Post by thesentientpasty on Feb 7, 2017 12:33:06 GMT
Sunday afternoon. A van comes in. Stops at pump #9. No surprise there.
But it's an ASDA online delivery van.
Now, when I was training to do online deliveries for The Orange Shop, I was repeatedly informed to Never Use Another Supermarkets Fuel. It 'portrays a bad image'.
So I'm curious. The nearest ASDA is only a few miles away. What's going on?
The driver comes in. I should point out that all online fuel payments are made on a fuel card, to ensure drivers aren't filling up on free veggie oil out the back of some nearby KFC and pocketing the difference.
This driver whips out £40 in cash (the bill's £42) and asks if he can put the rest on his card.
'Don't you have a fuel card?'
'No. They sent me out without one.'
'Gave you cash?'
'No. It's my own money.'
He didn't go into details, but ffs THAT IS APPALLING.
We wondered, later, whether he'd have problems claiming it back ... or maybe he'd just thought 'fuck it' and had stolen a van full of food to take away and disappear with.
Post by thesentientpasty on Jul 27, 2017 23:51:42 GMT
I sell petrol no more. These days (week one of New Role) I shovel cash. I need a snow shovel for the cash, as there's So Much Of It.
This morning, I shovelled £300k into the atm machines, and £125k into the safe. The weird thing is, that it becomes 'not money' - just large quantities of important paper that mustn't be lost. So I shovel away, hour-after-hour, going quietly crazy when a fiver flutters onto the floor.
Now, you might think this is a great job, and it almost is: locked in the cash office I no longer have to smell customers, or put up with their inane and often insane commentaries, and (the best bit) being locked in means the rest of the world is locked out.
But this job comes with the other job: which includes manhandling 30 tonnes of crap off a lorry, and stacking it into roll cages for later deployment to the shed. The people who fill the lorry pile stuff on in a random order. It's my task to organise the crap by aisle-order.
This might not be too hard for some, but I haven't a clue what goes where. I rarely tread some aisles and, of course, on my pittance can't afford to shop there. So it's all a mystery.
And that is why tonight's Night Shift must be wondering cat toys are with soy sauce and gluten-free biscuits are alongside electricals. Sorry.
it makes no sense anyways; cat toys next to binbags and gluten free cookies next to pickled onions. just be nice to the clothing rollers eh bez? ta. mine are scattered all over the warehouse and beyond (canteen, outside the managers office...everywhere) for we have a daily delivery beyond the capacities of the mini clothing stockroom.
but congrats on escaping the inanities of the customers. they were all on one on Friday. every dipstick and their spawn came out to play.
big changes afoot in my place. special, like extra specially special exclusively picked to be the recipient, and by that I mean guinea pigs, for a whole new refit new style for the clothing department. its huge. both the current department and the whole new thingy thing.
so new that they designers of this refit, don't really know how its gonna look. like they have bluprints obvs, so the actul basic layout is planned to the inch but the actual product displays, or visual merchandising as they call it, well we will be winging it. tis das shoppe way though.
so they have these big plans, and bang on about raising the indentity of our clothing range, visual merchandising, mannequins, oh how we love the mannequins, send us on all these training courses, twat on about our clothing rivals, oh how they love next. have they seen next? its shit and cramped and our clothing racks will never look like theirs because they do aout half the size rnges in store as we do and they don't have sale. they have big clear it out sale a few time a year they don't have effing markdown every three weeks , discount stunts every 8 weeks and rails and rails of sale that never goes away. we are not like next, we are like expensive primani. actually no, cos primark don't do sales either. oh we are like m&s without the prestige.
so anyway big refit, and I will be going on all these done them before courses about clothing blah and we'll be all fired up about Making it Happen but they'll still continue to see us as an overflow department to support checkouts and online and petrol and café and just be general assistants like always even though from down on high they think we're like fucking merchandising goddesses which tbf we could be if they just left us alone.
so anyway they may have been a point in there somewhere, whatevs.
training course today all about our 'new store' and the oh so many mannequins.
honestly you have never heard so much contradictory guff about 'visual merchandise' (that's stuff displayed)
ok yeah, within the confines of my job some of it was interesting and useful, and also much just going over what I already do thanks very much.
also some smug gratification on my part when a number of things my new boss has been doing, that I have been parroting 'its not corporate you know, they won't like it', were picked up on and told 'this isn't right, its not how we do things, its not corporate'.
ooh I felt redeemed in my bitching.
(of course 'corporate' is a hateful phrase, but if you work for a great big company that wants everything the same, then that what you do. we're not a boutique you know)
except. they come up with this guff and then make it impossible to do.
if I could actually just spend my days doing beautiful displays and playing with my over-sized skinny, people-sized dolls, then i'd be quite happy. but I can't you corporate wankers.
plus I had pinning lessons. how to pin stuff together. mmhhmm. yep.
oh. and I used the phrase 'going forward' a very number of times. idlers, I apologise.
I flatly refused to type 'going forward' in my appraisal, even though my boss had said it. I think if I ever use that phrase a little piece of me will die. I can add it to the little pieces of me that have already died thanks to me having to act like a corporate shit at times too.
I saw a job at my place advertised for a 'volunteer co-ordinator'. Now. I like the fact I would be away from the customers but on the other hand, I would be having to deal with volunteers all the time and they can be a right handful (translate that as a right pain in the arse). Is it more hassle than it's worth? Possibly.
Post by thesentientpasty on Aug 29, 2017 16:24:39 GMT
The Exploding Fish Guts Machine.
One of my new tasks is to ensure the safe operation of TEFGM. This is a small compactor, used to condense rubbish to near-atomic scales. Normal rubbish (paper, cans, etc.) are squeezed to pancake-thinness in TEFGM, but some people (Counters! This is YOU!) slip in all manner of fish guts, fish heads and meaty offcuts.
Upon compaction, I think they assume the fishy offal simply disappears. But no. All the fishy badness pours out and fills the warehouse. I finish a shift, these days, with a subtle eau de mackerel flavour hanging about me.
Next time - the nightmare of TEFGM goes wrong, and needs a volunteer to scrape it out and fix it. I, dear reader, was volunteered.
Post by thesentientpasty on Aug 29, 2017 18:47:55 GMT
In normal operation, the top of TEFGM slides smoothly back, like a particularly smooth 70s night on Smooth FM.
Yesterday morning it didn't. It was jammed. My first thought, naturally, was that a large turbot was mebbe somehow caught in the mechanism. The smell suggested this might be the case, but on closer sniffing the smell actually suggested it must have got stuck there when the Rubettes were in the charts, and - as the machine had been working flawlessly just moments before - That Wasn't It.
I pressed the secret button designed to allow access to the innermost workings of the machine (this also enables you to change the bag, which no-one except me ever seemingly does).
Not a fish in sight.
There was, however, the putrifying memory of year-old pizza dough and blood smeared over the piston so, armed with a stick and with my head hanging out Das Shoppe's backdoor in order to gulp some fresh air (the compactor is cunningly placed for such eventualities) I set to, pausing only to gag and to damn the company.
The putrifaction finally removed, the damn thing still didn't work. I took more oxygen and gazed inside the compactor cylinder, thinking thoughts of how handy this would be to my enemies were I to be a killer robot sent from the future.
I saw it.
A plastic container was wedged between the piston and cylinder, meaning that the piston couldn't return fully to the up position.
If only I had a knife!
I DO have a knife!
It's a crap plastic safety thing for cutting open boxes, and almost - but not quite - useless for any other tasks.
I hacked and hacked. The container was nearly rent in twain when the knife slipped, and I stabbed myself in the back of the thumb with the blade's safety guard.
Ancient Shoppe Ichor mixed with copious amounts of my blood. Dripping red spots on the floor, I checked for TEFGM success: all good! And then dashed to the sink to stick my thumb in D10 for the next few minutes.
And THAT is how I developed my Super Powers. I can, when angry, now channel the skills of a long-dead plaice.
...which is undeniably handy in Das Shoppe. The dead, souless eyes. The faint unpleasant odour of decay and mortification. This way Management lies!
the bag almost always explodes when someone tries to change it. our guys use an actual snow shovel (hasn't been needed for snow in 3 years) to clear this. its usually Right Where I want To Be when this happens.
Post by thesentientpasty on Sept 25, 2017 22:58:00 GMT
May I have some more pity?
I worked on Saturday and Sunday for precisely 21.25 hours. 9 hours today, 9 tomorrow, 8 on Wednesday and 'would you take an extra shift on Thursday 'cos your Petrol Replacement has gone off sick again?'
No. Kindly get tae feck. Petrol Replacement, incidentally, was on her final written warning last time she was off sick, last week.
Post by thesentientpasty on Sept 28, 2017 12:51:03 GMT
I was speaking to the store manager the other day. (An aside: our manager is actually all right. He's approachable and open to ideas. This is A Good Thing.) Anyway, I mentioned 'perception' and 'reality' - from the customers' POV everything (generally) works like a well-oiled machine. Shit comes in, gets sorted, shoved on shelves, gets sold & leaves. The customers are (generally) happy. There are no piles of random crap lying around, nor monster gaps: we seem to get just what we need from the mysterious Distribution Centre.
Under the surface, however, scrape away a little of the professional gloss, and you encounter the reality. The reality is that we're constantly on a knife edge. Things are j-u-s-t kept on this side of disaster. No delivery? No room to store things? Broken chiller? People off sick? Roadworks causing people to shop at the nearby Tesco? Any single event can snowball into calamity. I mentioned my experiences of TV news programmes. Often in the final minutes before going live on air, videos were still being edited, links to OBs were still being set up, scripts were still being written. Calm, or, at least, the suggestion of calm, usually only kicked in during the ten-second countdown.
And at this point I decided that maybe all businesses are like this: there is no human industry that performs faultlessly, follows a prescribed path with no need for deviation or adjustment. We have processes in place to pretend such a thing is possible, processes to protect workers and the public from death, but at the end of the day we just muddle through. Fixing faults, patching gaps: a constant fight to avert disaster.
We're all cogs in some giant machine monster, feeding the beast. The monster was invented by people, but has grown bigger than the sum of its parts. It's a patchwork quilt of mends, of shortcuts like some giant piece of much-edited software which no single person can completely grok due to its complexity.
And of course managers have little real freedom, either. They report to others, they have to hit targets, they have to keep the beast going, no matter what.
For some, serving the beast is a form of religion: they've bought into the concept that the beast must live, and requires regular human sacrifice to ensure its continual satisfaction. They cherish the Years of Toil badges, love the uniformity, the sense of beast-feeding family.
Me? Not so much.
I don't know if it's my innate scepticism of things nurtured through a little bit of 70s anarchy, and a large splash of iconoclastic rebellion, but I can't buy into the concept of bowing to the temple of beast-worship.
well said bez. I find that in such a giant beast as das shoppe the system is essential. not because I believe from my heart in it, cos good god no, but because and only because, it makes my life easier. crashing through the knife edge of the monster, running on the just-in-time-edge-of-chaos-disaster-zone there needs to be an inkling of order.
as you say, I cannot buy into the underlying worship of this, but as long as I am part of it I want as easy life a possible.
case in point; my clothing department has fallen prey to disaster. we have enough delivery, clothing alone, backed up in the warehouse to fill (on rollers) my house, your house and probably mike coupes mansion too.
I am not exaggerating. we never recouverd from weeks ago big delivery during a stunt week followed by markdowns (which mean no delivery gets done) then a refit and straight into another stunt and more markdowns. my delivery is everywhere. I don't know how big your store is, but mine is huge, and we have no space for all this. oh, and rgis next weekend
it is a fucking disaster and cock up.
and it stems from what you mention; feeding the beast. the way clothing is sold, the fast-fashion system, the 4 weeks turnaround, its bollocks.
it works online for companies like asos. it works for places like primark and tk maxx. why because there stores are utility, basic looking (and primani never advertise and never have 'sales')
but oh no, we, das shoppe, are meant to be like next and m&s. but because supermarket shoppers shop at least once a week, if not more then 'they' need us to have that supermarket shelf turnaround but with a boutique vibe.
its not working. that is, they're making a fuck tonne of money so it is working, but the staff are worn to death, and oh, hey, 100 unprocessed rollers and 25 boards. and fwiw, its not just my store, this is happening to das shoppe clothing across the company because its discussed on the instore media.
but its ok, because as the company mantra goes
'it is what it is'
which makes me want to stab someone, but there you go.
Post by thesentientpasty on Oct 3, 2017 7:18:46 GMT
For it was me. Me who built our version of the Christmas 'food ordering' shipper that arrived in the store recently. Me, who then trundled the shoogly cardboard monstrosity to beside the Customer Service Desk and put it in place.
Me, who ensured it was properly set up to alert all our valued cust...well, it's their wallets we care about. Couldn't give a shit about the people...
Christmas is officially on its way. The amused expressions on the face of those seeing this red and golden starry thing will be quickly wiped off when they realise we're going to be pummeling them for money (they haven't got) for the next 90+ days.
Post by thesentientpasty on Oct 3, 2017 7:27:03 GMT
Confused, ours is a massive shop. With a massive clothing section. It's huge. Bigly!
And I have to say that nothing currently fills me with more joy than seeing a truckload of clothing come in. Y'see, Clothing I don't deal with. The ambient food is my gravest conern. A truck full of clothing is a truck of less hassle for me.
I just trundle the fabric to the (woefully small) clothing cage, with a certain 'deal with that' look in my eye, a faint sense of amusement behind my 'where would you like your fifth pallet of underwear?' and, yes, the look on the eyes of those in Clothing who know they have no room, no time and no opportunity to escape the polyester tsunami is heartbreaking.
my shoppe is having a bit of a refit and tidy up (not my dept we had ours a couple of months ago), but various areas, repainting the car park lines, powerwashing bit of roofs, woefully fixing the fence, getting a sushi bar ffs.
its waitrose innit. shoppe are running scared cos waitrose are, like santa, comin' to town.
but omigod the hardship for the customers...
they moved the sandwiches...
they moved the bananas. (which tbh were always in the wrong aisle) but the ensuing customer meltdown....jfc!
just wait till the move the customer service desk...lol
Post by thesentientpasty on Dec 8, 2017 0:23:12 GMT
I'm sorry. ...I'd post more, but I'm SO WORN OUT.
Day ten, tomorrow, of no days off. Well, one day off: but that day was spent in moving from lates to earlies, which basically means AS MUCH SLEEP AS POSSIBLE, in the hours available, and THEN waking up punch-drunk and jetlagged, trying to look moderately 'able' while, inside, hoping the quiet eternity of death would just pop along and sort things out.
(I'll be better after the Commercialathon that's eaten The Solstice, I promise.)