There’s no ‘i’ in ASDA

It’s that time again; time to write another supersonic supermarket parable.

It’s time to finish what I started !

This will be my last ASDA blog post (at least for now) which will document my final two days in The Land of Green. It’s been emotional, it’s been enlightening, it’s been tiring. I would probably postpone this blog til an even later date (I’ve had this draft sat on my wordpress site like a fat kid waiting to be lifted out of a trolley – apt simile – for ages); however by request and because the longer I leave it the less relevance it will have I am endeavouring to finish, at least part 1, now.

So, my penultimate shift at ASDA , how’d it go? Well let’s just say I didn’t wear the cap or hair net.

Saturday wasn’t a great day for me, not because I had horrible customers or because I got told off for not wearing the hat but because I really didn’t want to be there. It was fairly busy, queues of people coming in dribs and drabs, yet it went so slowly. This tends to happen when you’re working and wishing you were at home the entire time. Not only that but I was also incredibly tired, not even physically, but in a drained – I wish I was doing anything but this – kind of tired.

Possibly the worst thing – though don’t quote me on it – about working in retail, particularly in ASDA, is being in the public eye the whole time. I’m generally a smiley, bubbly person and I like helping people, but if you’re having a bad day or you’re tired or feeling a little low ‘being happy to help’ can be the worst thing imaginable. More so because you’re forced to do it for hours on end without a ‘happy face’ break.

That’s why I love the cupboard *

I always say that if I hadn’t got the job on Home & Lesisure (or perhaps bakery) I would have quit ASDA years ago. There’s no way you’d ever get me working on checkouts, though occasionally you’re forced to when you have to queue-bust.

1. Supermarket jargon for when employees working in other departments of the store are required to ‘jump’ on the front tills in order to reduce the amount of people queuing to buy their goods. Once allocated a till a queue-buster cannot leave until they are released by a senior member of staff. You can be there for anywhere between 10 minutes to over an hour.

(Really it should be called queue-kill, but I guess that has negative connotations. Employees might try to kill off customers.)

So why would I be ok with working on bakery and what’s so special about the cupboard? Well…

It’s got something to do with the F word. Not the Gorden Ramsey one.

If you work on the shop floor you’re elicited a certain amount of freedom. You can go upstairs and pee when you want, you can do things you’re not meant to do like eat sweets (discreetly), and check your phone (discreetly); the kind of things you can’t do if you’re working on checkouts – because every second of your time on there is logged and you’re constantly in the public eye.

If you work on George or Music and Video and you’re on the tills you’re stood up, you walk around, you’re not monitored constantly and you have the reprieve of the cupboard.

*The cupboard

It’s a tiny room where all the console games are stored and laptops and usb sticks ect. I’ve often wondered why there isn’t a window in the door so managers can catch you when you’re in there dying from a hang over or spending ten minutes having a major moan about your holiday form accidently going missing – however it works in their favour too.

The worst thing about working on Music and Video is when we don’t have a game in stock and you have to tell the customer you don’t have  it.. people can get really angry about that, and each time you know it could go either way. They could either be Fonzy style cool about it or they could go crazy – especially if it’s for their kid, and it happens to everyone; managers and colleagues. You spend ages in there hunting around – because you won’t believe how often things are put in the wrong place – and you’d look like a right wally if customers could see you. You’d feel like one too. No customer knows how big or small the M&V cupboard is or what you do when you’re in there (other than have mini raves and throw malteasers down your throat) and that’s the way it should stay.

Another gripe that you have to withstand in ASDA is ASDAfm, but trust me you’d rather have ASDAfm then not have it. First thing in the morning it’s not ASDAfm it’s THE WORST PLAYLIST YOU’LL EVER HEAR. Saturday and every day I worked there over Easter I did 9-5s but when I was there permanently I only ever worked 5-10 or 1-10, so I wasn’t used to the playlist. Normally I’d miss out on the morning melodies, or I should say travesties. I realised, stood there with Anne on George, that they were playing the exact same songs in the same order that they played the morning before. Perhaps this would be bearable if the songs were good, or at least less depressing. Anne then informed me that they play the same playlist every Saturday.

How. Horrid.

When I worked Sunday 9-6 every week I’d come in in the morning to hear the same Billie Holiday song My Man followed by Smooth Operator and similar god awful songs. But what was worse was the playlist at 4…. the shop would shut, the lights would dim, nearly everyone would go home including the managers, and me and a few of the George girls would be left to listen to Radiohead – and normally I love Radiohead – but we’d be left listening to Radiohead and Katherine Jenkins’ operatic version of Bring me to Life (yes the Evanescence song) and loads of slow acoustic versions of songs from Live Lounge performances (only the slow ones) for 2 miserable hours in an almost empty store. You’d be on the hard stone floor moving dusty DVDs around the shelves, putting them down on the floor and then picking them back up again in dim lighting, shivering because the music and video section is next to the fridges… and you would just CRAVE for someone to waltz in with a massive boom box and a disco ball and blast James Brown Get Up Offa That Thing full pelt. That’s the kind of music that keeps you going after a long day.

But it’s like they want you to be miserable.

HA – you’re still here in your horrible, uncomfortable uniform picking things up off the floor and we’re going to make it worse for you by playing you the most depressing tracks imaginable.

I moan for comedic effect – it’s not that bad. However the fact that the shop was closed on Sunday made me very happy.


One thought on “There’s no ‘i’ in ASDA

  1. I was just googling about not giving leave when I found this. A nice read and I know all your pains, I’m on at 12 today and I’m weighing up my options, best one so far seems to tell them to bugger off and I’m quitting.

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