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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)
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'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?"
-"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)

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