The Horrors of Kwiksave: The Interview

in hive-170798 •  2 months ago 

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.

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Other Articles in this Series:
Chapter One: A Prelude to the Best Job in the Land
Chapter Two: The Job Centre

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Chapter Three: The Interview

...'December 1980'...

'WARNING: BAD LANGUAGE BELOW'

Within ten minutes, I am stood outside the entrance to the ‘Kwiksave’ supermarket. To say it was a far cry from the quite new and gleaming Asda I had recently been ousted from would be a gross understatement.

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...'Kwiksave had a habit of renting the most delipidated buildings they could find and then converting them to supermarkets. This old Bingo Hall would have made a suitable candidate'...

The floor entrance was smoothed stone and looked to have never been cleaned. Grime and filth encrusted the front door and I could not help notice the copious amounts of spider’s webs around the corners of the windows.

This building was not unused, more abused, and with a massive lack of maintenance. The one positive thing was that it was next to the bus station. That means old people would shop there.

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Tentatively placing my hand on the door and hoping I would not catch something, I walked in and past a booze store immediately to my left.

'LiquorSave', was that some kind of franchise?
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Looking right I noticed 'CarpetSave'. The imagination of the naming astounded me.

I came to understand later that Kwiksave rented out part of its store space to other businesses that were deemed to not compete with its own products, rather compliment them.

The floor was I walked on was black, not exactly dirty black but some kind of asphalt surface. Twenty yards ahead, and on a downhill gradient, I spotted what looked to be an office.

A row of checkouts stood immediately before me.

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...'the Kwiksave checkouts were a far cry from this scene, but the number of people waiting was comparable'...

Only one was manned by a flustered looking young checkout operator, who was getting abuse from a huge queue of shoppers with visible steam rising from their brows.

…’why are there no other checkout operators, what kind of fucking supermarket is this?’…

Just one of the streams of profanity I noticed from a bloke who was around 30th in the monstrous queue. I could see the riotous looks of the mob, and figured the office was going to be stormed at any minute.

The office was one of those one-way window glass systems where the inhabitants can see you but all you can see is your reflection.

Attempting to ignore the on-going chaos, I rapped sharply on the door.

A man opened the door. His looks were unremarkable, but I can still picture those features 40 years later.


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Source: Image by @katharsisdrill

David Mortenson, aka ‘Mort’ boasted a haughty visage, slanty eyes much like those of Pierce Brosnan (James Bond) but without the looks, was around 5’9 in height and had the words ‘I’m the boss' written over his forehead.

He wore a bright red overall with ‘Kwiksave’ emblazoned on the chest area, right of centre. There was not a trace of friendliness or hint of a welcome in that face.

'Oh, it's you, wait outside for a minute'

The door slammed leaving me looking at a very worn-out clocking in machine to the right of the door with just a few dog-eared cards sitting in it.

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...'for the next few years I would be clocking in, clocking out, even for the 15-minute break. One minute late and woe betide'...

After waiting more than a few minutes I watched the drama of the sole checkout operator unfolding.

The office door burst open and a large woman boasting a pink overall waltzed out, almost knocking me out of the way and boarded a second checkout.

The customers began to clap and taunt her immediately.

…’finished your 5th cup of coffee have you darling?, why not go back inside for another, we can all wait, it's OK, we don't want to disturb you’…

I was so engrossed in watching the action that I had not noticed a red-haired bloke had emerged from the office with a clipboard.

'Is it @slobberchops? Follow me, this way'

I jumped, and it took me a second to register that I should be following this probable 'other boss'. I say that as this one also yielded the same red overall as Mort.

RedHead marched in the direction of CarpetSave and then up some old dusty stairs which had likely never been maintained in years.

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The RedHeaded chap seemed to know just where to step to avoid slipping, rolling down the steps, and breaking his neck. Avoiding a pile of grease mixed with wet paint, yoghurt and what looked like cat-piss I managed to climb the steps without injury.

I was shortly later to understand RedHead was named 'Carrot’ and he was the assistant manager, while David Mortenson was the ‘proper’ manager. I would guess both of them were about 22 years old. I was almost 18.

What ‘Carrots’ real name was, I can't remember. Just that he was the guy you could have a conversation with.

Carrot would be the one to interview me. The stairs brought me to what seemingly was yet another branch of CarpetSave, in which I had to meander around carpets thrown haphazardly all over the floor and eventually to a canteen.

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The Staff Canteen was something out of a nightmare. It consisted of a single table, two chairs, one window, an area to hang coats, ladies toilets, a large tea urn, and a sink.

Where were the men’s toilets? I’ll be coming to that in the next few episodes.

This was akin to going back in time to the Victorian ages. The very room itself appeared to want to deny itself any light.

The window had obviously never been cleaned. Kwiksave adjoined to a major road and this window had accumulated 50 years of dust, grime, smears, bird-shit, and anything else than could be considered putrid attached to it.

The table was badly scratched, had chunks missing from it, and contained a plethora of rotting food dating back to the Second World War attached in various places.

Reluctantly taking a seat and hoping the chair would not collapse under my weight, I was given a form to complete.

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It was the usual shit, name, address, date of birth, dick size, OK not the last one.

Carrot handed me a pen and wandered out of the room and gave me a few minutes to complete the form.

Do you have a criminal record?’ was one of the questions. I pondered and eventually wrote’ Yes’. There was little point in lying as I knew they were going to check, they always did.

Carrot scanned the form, frowned at the ‘Yes', and asked me what happened.

I explained about the chocolate, the slap-headed store detective, the wig, how much of a twat I thought 'TunaFish' was, and my imminent court appearance, as it had yet to happen.

He ripped up the form and gave me another.

Write no on this one’, he said.

On quizzing, Carrot explained, ‘we need someone, and you have the experience


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Such was their desperation though I didn’t know at the time just why Carrot had handed me this ‘career break’. If he had told me to ‘fuck off’, I might have had a much better life.

Road Sweeping did have a certain ring and appeal to it.

So it was as easy as that. Even a filthy criminal like me with chocolaty fingers could get a job at Kwiksave.

The next day, I would start work and life would never be the same.


To be continued...


Cover Picture is a combination of free sources from here and here, combined and edited with Luminar 4. Shopping cart icon is a FREE Pixabay image.

Any uncited pictures are copyright ME!

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Daymn! It was a "career break" meaning a break from any kind of actual career. And the dreams.... I know what you mean. 6 years working for Trader Joe's still sometimes comes back to me in the middle of the night. I'm surprised you weren't written up before hire for wasting a perfectly good form.

Trader Joe? Lol.. seems I'm not the only one that worked for a nightmarish company..

It's a good thing the interview went so well otherwise you might not have a story to tell here :) I can't remember, do you have any good memories from working there? As crappy as Radio Shack was, I at least have a couple of good memories.

do you have any good memories from working there?

Not many, I met a girl there, my first serious one.. that's about it! Thanks for the comment, there's barely any this time.

If I wrote yes on the criminal record part and they checked it I would never get a job:) I've always opted for writing no then talking myself out of the shit when it hits the fan.

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