item even though he had no receipt and we didn't stock it. He was going to his solicitor, I asked him to let me know how he got on.
A fat man throwing half a door handle at me because I refused a refund because we don't sell just half a door handle.
I also had a customer try to bring back some wallpaper, that had been hung then taken down, as it was “Upside down”. They wondered why they wouldn’t get refunded.
(, Thu 17 May 2012, 8:51, 3 replies)
Flour Milk Leg of lamb Toilet Roll Bananas

(, Thu 17 May 2012, 8:02, 1 reply)
It surprises me how many internet shut-ins claim to leave the house to go shopping.

(, Thu 17 May 2012, 5:48, Reply)
We had a Bomb Scare
Back in the good old days when it was the IRA threatening to blow up dustbins instead of Fundamentalists blowing up their underpants.

Customers: when evacuating a supermarket, you don't need to bring your unfinished shopping in the trolley/basket out of the fire exit with you.

Once evacuated, all the customers and staff decided to stand watching the police through the big glass window, just to make sure they got cut to ribbons by flying glass if there was a real bomb. I was sat behind the landscaped hill at the far end of the car park.

What I learned from this and the other 5 years of part-time work at a supermarket: People (customers and staff) are all fucking stupid. I despise you all.

My lottery fantasy is still to one day be rich enough to own a supermarket chain, and work on tills at weekends and tell the particularly needy, whiny, complaining customers to fuck off and have them barred. I know it won't be profitable, but I think it would be a public service for some people to be told off in public. Nice polite people might get their shopping for free, too.
(, Thu 17 May 2012, 4:50, 4 replies)
Sainsbury's Basics Dark Chocolate...
As far as I am concerned this is the tastiest dark chocolate there it. I don't care that it's cheap, it just tastes great.

So I am most annoyed that the local branch of Sainsbury's seems to have stopped selling it :( So unfair!

Oh well, back to Bourneville!
(, Thu 17 May 2012, 4:47, 3 replies)
I want to be the receptionist at this place, as I have impeccable enunciation...
(, Thu 17 May 2012, 4:17, Reply)
Way back when I was a lad,
I was in the corner mom&pop grocery store when a girl I knew slightly from school went to the counter and put down a box of tampons. The old lady picks it up and in a stage whisper says "Oh, that time again,eh? I've tried these but it's like sitting on a stump."
Whenever I saw that girl in school after that she would pretend not to know me.
(, Thu 17 May 2012, 1:15, Reply)
I won't shop in Blacks - The Outdoors Specialists
because I think they're being racist.
(, Thu 17 May 2012, 0:24, 5 replies)
Sometimes I like to go to 24 hour supermarkets in the wee hours of the morning
to look at sparkly things.

I haven't taken drugs or anything, just find it rather enjoyable.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 23:56, 2 replies)
I occasionally moonlight in a pharmacy
When guys buy condoms, and I ask them if 'they would like a bag with that?'

my favorite response is 'no thanks she's not that ugly' followed by the dumbest shit-face grin ever....

I can't think of anything that could make my day better...
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 22:43, 2 replies)
I worked on a project that needed lots of mosquito's
to feed them we'd use condoms filled with feeding mixture in their cages.

Once a week I'd nip out to by the 50 condoms for the following week. I could have gone to the nearby supermarket and completed an anonymous purchase, but just a little further there was a corner shop. Within a few weeks I went from a friendly hello and smile from the girls behind the til to stony faced hostility as the clearly dangerous pervert turned up for his week's supply.

I'm surprised I've not turned up in one of these stories.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 20:36, 4 replies)
Back in the day...
I worked for a high street electronics retailer (think Hi-De-Hi)for my sins. The customer base was wide, from the scally kids chipping Playstations to the proper radio ham anoraks - I fit in somewhere in between ;)
Anyway on one particularly quiet day there were a couple of customers in while we were busy pissing around. Cue old bloke approaches counter to pay for his wares - he starts emptying his pockets with the stuff he was buying. None of us had noticed him filling his pockets and he could of easily just walked out. Fair play, I start putting it all into the till when I made the fatal mistake... "Anything else sir?" meaning would you perhaps like one of these mini LED keycahin lights, batteries or even a catalogue. He practically exploded "Just what are you accusing me of?"
Maybe I could have chosen my words better. Silly old git.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 20:16, 1 reply)
Elmer's Barn of Junk and Dead Things
I used to go to this huge junk shop in central Maine as a teenager. It was a good place to get unusual clothes and tools and unlabeled cassette tapes and such, as well as assorted clown/Jesus/unicorn memorabilia.

The most memorable part was the second story of the barn, which had two massive rooms right next to the staircase, one filled entirely with wedding dresses and the other with shovels. :0
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 20:15, Reply)
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)
A quickie...
(ooo err missus etc etc.)

One time a dude came to my till and bought nothing but 9 tubes of KY jelly, 4 boxes of condoms, 4 bags of grated cheddar and a balloon whisk.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 18:31, 1 reply)
I used to work...
As a checkout lady at a well known supermarket. It rhymes with "Sorry Sons." I could probably fill up this QOTW with anecdotes and memories, but as it's Wednesday and we all just want to go home I shall share with you this one story.

So. It's about half 11 on a quite Tuesday morning and I'm minding my own business counting down the minutes till I get to go home when a magnificently drunk man staggers over to my till and plonks his few purchases on the conveyor belt. As they trundle ever closer, I notice he's attempting to buy a 2 litre bottle of cheap cider, amongst other items. As he is so sozzled, it would be illegal for me to sell it to him. I inform him of this. He doesn't take it kindly. After arguing with me about it for a few moments, he decides the best course of action will be to pick up an onion he's buying and throw it full pelt at my face. Because he is so drunk, he misses by about 5 miles. The security guard comes trundling over and escorts the gentleman off the premises. I have to fill in some forms, and because it's classed as a violent incident, I'm offered counselling, which I decline. Mr onion thrower is subsequently barred from all branches of the store.

TL;DR: A drunk man threw an onion at me.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 18:29, 4 replies)
At the Chemists.
Waiting for my prescription to be made up at the chemists there was a shout across the shop of "We haven't got any twenties. Would two tens be alright?" Everyone looked at the across to the assistant waving packs of Tena Lady about then across to the poor customer.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 17:50, Reply)
Just another day at the helpdesk...
I used to work for a crowd of Idiotic Bumbling Morons who make cash register systems for large supermarkets. Mostly I just rang up engineers to help with technical queries and ordered parts but quite often I spoke to the managers in stores if something on the job ticket didn't quite "look right". Now, you get to know who is actually capable of telling their arse from their elbow in each store and often it was worth just ringing the clueful ones up anyway.

One fine morning I found five tickets in my inbox, all for the same store, all for blown power supplies. The tills were basically 486 or Pentium PCs (in 2005!) with funny connectors, and the power supplies were pretty much standard ITX PSUs and rarely failed. Reading the notes on the first ticket gave me the name of the manager - hmm, it's C, one of the good ones, a bit of a geek in fact, so if she says the power supplies are blown it's a safe bet that she's had the facilities guy check the fusebox and all that. Right, phone call.

"Hi there C, it says that you've got five tills, all with blown PSUs, is that correct?"
"Yes, they're faulty, we checked the fuses, checked the sockets and all that, it's definitely the power supplies"
"Okay, so what took out all five?"
"Well we had a power cut and when we got the power back on - uh - properly, five tills were dead"
"Yeah, okay, how about you tell me what *really* happened...?"
"Promise you won't laugh? Okay, well one of the delivery lorries reversed over the substation transformer and took out half the shopping centre. When we got power back up on the standby generator, two of the tills didn't power up"
"Riiiight", I said, suppressing laughter (hey, I *did* promise), "What about the other three?"
"Ah yeah well, then the generator ran out of diesel..."
I broke my promise about laughing, but got an engineer out with five new power supplies and a bunch of other stuff "just in case".

I now add "and then the generator runs out of diesel" to the Disaster Recovery Drill scenario list.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 17:45, 1 reply)
When in university in Sheffield
some year back I may add

I remember the localsupermaket carpark had been closed off with police tape. On close inspection the police officers were busily inspecting the trolley area.

It turned out a gang of local theives thought they could make of with hundreds (well more like 50 or so) pounds from the little pound device on the trolley handle. It baffles me the fact they spent a good few hours to figure out none of them had a pound coin in them.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 17:30, 1 reply)
I lost my virginity on the floor of WH Smiths in Walthamstow
...but I managed to get it back again in Ikea - Wembley branch.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 16:34, 3 replies)
Classic distraction technique
My first part-time job was at that bastion of British culture, Woolworths.

Initially my job was to work in the upstairs warehouse wearing the prescribed tight navy blue trousers, cream shirt and blue tie that looked like it had been made from carpet. The warehouse itself was virtually pitch-black, so in between the fumbling around I would occasionally sweep the floor and move the odd cage.

One Saturday the store manager asked me to cover for the woman who usually ran the kids clothing department. This basically meant walking around a specific section of the shop floor, being helpful to customers and ensuring the stock levels remained high. On the latter point, I should only ever call for another member of staff to get stock from the warehouse, and certainly never leave the department unmanned. No problem I think.

The first couple of hours were uneventful and crushingly boring and I wished I was back in the warehouse. Just when I was about to lose the will to live, a tall and very attractive woman comes flouncing up to me and with a very heavy french accent asks if I can help. It quickly becomes apparent that she has just used up the extent of her english vocabulary, so breaking out my GCSE french, I proceed to spend the next hour helping her choose a coat for her niece. I'm feeling pretty chuffed with myself for going above and beyond the call of duty, and think nothing of it when she asks me to give her detailed directions to the station at the other end of town. I even go as far as drawing a small map on a piece of cardboard for her to follow.

When she leaves the shop, I decide to check stock levels and see if I need to get any more down. There are rows and rows of empty rails which just over an hour ago were filled with kids dresses, coats and posh outfits. I knew something was amiss but was far too embarrassed to raise the alarm, so I acted as though nothing was wrong and just requested more stock. My heart was beating relentlessly when the store manager called me to his office at the end of day to explain we'd be robbed earlier by a professional gang. I claimed ignorance and didn't mention the french lady. Amazingly they put me on the same department the following week, but I had company. The most blindingly obvious store detective in the world.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 16:29, 1 reply)
I still don't know...
A long time ago I was walking out of Littlewoods department store when I encountered a guy, in a wheelchair, who was heading in.
"Excuse me mate," he asked, "do you know if they have a disabled toilet in here?"
I didn't know but, being a helpful sort of bloke, I went and found an assistant who informed us that there wasn't one, but we were welcome to use the staff toilets (which were bigger) - though there were a couple of small steps...
The guy accepted her offer, then asked me if I'd give him a hand negotiating the steps.
"What the hell", says I and off we trundle - into the goods lift, down many corridors, the aforementioned steps and, eventually, we're in the staff khazi.
Unfortunately, his wheelchair is too big to fit through any of the cubicle doors - so we've got a bit of a problem...
"What you in need of mate - a piss or a crap?"
"A piss."
"Any ideas?"
"Not really."

Eventually, I figure that I could aim him at the urinal trough and grab him round the chest, from behind, supporting him - leaving his hands free to do the business (I pointed out that, whilst willing to 'go the extra mile' and help a brother out, I drew the line at handling another man's junk). So we gave it a go - and a right fucking polava ensued!

But, in the end, it wasn't happening - so I get him back into his chair, we leave the bog, our helpful assistant escorts us back to the store, and we head out into the street.

"Do you know where the British Home Stores is?" he asked.
I gave him directions, then remembered something, "I've just thought, there's definitely a disabled toilet in the market; it's in the opposite direction; but nearer..." and started to tell him the way.
"No - it's ok mate - I'll go to the British Home Stores. Thanks anyway." and off he rolled.

A few minutes later I had a thought:
It occurred to me that he may have been some kind of 'activist' - intent on 'educating' people as to the woeful lack of disabled facilities in the city's big shops - and that he was heading down to the British Home Stores to pull the same stunt all over again...

And to this day I still don't know.

So what do you guys think - was I mugged?

(All comments referencing 'bumming', or variants thereof, will be treated with the utmost contempt)
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 15:56, 2 replies)
The intelligence of Wythenshawe Scumbags.
As I've harped on several times I've worked for several companies who supply supermarkets and other stores with cash registers. I found myself in the unfortunate situation of working for a company who's offices were at the edge of the notoriously scummy Wythenshawe estate. The company employed scummy local Wythenshawe cleaners who (and I'll jump to a snap judgement here) decided to assist their scummy scumbag friends with some insider knowledge for the perfect heist.

It seems that one was issued with a generic 'guest/temporary' ID pass which granted full access to the entire building's external and internal security doors where a number of them were able to accurately negotiate their way to the store rooms. Completely ignoring the expensive computer components our entire stock of cash drawers were looted.

They were all found smashed open in a nearby wood.

I guess their scummy Wythenshawe logic was that if they were cash drawers they must have cash in em, innit? Even though they were all wrapped in cellophane with the keys to open them taped to the side.

(, Wed 16 May 2012, 15:55, 3 replies)
I went to Starbucks and asked for an extra-large skinny mocha latte with cinnamon and a vanilla twist, as usual.
The guy behind the counter asked me if I wanted a double shot of espresso for only £1-50 more!

So I punched him in the face and raped his girlfriend.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 15:40, 4 replies)
Asda curry
24hr supermarkets are dangerous. I once tried to cook my own Asda curry by creeping behind the take-away curry counter. Alas, the section was fully empty (it being 4am) so I left the store empty-handied, no doubt having entertained security.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 15:27, Reply)
This is going back a bit
Saturday job in local supermarket and this is BB (Before Barcodes) so we actually had to type prices in and occasionally add stuff up. This is why only the clever kids got to play on the tills and the rest stacked cheese.

To relieve the boredom we used to play 'value the trolley' where you had to guess the value of the items before running them through. It was amazing how close you could get, judging both the customer and the size/shape of the goods. Unless they had 5 beef joints hidden at the bottom.
(, Wed 16 May 2012, 14:39, 1 reply)

This question is now closed.

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