Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The William Gallas Saga

Tuesday 29th June 2010.8am - 4pm

8.20pm the phone rang in the small unit."How many staff are there at the moment mate?" the Algerian had spoken.
"Too many" i replied manipulatively.

Ok go to the other unit please,the first part of the plan had worked.Get myself into the big unit so i can work with the Asian babe later.
I joined the Legend at the till and today's theory was,"If i win the lottery i will buy my own club and sack all the players" he said.
"Who would you play instead?" i enquired.
"Fill the team with hungry youngsters,they'll do the business" he replied with certainty.

He makes ridiculous jokes with the punters to try and get them to buy the TPS.
"Its pay day tomorrow i will buy up all the chocolate so save some for me" he attempted.
I have noticed how he gives a sly look to female bottoms when they turn and walk away from the till.The cockney scrubber,since the incident,is very friendly but still piss ignorant.

The King's assistant gave me the information i have been waiting a week for and i sorted out next weeks hours because i've got lots of other stuff going on.

A flashily dressed black man strolled up to the till wearing a £25,000 Breitling and one of those high fashion T shirts.
"20 Marlboro Lights please" he requested.
I knew he looked like William but couldn't be sure.His face is more pockmarked than Manuel Noriega and Nico Claesen.He pulled out a large footballers wad and paid with a crisp tenner.
The next punter remarked that the previous bloke looked like a French footballer and found £30 on the counter.

The punter gave me the money and i left it on the till.My mind started playing tricks with me like it used to back in the day when my behaviour was defective.
That money would come in useful,i thought.
When the legend finished i pocketed the cash and totally forgot about the CCTV!!

2pm Asian babe appeared and looked a little bit under the weather,"How are you today" i enquired.
She was wearing a black dress with a tight large buckled balck belt and i reckon is totally unaware of how attractive she is.
"I've got a belly ache" she said.
"is it something you have eaten"
"No" she replied
"Women's stuff" i ventured
"Yes" she continued.
"Time of the month is it,you know Holland and Barrett do starflower and agnes castus which is very good" i said.
We then had an exchange about PMT and how it affects her.How we started having a chat about her PMT after knowing each other for about 4 hours was weird.

I made a decision that i would hand over £20 and keep £10,therfore putting the whole job at risk over a tenner.
The management all disappeared for a meeting and when Sandy Gall bags appeared i gave her the £20 and told her the story behind it.However,she noticed i had another note in my pocket.

10 mins later the slim Indian cricketer called me into the staff room for a chat.
"What else have you got in your pocket" he squirmed.
I felt my mouth going dry and my eyes darting from side to side.
"I have £10 of my own money" i stammered
"Do you know that you aren't allowed to carry any money on your person" he continued.
"I had no idea that was company policy" i lied.

He wrote out a file note in poorly spelt English which i signed.
That was too close for comfort.The wind had been knocked out of my sails and I continued the rest of my shift very sheepishly.

Monday, 28 June 2010

World Cup Hangover and Ginsters

Monday 29th June 2010.8am -4pm

7.30am arrived and the station felt flat,the country is depressed.Its a shame because a good run in the World Cup would have given us a bit of national identity back.
Summoned to the usual berth,French queen in Belgium for 2 weeks and long serving Somalian is de-mob happy.There's a new deal today and its quite complex in terms of the till operations and everyone is panicking.
"Do me a favour they are very busy in the large unit please go there for the rest of the day" The Algerian grunted.

Now that's a result,re-united with the Cockney Scrubber and an opportunity to work with a company legend,the hooded Gooner.Hooded because he's so knackered he slouches at the till with his eyes half closed.But he's a gooner so i wasted no time in telling him we bat for the same time.This guy even knows more than i do about the Arsenal.He knew that the Nigerian isn't buying Lady Nina Bracewell Smith's stake and apparently Eduardo is off to Lyon.However,he is a big cynic of life.
"Private doctors are butchers" he wailed.
"My nephew nearly died and we're suing them" he continued.
"The World Cup has been good for Arsenal because all the players will be back for pre-season on time apart from RVP."
The King was very agitated today because the new deal wasn't working properly and he was probably getting pressure from head office.The King's assistant was under severe pressure as well and of course that filtered down to all of us.

The Ginger Ginster arrived,he is the man from Ginster's who produce all the pies.We do a reasonable trade in packaged pies.
I then made a mistake which could have resulted in the boot.
This guy from Ginsters was an absolute classic nerd,a cross between Jasper Carrott and spoke like a paedophile.
" I need someone to sign for the Ginsters" he demanded.
"Ok i'll do it" i replied enthusiastically.
We walked over to the fridge and he had a large box of Ginster's and one of those gadgets that couriers make you sign.
"Ok i'll count you check the list" he said.
"4 chicken and mushy pies,3 steak lattice,6 Cornish,5 steak and onion...." he loved it.This bloke is made for counting pies.I signed the remote gadget and thought nothing of it.We were short staffed and the slim Indian cricketer was showing signs of a sub conscious melt down.
"Who signed for the Ginsters" The King demanded.
I ran over to the fridge and saw all the Ginster's in a box on the floor in 30 degree heat.I shoved them in the relevant sections and off i went.Still no break and 5.5 hours into the shift.
" Why did you sign for the Ginster's" the king said aggressively.
"Tell me the exact process with the ginger Ginster".
"He counted the pies and I signed for them but realised that they weren't put back into the fridge just now" I replied confidently.
"Right you aren't qualified to deal with the Ginsters,you've had no pie training" he said straight faced.
"No-one tells me anything,however i'm sorry i won't touch the Ginster's again" i ventured.
"He's had us over" the King told me.

20 minute break because i'm a team player and i like the slim Indian cricketer and he scored a century yesterday.

At 2pm my day got a whole lot better.The Asian babe who i had clocked last week joined me for the final 2 hour slot.I'd been very curious about her and couldn't believe my luck.

I introduced myself and started the standard banter of all members of staff.
"What are your hours,how long have you been here etc etc".

She is about 20 years old 5'4 immaculately dressed with long black hair and an ample young firm bosom and has brains.
She was complaining about her feet hurting so i suggested a pair of gel heel inners and inner soles.She liked that.The area behind the till is very narrow so we bumped into each other a few times.I told her my career plans and she told me hers (medicine) and foolishly told her i had 2 kids!!

The fat Indian arrived and winked at me in the normal way.The new deal was becoming a fiasco.Asian babe had a problem executing the instructions and it took the King and 4 cohorts 20 minutes to give a punter a refund and people wonder why the level of service has declined dramatically over the last 15 years.

I looked at the till it was 4pm,the afternoon had flown by.
"Have a nice evening" she said.
"Its been a pleasure working with you and hopefully we're working together tomorrow" i replied.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Friday mayhem

Friday 25th June 2010 8am - 4pm

As i have Thursday's off i feel reasonably refreshed and you need to be in order to deal with Friday's in the height of summer with all the kids breaking up from school.

There are different morning staff on Sundays no French queen and no long serving Somalian.I was with the bloke who was bollocked by The Algerian in front of all the staff for not wearing the correct attire.

The Algerian is very resentful of The Sun newspaper for apparently claiming that England would win all 3 group games easily and confronted me on that point.

He is a very aggressive character with no people skills and absolutely no idea how to communicate with people apart from using the words "innit" and "mate".

"Don't worry i'll be supporting England on Sunday mate i live here innit" he shouted.
"I should hope you are mate this country has given you everything you have" I replied.
That kept him quiet for 5 minutes.
I'm beginning to know most of the staff now but also realise that there is a continuous turnover of staff as well.
The afternoon was spent with a very pleasant Indian woman who has a weird technique on the TPS,"Anything for a quid" she mumbles in a thick Indian accent.She was very proud when a customer showed her a rupee she had.She has stuck it out for 18 months but only works 3 days a week.

My good friend arrived as usual at 2pm and she thinks she has roped me into fridge temperature duties,"If you think i'm doing this every day then think again" i told her.She smiled sheepishly,I've noticed that when you've been there a month it gives you a power to start telling people what to do.

I have tried for 4 days to get some very important information for tax credits from the King's assistant and she keeps on fobbing me off.Today,i confronted her and said "I need this information asap lets just get it out of the way" she covered her breasts with her arms as usual and finally assisted me.

Sandy Gall bags was in and wasn't her normal chirpy self,"Why is there no stock,The Algerian should have dealt with it?"
"Its ok i've done a drinks and tobacco order" I replied proudly.
"What about the magazines?" she countered.
"Don't know how to do that" i replied pathetically.

She made me sign a disclaimer that confirms she has informed me about a new deal taking place on Monday.It sounds complicated.

Saturday 26th June 2010.2pm-10pm

The Graveyard shift.Fresh from coaching 7 year old kids who can't pass a ball with the instep i arrived with my egg sandwiches and over ripe nectarine.The slim Indian was there together with the Polish Muslim and Somalian security (my new best friend).

Finally,i had an opportunity to work with gay boy.We had a ball he has this fantastic techinique on TPS where he positions the products at the front of the counter so its righ in front of their noses.One of the Asian lads was chuffed because he's been promoted to evening supervisor just for tonight.Same money of course but gets to tell us our break times and wears a grey shirt,happy days!!

The punters were arriving at the till with red faces,burnt shoulders and sweating golf balls,that's the English of course.

An event happened that i'd never seen before even working in a drug rehabilitation centre.A fraulein entered the unit frantically and requested a Die Welt newspaper.When i told her we had one the blood drained from her pizza face.
She strode upto the counter getting more and more emotional."Are you looking for a specific article" i enquired
"Yes i am" as she was tearing the paper apart.
As she found the article she broke down hysterically at the till.
"Is he very important in your life?" i ventured.
"Yes" she replied.
"Did you want to marry him" i dug even more.
"Yes but he's married already" she accepted.

She had been to every station in Central London and we had it and i felt honoured to have witnessed her emotions.
The women were very revealing in the heat.
At 8pm i was left on my own and the slim Indian came in for a chat with her pointy chin and small pert boobs.She's just completed a degree in business studies and lives at home with her parents.Sweet girl who gets her Dad to collect after her weekend shifts.

The serious Indian supervisor tried to tell me his theory about English football and i told him that if he feels so strongly about it he should go and watch grassroots football and see how bad most coaching is in this country.Then he'll understand why we'll never win a major tournament.

He lost the plot at 9.53pm because gay boy and Russell hadn't picked up 2 bags of rubbish 7 minutes before the end of their shift.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Bye Bye long serving Somalian

Wednesday 23rd June 2010.8am - 4pm

When my wife asked me last night how was work toady?
I foolishly told her that it was very difficult to concentrate because of the breasts that were on show at work."Don't forget you are married" she replied sheepishly.

Another day at the PLC and as usual the double act were present to greet me.The Algerian usually surfaces early on to make sure that i'm there on time and preparing a tobacco order.

The big news of the day was the long serving Somalian has handed in his notice and has got a job with a prestige car insurance company in West Hampstead.He finally started to come out of his shell by looking at scantilly clad women.

Wednesday is book day so the pressure The Algerian exerts is intense.The french queen was under the cosh to get the books out and with the instant promotions on board.

I was accused by a customer of giving her incorrect change.She happened to be a manager of another retailer within the station and also exceptionally ugly.
"I want you to cash up now because i'm right and you're wrong" she demanded.
"I can't do that right now" i replied with a huge queue of hungry lunchtime customers.
"I will come back at 3.30pm to sort this out" she continued.

Off i went to the cash office and told them the problem.They have a camera directly on my till,which i didn't know until today.It was proved i was correct and the hard nosed Pole didn't apologise when she popped in later.
I tickled the fancy of a tall well built lady of abot 40 and she wouldn't leave me alone at the till.Its strictly out of bounds,in the heat some of these mature women get a bit frisky.

I tried to hammer the TPS today but in this heat no-one in their right mind buys chocolate but the fruitellas did ok.

Fat Indian bird was sweating even more,as the temperature rises outdoors she sweats more profusely.Today i noticed that she takes her shoes off behind the counter and she seems to think that i'm the new fridge monitor.I confronted her on this and she knew that i'd rumbled her.

3pm kick off and i'm serving customers in one of the busiest stations in London and desperate to find out the score and where i'll watch the second half.Luckily a woman gets a text as Defoe scored.I ran to the nearest Ladbrokes withe the cricketing Pakistani and watched the end of the game.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Visit Part 2

Tuesday 22nd June 2010.8am - 4pm

Collared by the Algerian as soon as I arrived,"your TPS was very poor yesterday mate".
Fair game i thought,i was son knackered yesterday i couldn't be bothered to put on the robot act and as a result i came 3rd from bottom on the results table.So,i made a decision to crack on and prove that i am a good seller of sweets and chocolate.

The long serving Somalian is the most depressing person i have ever worked with.He spends the entire shift criticising the company and the lack of stock.I asked him if he'd had TPS warnings,because he never opens his mouth,he replied in the affirmative.
He's unshaven and always tired and what happened when i arrived?

Yep over for a mince with the French queen who might not be a queen.I have caught him staring at women's bottoms and winking at me.I'm still unsure about what side he bats for.

In this weather it is very difficult to concentrate fully on the job because of the amount of Bristol's on show.All shapes and sizes and when i am taking there money all i do is stare at their chests,this could be a problem because its so obvious.
I've even found myself chatting up 50 year old married women with large Bristol's.

Surprise surprise,"There is the area manager coming today don't leave any gaps on the cigarette display."
These visits create unbelievable tension because the fear feeds down through the hierarchy and we bear the brunt of it.The Algerian is a nutter,there are times when he has so many things going through his brain he goes into overload mode and closes his eyes and tightens his mouth.

There was some anti American and Israeli comments made by the other members of the Algerian contingent who all seem to be called Ali.I nearly rose to the bait but held it down at the last second.They have inferiority complexes,one of the Algerian Ali's has an unfortunate twitch involving his eyes and mouth.

By the afternoon i was flying with the TPS and had done a good trade in Fruitellas bit too hot for chocolate but of course the management don't care about that.

Just after lunch the overweight manager in the ill fitting suit turned up with the KIng and another bloke,who i later found out was the main man in London.The overweight penguin winked at me i turned on the charm at the till and raised my voice a couple of octaves to get the point across.

Sold another couple of dirty mags today i try and have a quick glimpse of the cover whilst pretending i can't find the bar code to scan.We also do a reasonable trade in gay magazines,the latest one has 2 blokes on the front with the title "Farm Boys",the mind boggles!!

Fat Indian bird turned up and was sweating like a rapist,her brown was dripping and her moustache was glistening under the lights.The hot weather isn't good for a woman in her physical condition,but i do like her.She showed me how to take the temperature in the fridge which was easy.

I waved goodbye to her at 4pm as the two next employees made their way into the madness.

"Stock Take"

Monday 21st June 2010.8am - 4pm

Arrived slightly early and was as stiff as a poker.My cricketing exploits yesterday with the bat meant that my muscles had tightened overnight and my mobility was severely impaired.

Things back to normal today,back into the smaller unit where it all began.It was good to see the French queen and the long serving Somalian.The Algerian was walking around pulling everyone's shirts claiming that was an impression of all the England players in Friday's game.He did this all day eventually i told him its not funny but he still kept on doing it."Why are you pleased with a draw, you will never have a better opportunity of beating England" i said."Our striker hasn't scored for 6 months" he replied."Sounds like Heskey" i replied.

When i start till work the queen and the Somalian go into huddles near the fridges and complain about everyone and everything.They are obsessed by cages.These are the large metal variety on wheels that transport the stock around the station.They couldn't stop talking about cages.

I'm beginning to think that the queen could be bi-sexual.He has been watching the actions of a Polish blonde and told us that she sometimes buys condoms and could be a "Tom".For those of you who don't understand,Tom = prostitute.

The King surfaced at lunchtime with his assistant trailing after him which is the normal process.She walks with arms folded over her breasts,infact that's the only way she walks."Its a stock take today so get all stock out to the front and clear any old supplements from the cupboards."I put in a serious stint in clearing out the weekend supplements and putting them on the cage.They are very impressive specimens those cages,no-one messes with you when you're wheeling one of those around.

2pm,fat Indian bird arrived,she's completed her work for the MBA.She has the largest ear lobes on a woman i have ever seen and of course has the standard hairy lip which glistens with sweat when its busy.

I tried to get some payroll info from the King's assistant but she was too busy with the stock take.I told her its really important but she wouldn't back down.Another day completed with my sanity intact.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Friday 18th and Saturday 19th June incl "The Visit"

Thursday 17th June 2010 Day off.

Friday 18th June 2010.8am - 4pm

Within moments of arriving my new best friend, the cockney scrubber,came over to me even more fearful than usual,"someone from head office is coming to visit.......".

That means its all hands to the pump.Suddenly i noticed every senior employee was present and extra staff had been drafted in to cope with the visit of well fed area manager.I saw him on my first week,he's a rotund man with ill fitting suits and a foul temper.The pressure he must be under isn't worth comtemplating.

The Algerian was in a dark mood,his shirt was untucked and he was unshaven.He was just ferrying extra products back and forth in wheely cages and was getting more and more angry.He didn't even want to talk about the big game.Tall Indian supervisor who can't say his V's properly said,"we have a wisit make sure the cigarette counter is full with no gaps."

The King was scurrying back and forth with a trail of supervisors running behind him and fawning to all his needs.Lots of clipboards were being utilised and he was even seen pushing a trolley,that's how serious this visit was.The culture of fear had been increased several notches.Every minute a supervisor was on the scene preening the display's.I worked with a cool graphic design graduate who played the game with the females.

The punters seem to be more tired on Friday's which is understandable with it being the end of the week.The American girls are the easiest victims on the TPS because they are just so up for a laugh and a bit of surrepticious piss taking.

At the end of the day i don't think the visit even took place,i maintain it was just a bluff from head office to get the store looking good.As serious manager told me rather proudly,"we're the highest grossing store in London so they pick us out for visit's"
I tried to get some crucial info out of her for tax credits but maybe today wasn't a good idea.My neck has been really hurting me since i've started doing manual work again after a long absence so off to the osteopath after work.

Saturday 19th June 2010 2pm-10pm

After coaching a group of 6 and 7 year old boys i arrived at 2pm and immediately regretted my decision.I knew this would be a very hard shift and they have different staff at weekends but Somalian security was there and he broke the ice with me on the common ground of the World Cup.Its amazing how unifying football is in any situation.

Now,the weekend staff are a clique of non whites who seem to get a kick out of the fact that they are weekend staff.There is an Asian married woman who dresses immaculately with lots of makeup and appears very jolly and up for a laugh.Then there is a very attractive girl who could be Polish but wears the full Muslim headscarf and has a diamond ring on her wedding finger.I can only assume she married a Muslim and converted because there is no way she was born Islam.

The tall Indian was there and he asked me if i wanted to work on Sunday the response was "I need to have a day off to play cricket".I'm trying to arrange a friendly cricket match with his team who play in Ilford and i reckon are quite handy Asian's.

I haven't really gone into the eating habits of the British population especially the young women.Its normal to see young girls just eat a bag of Gok Yan crisps and have a fizzy drink,they are the ones who are worried about putting on an ounce of weight.Then we have the opposite end of the scale,the fat birds who have doughnuts,crisps and chocolate.This is very worrying in view of the increase in obesity cases in this country.I am genuinely concerned but still don't hold back of TPS when i see a single overweight woman.The dynamic on Saturday is different,the punters are more relaxed but you get a lot more Brits who complain about the extortionate prices for cigarettes.I take pleasure in reminding them its a bad habit as well as expensive.

There was a very officious weekend Asian supervisor who was on my shift.You know the type,rimless glasses about 30 years old and face never cracked an inch.Fair dues he's trying to do his job properly but once again the culture of fear remains but of course these Asian supervisors are very friendly with the Asian staff.Being a white Brit i felt out of place but gay boy from my interview was there today and that made me feel better.Also,the Bangla boy from the interview was there,he now calls himself Russell,but we had a good laugh working together until he smashed his head on one of the cash holders but he wore it well.

On a more serious note,i saw one of the female staff sobbing in the staff room.I tried to assist but she didn't want to tell me what was wrong.It transpired that her brother had died.She had to contact serious Indian before leaving work just in case she got the you know what.

The french single girls are really nice especially when i attempt my pigeon French on them but of course they appear briefly and disappear just as quickly.

I can't work this late shift on a Saturday again its too demanding so on Monday i will let them know.Hopefully,I won't get the boot but my good TPS should bail me out.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The beginning of the job to present...................

Friday 28th May 2010

I had been told to meet outside the employers store at 11am for my induction at a mainline London station.The nerves were on me as I arrive 30 mins early and proceeded to walk around the unit 4 times before recognising a young homosexual who was at the interview last week.I then met another lad a Bangladeshi who gave his name as Rohit but it could be a made up name as guys from Asia who don’t speak very good English tend to do that.

Then,at the main entrance of the store i caught sight of three ladies with we’re here for the induction written all over their fearful faces.However,one of them introduced herself and we followed her into the bowels of the station as her hijab fluttered in the wind.
Finally, we arrived in a converted railway arch and were subjected to 2 ½ hours of mind numbingly boring but essential health and safety information and lots of paperwork signing which basically covered the asses of the company so they don’t get sued.
The highlight of the session was a line in the staff manual which said ,”when faced with a blind customer don’t stroke the guide dog”!!
There was a tap which dripped continuously ,when i asked the supervisor can it be turned off the reply was its been like that for 2 years.What they can’t get a plumber to put a new washer on the tap with a billion squid a year turnover!!
Make sure you’re at another London station by 2pm for your till training was the parting shot of hijab lady.
Till training here we go,one of my adult ambitions about to be fulfilled,working on a really big cool till with lots of bar code swiping.Hello,my name is tall Asian follow me for some till training.Would i get found out as an overqualified fraud just there for the ride?
“Ok,who wants to go first and don’t forget your till point sales".I will ,10 minutes later after selling 3 bars of Cadburys Dairy Milk and a packet of Haribo sweets I’m hooked and tall Indian says wery well done are you sure you haven’t done this before?Yes,i’m in.

4.30pm word is spreading that the till training will now become a full shift until 8pm on the bank holiday weekend and the first day of half term.Her in doors (HID) is more excited than me when i tell her that i’m working a full shift.
8pm buzzing as i catch the bus back home dreaming of my first day working at the PLC.Feet need a good soak and my hands need a good wash.

Bank Holiday Monday 31st May 2010

High noon kick off for me,very nervous which is to be expected in a new job.The Algerian supervisor,escorts me to the unit I will be working in on my first day,en route i ask him how long he’s been there.At the PLC or in the UK he replied.

The big unit as its known with bright lights and every square inch taken up with products lots of shiny products,is there anything they don’t sell.Straight in at the deep end i believe they call it learning on the job.Yeah,I know how to swipe something and press the sub total key but price override and modify item they are out of my comfort zone.Its complete bedlam a combination of half term and bank holiday is probably the reason or maybe its like that all the time.Nice lad for company on the tills,young black boy with an earring in each ear who is obsessed about working for 3 consecutive days.My oh my its true what they say about the microwave generation,they really don’t like to work.The kids are away at the outlaws all week so don’t need to rush home so soak up the atmosphere at the station before catching the bus home.

Tuesday 1st June 2010

Pinch punch first day of the month.

8am start,my first stop is the managers office for my official t shirt with the chewing gum endorsement on.Thought to myself don’t be seen with that t shirt on you’ll never live it down.Then the reality of what i’ve got myself into hits home like a Hot Shot Hamish thunderbolt,just keep your head down stay out of trouble and do the best you can and remember don’t forget the till point sales (TPS).Different staff today at the unit gonna have to have a great memory for names because none of the names are English apart from gay boy.The staff room is the size of an en suite bathroom in a desirable piece of real estate not for 65 staff working from 5am – 10pm.Don’t let the staff get too comfortable and whatever you do don’t let the staff room be too clean the PLC says.
French queen is pleasant i attempted some broken French on him knowing that keeping the queens on side is always useful in any job.The Algerian is hovering and i know that if i don’t carry out TPS regularly then its the boot.Too many void transactions is the boot,incorrect attire is the boot,keeping £20 notes in the till is the boot,leaving more than 3 tenners in the till is the boot,is there anything i can do.
Some of the Eurostar dollies have serious potential is it the uniform or the accent.I don’t care what it is but this job could be just what i need after being a househusband for 18 months.

Wednesday 2nd June 2010.

Another 8am start have realised you don’t get brownie points for arriving early,the PLC doesn’t care about that only, “If you don’t empty your locker after your shift then guess what,yep its the boot”

The supervisors make sure that you get your break at the right time but is 30 mins break for an 8 hour shift legal?I must check my rights but somehow i don’t think that will help.French queen is in fine fettle today he’s only criticising half of the workforce today and he’s annoyed with me because i threw away his woollen glove that he uses to pull the stock cages along.Apologise profusely and foolishly tell him i thought it was rubbish.Met a new member of the team today,overweight Indian bird she has her own hand cream and bottle of mineral water.Blimey she’s taking a risk.She’s doing an MBA in Human Resource Management what a place to learn about that.
I’ve spotted some regular customers and of course they are Eurostar dollies and one brunette in particular with an ample chest is mesmerising.English girls just don’t have the sophistication of these ladies.The Algerian completely lost the plot today and bollocked rasta boy in front of all customers and staff for not wearing the correct shirt.Clearly they don’t teach management skills at the PLC.
Stroll into the staff room to be followed in by Somalian security who garbles something along the lines of,”empty your pockets please”.Excuse me i said who do you think you are taking to you long streak of piss,i was born here you’ve been here 2 minutes and you want to do that.I turned out my pockets and it was witnessed by token English dog and that was that.Somalian loped off with his tail between his legs and I am seething,but remember keep your head down son.

Thursday 3rd June 2010.

Day off

Friday 4th June 2010.

Thinking it could be absolutely mental today last day of half term and very warm what a recipe that is.By now i’m becoming a robot but keep telling myself don’t subscribe to the culture of fear.These staff will do anything to keep their jobs even if they are treated like animals.

The Algerian likes me because i talked up Algeria’s chances in the football and even asked him where he is watching the game next Saturday.Every day there is someone different i work with ,the only consistencies are French queen and fat Indian bird.I apologised to Somalian security but it fell on deaf ears.There is this pig ugly woman who works in the station who keeps on waiting for me to serve her,typical the worst looker is the one who likes me.She’s got hands like a carpenter.

There she was again the French brunette with the ample chest striding into the store i went weak at the knees as she purchased a packet of 20 Marlboro Golds.The Scot assistant manager seems really friendly but she’s got bags under her eyes like Sandy Gall bladder.

Everyone is scared of the cash office we had to order 2 floats today and apparently you can get the boot for that.The lady from the cash office turned up with the float,I introduced myself and went to shake her hand and apparently that’s very formal!!

It seems busy today but can’t wait to get out of here and see her indoors and the kids.

Saturday 5th June 2010 2pm-6pm

After 2 hours coaching 9 year olds how to play football i had foolishly told PLC that i was flexible at weekends so at 2pm on one of the hottest days of the year i arrive for work.

The weekend supervisor collars me in the bathroom en suite (staff room) and tells me i’m on my own upstairs.
Basically,i’m next to the Sheffield platforms and i later find out that i have to put out my own stock.So half way through the shift a huge cage of stock turns up and they say its all yours mate.

I spend the next 3 hours running between the counter and the cage and at the same time i bring all the old stock forward just like they taught me at catering college.Stayed 15 minutes late and told them i expect that extra time to be reflected on the wage packet.The supervisor laughed nervously as i faced the culture of fear head on.An uneventful day.

Monday 7th June 2010.8am-4pm

Felt cream crackered like most of the customers looked today.French queen was waiting for me as usual and i met another Somalian today he’s been there 5 years and only works Monday-Thursday 6am-2pm.Him and the queen are the longest serving staff at the PLC and i need to be careful with them.Get your head down son.Long serving Somalian is just completing accountancy exams and he has ambition,i respect that.

French brunette appears but goes straight to the other till despite my best efforts to finish serving the customer in front of her but she had a big grin on her face,I wonder what she got upto at the weekend!!

Americans are always a laugh you can really push them on the TPS and engage in banter with the girls.I looked up and saw 2 gorgeous American girls standing in front of me but when one of them talked it was really strange she kept on saying “thank yoi” bit of a shame really maybe she was an actress.Ex big Brit Pop bloke turned up with oriental wife and son didn’t want to break his anonymity as his son bought Panini World Cup football stickers.

I was about to finish my shift when a call beckoned me to see the boss,he is the main man according to the staff he can make or break you.He is the general manager of all the stores who never says hello to his staff and stays in the office all day but he must be quite good at what he does to be in that position.

At 4pm presicely i ventured into the back of house area and met the boss with a middle aged blonde who didn’t introduce herself.Now there’s a bit of a problem he began,you were angry at being searched by the long streak of piss what’s your problem.I thought that bastard is so insecure he has got brownie points by telling the boss that i objected to being searched.Anyway,i told the boss how it was for me and there’s no hard feelings.He shook my hand and got my name wrong twice.
As i waited for a bus I made a decision to keep all these colleagues at arms length and be very careful who i talk to because they will knife you in the back to keep there £5/hour job.

Tuesday 8th June 2010.8am-4pm.

I strode into the unit with a spring in my step and a mohiccan hairstyle to hide my age.
Experienced Somalian and French queen greeted me and I told them it was my birthday.

Very early on French brunette turned up and we engaged in conversation for the first time and i realised that actually she’s English with a bit of French glamour.I told her it was my birthday and she thought i was 28,”that’s very flattering but i’m 37”I replied.”What are you doing tonight” she said,foolishly i said going home to see the kids.She walked out in shock and that could be that.

The Algerian was subdued today looking tired and unshaven but paid me a compliment by calling me a “player” this means i’m in there with the hierarchy.Good news should be ok from now on.It was quiet today lots of interesting MILF’s and reasonable TPS’s today.

The Actor was doing the books again.He’s a 27 year old bloke who wants to be an actor but has worked at PLC for 2 years.Every day i see him i take a genuine interest in his future career and ask him what he’s doing about his acting ambitions and every day he says “i’m working on it”.
Such a shame how people just can’t get themselves together and follow their dreams but i can’t look after everyone.He got flustered today when a woman complained about an International Phonecard.She was a fiery Spanish tourist who spoke acceptable English I suggested how he dealt with it and at one point actor Dave looked like he was going to cry.

4pm finish off home to enjoy what’s left of my birthday.

Wednesday 9th June 2010.8-4pm

“Bonjour Patrice,comment allez vous?”
The French queen absolutely loves that when i arrive for work,you know pay him a bit of attention but making sure I mention the wife and kids a lot just in case he thinks i bat for both sides.
I told him to practice French on me because it will help me get more TPS out of the French women.
Experienced Somalian was complaining as usual and i’ve noticed that he doesn’t look properly for anything,damn frustrating he’s like my 5 year old boy.
Now then Wednesdays are a huge day because its book change over day,its all hands to the pump all the new paperbacks arrive and immediately go on special offers,how do publishers make any money?
The Algerian was very friendly but i need to be wary of Algerians bearing gifts.Slow lad was doing the books another whinger but remember get your head down and get those Haribo’s sold.The TPS table was on display in the staff room and i came really low down on the list for 7th June,very disappointed with that.All morning i was expecting English brunette with French glamour to turn up but as time progressed i could see that she wouldn’t show.Oh well have to focus on someone else today.Flirted with a woman who turned out to be a journalist who was all giggly and excited because she was in the Guardian today and it looks like The Guardian is the best selling paper in the unit.

What about buyers of top shelf titles?What is the profile of the buyer?
They are normally middle aged and probably divorced and can’t get a lady if you know what i mean!!
Today i established that large breasted women are more friendly and confident and hold eye contact.
I suppose that comes from their teenage years when they were fully developed and more aware than other girls.One of these BBW’s walked up to the till bold as brass and asked me where she could buy some stockings.Wow,even my own wife wouldn’t do that to me.I had spotted La Senza,the well known purveyor of upmarket lingerie,and suggested she goes there but with a caveat it may not be her cup of tea.”If not,you can always try M & S” I ventured.She had cougar potential and laughed on her way out.
The other fact I learnt today is the absolute lack of commitment the staff have.They don’t think twice about sending punters to other competitors for similar products even though they could make a sale if they could be bothered.I’m pleased they don’t work for me i wouldn’t have a business left if i employed this lot.
I’ve decided to take notes during the lunch break but i must be very careful that i don’t get collared.
Relations with Somalian security are at an all time low,this is so against my spiritual principles but i have to watch my back.I walked past him several times today and ignored him,not good behaviour really.

English men take themselves far too seriously and look like they have the whole world on their shoulders maybe they have but foreign blokes have time to be polite.I never thought i would say this but the French are actually very polite and well mannered.

Fat Indian bird arrived at 2pm,I like her she’s sensible and knows the score but has been corrupted by the PLC regarding the fear of the boot.She is very organised and turns up with a bottle of mineral water and flavoured hand cream.The phone went,it was skinny Indian supervisor regarding the refund for the Spanish couple who bought the wrong size SD card that i sold them and cut the packet open.I blamed them and managed to survive another day.Phew,that was close you can’t get anything past this lot.

As i depart for home Sandy Gall bags shouts out “Hi,xxxx how are you today?” “Fine thanks” what a lovely woman.

Something weird happened whilst waiting for the bus home.
A clinically obese Black female aged approx 15 turned around and said,”What are you looking at old man,you are perving me out”

After composing myself for a few seconds I replied “Don’t flatter yourself darling I wouldn’t perve out on you if you were the last woman on earth”.
The banter continued with “Didn’t your mum teach you to show women respect old man?” she continued.
“She obviously didn’t teach you manners” I countered.Bloody hell,i must be starting to show my age but the English brunette with French glamour said i looked 28.

I need a meeting its been a week!!

Thursday 10th June 2010 Day off

Friday 11th June 2010.8am-4pm

Normal weekday shift and arrived 30 minutes early and just sat in the dirty staff room and met a couple of the graveyard shift lads.These fellas work 2am-10am Monday-Friday and put the newspapers and magazines out,they are hardcore Algerians in their mid to late 40’s who you wouldn’t want to take liberties with.I introduced myself and talked about football and let them believe that the England World Cup group is very tough and wide open.

On Fridays,French queen and experienced Somalian don’t work so I was greeted by young Raff,who i have met before, and a jolly stubby Asian boy with big teeth and wide grin.
The jolly Asian has been there a year and is about to complete a degree in computer science and has phenomenally cheesy TPS lines like,”you can eat some chocolate whilst reading your newspapers or magazines” he tries his best though.

There is a music festival on at Donnington Park this weekend and the morning was spent engaging in chat with stereotypical ANZAC’s buying Red Bull and Rizla’s.No sign of English brunette with French glamour.

The day picked up when whinging Chris arrived and we had a pleasant 2 hours working together with him complaining about the job and his ambition is to become a driving instructor.Problem is that its £4k to take the course and qualify,yes that’s a problem if you’re on £7/hr gross and unwilling to work more than the bare minimum.

His world was turned upside down when the boss made a call and told him to go home and get his special red T Shirt advertising half priced books.He came off the phone seething and unleashed a volley of abuse and parted with “see you next week”.

We now have different products to sell at the till.Swiss chocolate,Fruitellas,Chewing Gum and Lucozade shots.
I heard a woman laughing like a witch on her mobile phone with a genuine cackle and thought this sounds promising.I engaged her in conversation at the till and made her laugh again just for me to have a laugh at her laugh if you get the drift.

Every so often you get stereotypical couples and today was no different.He was a Jamews Hewitt lookalike and she was a Sloane Ranger with a Coutts Private Banking debit card.His card didn’t work so he used hers and her only comment was,”where’s the champagne bar?”

I’m becoming ruthless on these TPS’s i caught out of the corner of my eye two absolutely humungous individuals who were ripe for some serious chocolate,sweets and chewing gum.I thought this could send my daily sales figures into Orbit (ha ha ha).It was met with a stonewall no and they bought the currant bun (Sun) and a tiny packet of chewing gum.

The other group I target are stressed out mothers with screaming kids.When they arrive to pay they will do anything to shut the brats up so its”can i interest you in some quality Swiss Chocolate for a pound?”

Fat Indian bird kept me company for the last 2 hours,she’d had 2 hours sleep because of her assignment deadlines for her MBA.

Sandy Gall bags was really bubbly as usual but she’s not an oil painting.

Saturday June 12th 2010.6am – 2pm

Up at 4am with the sun rising across London town and had a lovely walk from Kentish Town to work.It took 45 mins,London early on a weekend morning is a great sight just mini cab drivers,clubbers,and drug addicts on the streets.

The staff room was buzzing,the hardcore Algerian on the night shift was in his usual place with his eyes in a permanent state of closing like a heroin addict who has just had a fix and is in that space between planet earth and outer space.

Off i went to the unit and was paired with jolly Asian, as soon as the doors opened at 6am the crowds were all over us like a cheap suit because of the early train to Paris.A different crowd on weekends more OAP’s and loved up couples living the romantic dream.Lots of hangovers so i started taking the piss out of them by using their fragile mental states to sell them the £1 specials.Stroppy Asian with the whole world on his shoulders started having a go because we had no carrier bags.

At last a Polish blonde arrived to work with me,I’d seen her name on the rota and was curious to see if she was a goer or not.I used to have a Polish girlfriend,who i lived with for far too long and i thought she was the only one who could talk for Poland but this one couldn’t stop talking.

Very thin,blonde,no chest and Sarah Palin glasses but you never know!!
Unfortunately the phone went and she was beckoned elsewhere and off she went never to be seen again.She had a brain on her just got a degree in Business Administration.

The rest of the day was spent with quite possibly the thickest person i’ve ever worked with.Put it this way he normally deals with the newspaper deliveries but today was on the tills,when i said something that made him laugh we kept on punching hands like batsman having a mid pitch conference between overs.Lovely bloke and is a father of a 40 day old girl.

In strode an immaculate blonde with great figure,a tracksuit and shades.”How are you today” I asked.
“I think i’m still pissed from last night,didn’t get to sleep till 6am” she replied in a thick Sheffield accent.
“Maybe some chocolate will bring you round” i quipped.
“I need more than that love” she continued
“We don’t have what you need in store at the moment”
“Nice try darling,i’ve got a train to catch”.

That’s the thing with this job,people come into your life for a short time and then they’re gone.
I get on well with thick Ethiopian because he doesn’t understand anything i say and laughs at everything.

2pm arrived and off i walked into the bright sunlight thinking about the immaculate Sheffield blonde.

Sunday 13th June 2010-

Day off

Monday 14th June 2010-8am – 4pm

Sat in the staff room 15 minutes early and the Algerian gladly informed me that i’m in the biggest unit and i had the pleasure of working with the cockney scrubber.

She’s loud,thick,ugly and has no manners.It was bearable for a few hours because i had slow boy with me and i was pushing him into engaging with the attractive females,he thinks he’s a player but he came up short in that area.

After my break i noticed a well dressed lady from a large company who shall remain nameless.She drew the cockney scrubbber’s attention to a plan of cigarettes which wasn’t being followed.
The scrubber then turned around and thrust the layout plan into my face and said to the well dressed lady “leave it to him he’ll deal with it”.
That was the final straw i said”you need to learn how to behave,you’re obnoxious and badly behaved and completely ignorant”.

She was stunned and came out with the classic line “it’s ok if you don’t like me and i admire your honesty”.I apologised a few minutes later because its a spiritual programme.
Its good though she knows the score now and won’t mess with me again.
2pm the bloke who was present at my induction who we’ll call fat Indian bloke turned up.He is clinically obese and has his own little patch that he stands on and goes about his business with the minimum of effort,”I had you down as a Tory MP for Bexleyheath” he quipped,”with your brains you should know how this whole business works”.

Its steady all the time in the biggest unit just steady all the time.

Tuesday 15th June 8am – 4pm

Looking forward to seeing cockney scrubber to see her reaction but you know these types they don’t care what happens and she’ll never change,what’s that saying? You can only change yourself.
The early shift means that its difficult to achieve good TPS early in the day because people are grumpy first thing especially the MILF’s.

A group of Americans presented lots of Krispy Kreme doughnuts at lunch time and i ventured “having a healthy lunch then guys” one of the girls was sweet with braces and a nice smile.I think i maybe a sex addict because every attractive girl that i serve sends my stomach fluttering.

Driver boy is a good laugh he spent 2 hours with me and he was mightily impressed at my ruthlessness at TPS,the old career stood me in good stead for flogging swiss chocolate,fruitellas and chewing gum.I’ve noticed that the store cupboards behind the tills are dangerously full of stock which for some reason unbeknown to me keeps on getting filled with stuff we don’t sell like shampoo and toothpaste.There could be a compensation angle on the overfull cupboard falling on my head and i take the PLC to court and win a few grand.I’ll look into that tonight.

You see more staff in the big unit because its close to the management offices and all they seem to do is go on fag breaks and wheel in more stock.It was very embarrassing because a lady asked for a gift card and i passed responsibility onto one of the Asian supervisors who couldn’t sort out a task as simple as a gift card,as the customer walked off she could be heard saying “the service is scary”.That says it all,at times this place resembles a disorganised piss up with it somehow all coming together but it always feels as if we’re one step from disaster.Maybe that’s how all these mega PLC retailers work.

A bright spot was the comedian who made it to the final of Britains Got Talent bought the Sun,i sked him if his career had taken off since the final and he replied positively.He was a top bloke with a smile on his face and i thought deserved to win it because his impression of Phil Mitchell was very good.

Wednesday 16th June 2010

The cockney scrubber is eating out of my hand and she has an admirer, he's maintenance for Network Rail and looks a bit simple,he knows her name and clearly fancies her.I questioned her on this and she agreed with me that he's a nice bloke but she doesn't find him attractive.There was a management meeting yesterday and all the supervisors are on the ball this morning.The supervisor i've had this week is a very quiet pleasant bloke but has no personality and absolutely no people skils and that doesn't take into consideration is very poor English.How do these people get these positions?Maybe i could have a rapid career path if i play my cards right.

Obese Indian bloke arrives after lunch and we have a laugh he knows the score but i have to be careful with him because all the management like him.The lottery is a big event on Wednesday's and i am hopeless with the machine and in the end send people away telling them the machine is broken.Big mistake could have got sacked for that.

I'm settling in nicely and its exactly what i need at this stage in my life.I remember the comments of the bloke who interviewed me,"we call the staff at the stations hardcore" how right he is.