‘The Horrors of Kwiksave’ is a candid recollection of my memories working at Kwiksave (the now-defunct discount supermarket chain) as a 'Stock Lad'.
I wasted over FOUR years of my life in this maggot-infested hellhole and still occasionally wake up drenched in sweat after enduring a nightmare in which I am working there still.
Some of the names have been slightly changed simply to save my arse in case anyone takes offence at some of the details regarding my facts or opinions.
Many of the people mentioned are now dead as this happened so long ago, but their siblings are not.
This is the 'HIVE Special Edition' of a multi-part autobiographical story (with a little over-embellishment on some of the details) I posted on STEEM over 2 years ago.
It contains a LOT more detail and content than the original and will fill in many gaps that were missed the first time around.
Chapter One: A Prelude to the Best Job in the Land
Chapter Two: The Job Centre
Chapter Three: The Interview
Chapter Four: Christmas is Coming
'WARNING: BAD LANGUAGE BELOW'
Life at Kwiksave was like being placed into a hard labour camp; there's no getting around that and @slobberchops was born to stack shelves for the next few years.
Christmas was fast approaching and the workload I was expected to get through was immense and never-ending.
My training consisted of being shown the back-shop, a vast array of pallets, and the words, ‘get on with it’.
A stock lad was expected to fill the shelves, take away the cardboard, tidy the back-shop, attend to demanding customers if the shelves were empty, accept deliveries, cleaning the nightmare Gents toilets (I'm coming to that below) and clean that shitty asphalt black floor after the customers had all left amongst other things.
My salary for all this was around £40 a week before tax. If I got £33 I was doing well.
Every 3 days a ‘load’ would arrive. A ‘load’ was a massive arctic truck with around 14 pallets of jam, bog rolls, biscuits, tins of beans, tinned meat, tinned condoms and everything else it seemed.
Carrot generally jumped on the back of this truck with a set of ‘wheels’ and the driver generally went back to his cabin and went to sleep.
The drivers were just as bad as Mort and considered themselves members of the ‘Armchair Club’, that is lazy motherfuckers.
‘wheels’ were for pulling heavy pallets full of stuff just like these (above).
The ‘back-shop’ was where all these pallets of stuff lived until I pulled one on the shop floor and started unloading it on the shelves.
Once the pallet was in place, a hydraulic lift let it descend, and then I had to pull these with another set of wheels into the back-shop, joining any others from the previous load if they hadn’t been stacked on the shelves already.
After around an hour, the back-shop was so crammed with these ‘pallets of stuff’ that I had to stack I could barely enter the area.
Carrot did help a little with the pallets; I have to give him some credit. For every 6 I emptied he managed 1. Do you think that's a bad ratio? It was a damn fine one compared to what was to come.
I mentioned the Gents toilets in a previous episode. While the Ladies got their own private washroom in the ramshackle canteen, the blokes had to make do with something out of a horror scene.
In the far corner of the supermarket was a nondescript door with no markings. That was the Gents, and going for a rapid piss was about as much as I could muster.
Occasionally a male customer would ask me where the toilets were, and I motioned them to the distant unobtrusive door in the corner, trying my best to suppress the laughter.
More often than not, said customer emerged gagging and gasping for air after just a few seconds. On one occasion an ambulance had to be called for with emergency oxygen.
The Kwiksave Gents toilets were only for the most desperate of mankind with severe bursting bladders. It was about the only laugh I had in those first few months.
Short breaks and lunch breaks were extremely regimented. I had 30 minutes for lunch, a 10-minute break around 10.30 am and another one at 3.30 pm.
Kwiksave did not trust their staff whatsoever and we were expected to ‘clock in’ and ‘clock out’ even for the ten-minute sessions.
As the clock mechanism was right up against the office door, I knew Mort was observing me with those shifty eyes, the look of condescension and smugness never faltering as he shifted his feet that were positioned on a nearby table.
The factory jobs, I knew included the prestigious position of ‘Tea Lad’ and one of my other chores was brewing up. This is a northern term for making a cup of coffee or hot tea.
As a perk, I did get a free cup, and Mort expected one every morning. It is true I did intentionally try and poison him by putting around 3 teaspoons of that cheap shitty coffee, Nescafe, in every cup.
After a while, he started moaning and complaining, and eventually banned me from making his personal cup of coffee. I still don’t like vanilla Nescafe today.
To be continued...
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