The Hydra Files Supermarket Fun

Having worked in your supermarket for some time, and done enough overtime so that you too know how to run your department as badly as your boss, you may well be asked to sit in for your boss, when he/she takes a completely undeserved day off.

Fortunately, you have to have done some serious slurping, or be incredibly stupid to be put in a position where you could run your department, and it's not a request that will fall on every supermarket employee.

However, given the opportunity to be boss for the day, sounds like a pretty good idea, n'est pas? Getting to boss your colleagues about, and to be able to designate all those really horrible jobs to some poor, expendable member of staff at the very bottom of the department grease poll, and to generally act as your boss does, i.e. sitting around on your backside in an office all day, pretending to do paperwork, surfacing for air, only to shout at some menial member of staff for not doing her work and all your work too.

However, being boss for the day is not always as pleasant as it may sound. For not only do you get the perks of being boss, but you also get the downside too.

This often means being shouted at by a senior manager for not doing some work that you aren't supposed to do, but have to do all the same, even though the work is supposed to be done by Grocery staff, and you work for Fresh Food, but you have to do it all the same, because, that way, the Grocery staff get to do all the seriously important jobs like sitting around in the cafe taking half hour breaks instead of the allotted fifteen minutes that they are supposed to have.

The reason that you haven't done all this work, generally is because, your department has only three staff, and to do all the work expected of you, you need about ten. Therefore, as the extra work isn't high on your priority list, it gets left until you are really tired, and fed up of listening to your senior manager moaning about it not being done.

So you do a bit of it, just to shut him up. By this point, it is 3.15pm. Unfortunately, most managers tend to work horribly long shifts. Mine, on a Saturday, starts at 6.30 and stays until 4.30 in the afternoon. Naturally, as you are covering for them, you are expected to do this horrendously long shift too. By 3.15 you tend to be feeling a bit fed up, and just in the mood for your afternoon cuppa and a good read of your book, or a quick chinwag with a fellow worker, before returning to work, and skiving off home half an hour early.

So, your about to go for your brew, book in hand, when angry senior manager storms in, shouts his head off because his work hasn't been done, and instantly cancels your break. A fifteen minute break you may LEGALLY entitled to take, but try telling that to him or her and you'd probably end up with a written warning, and no hope of a favourable reference in the future.

So what do you do? Well, naturally, you chuck your book gently on the table. Unfortunately, tables in supermarkets, due to various laws, have to be made of metal, and the gentle throw of a book on said table, and makes a bit of a noise.

It's at this point that you get hauled into the senior manager's office, to get shouted at, by an extremely angry manger, who has flipped his (or indeed her) lid, and who is accusing you of having a temper problem. The fact that he is shouting so loudly that people can hear him at the other end of the store, has absolutely nothing to do with it. Hey man, it's you with the temper problem, not him!

Now unless you want even more hassles, it is, at this point, generally a good idea to do the work. But hey, be cunning. Start to look so fed up, that another member of staff (often called Caroline, who also happens to think you have a drink problem) comes and helps you in your task, while you are proceeding to tell the entire store that if you have any more hassles, your going to walk out and get a job somewhere where they don't treat you like crap (like Sainsbury's!!)

If you play this right, not only will Caroline do the majority of the work for you, but she will also recommend that you go home early, and lots of customers will take pity on you.

It is at this point, that you decide to go home, not before you have left a nice note to your boss, telling her (or indeed, as the case may be, him) that you are never filling in for them again, before meeting up with her a few weeks later, were she proceeds to persuade you into filling in for her when she goes on holiday. Which, for some strange reason, you agree to do, and hence let yourself in for getting two weeks worth of crap instead of just one day. Now doesn't that sound like fun?

Being the master baker at a local supermarket, Bods has plenty of experience in all things supermarket related, including being that poor sucker who stand in for their boss. Fool.

In October 1995 Edition

Background Information

All based (alas) on a true story of one very exhausting days work. Made worse by the fact that we were understaffed and I was filling in for my boss and doing a ten hour day.

Still for the record, Caroline was one of the best people to work with in the bakery. She did the later shifts on a Saturday, and was always a joy to work with.


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