Saturday, 3 February 2007

iced fox here!

hello there...i think it's time for a posting from yours truly, Iced Fox. i'm delighted so far with the amount of people who have got in touch after just two days. keep the emails coming...
of all the stories i have recieved so far, though...roxy's has to be the one i am most appalled at. and i thought bosses who thought with their dicks was something that just happened at my store!

i've got a double sided coin of shifts, myself. i work days, i work nights, i work weekdays and a weekend day. i do my overtime. i do my till time. my stock time. so my tasks and experiances vary from shift to shift.
i spent a lot of my time on the till, though. so i know pretty much who the regulars are, who the weirdos are, and who the down right rude tossers are. my store is a very busy one, but we also have petrol to worry about as well. we are also based at the heart of the community and as an express format of tesco are home to all the sweet old ladies who want a loaf of bread but don't want to go into to town to the bigger tesco store.

now, that's great...i grew up around old people and so i love them. in fact, i love them that much when i was younger i briefly considered a career at a residental home.
the problem is, as a store that is expected to serve the community (and when it first opened not too long ago was heralded as the greatest thing that has happened to our town) there is a lot of pressure to please and deliver.
our store is sandwiched inbetween a busy road and shit loads of local houses. not to mention a park, church and primary we get all sorts.
as a fully fledged till worker i have got to know the local people around much so that i get offered lifts from people i don't even know the name of, and stopped in the street by customers to say hello.

for the most part, the customers i have got to know are delightful, lovely, rational people. people who...if i accidently mess up their transaction...they will wait patiently till i sort it out. or if their bag rips they will just laugh it off and ask for another. these people are a pleasure to serve. they even go as far as to tell me their daily very nice older lady even went through the ins and outs of her tooth breaking and her dentist appiontments. and she told me because she knew i cared. and i cared because i'd served her thousands of times and taken a shine to her.
after a hard shift of clock watching, stress, and abuse...a familar face does wonders for my mood. and so why not be their 'agony cashier' and let them have a moan?

however, for every nice customer i get...there are also the ones, just as regular, but do i put it...easier to deal with.

take for example...the old gentleman who everytime he comes in is rude. without fail. even if he hasn't found something to screetch about...screetch he will.
i first came across him after about four months of working this was a very long time ago. he moaned about not being able to use his clubcard for his petrol. that's fine...after he's had his moan he goes off and gets his newspaper. he moans about that because it at our store things like that don't come with the free CDs. i roll my eyes when he's not looking and just say to myself to let him have his little moment. but after that...he starts to become very vile, very rude...and almost intimidating. i had to call our DM...but still he wouldnt shut up.
in the end...he pissed off...and after a year of serving him i just take his routine abuse with a very very large pinch of salt. it's almost become enjoyable...y'know when they're THAT abusive it just becomes amusing and you're almost willing him to do it because it's that much of a habit?
he's all talk, really...probably very lonely. he always comes in on his maybe he just comes in a lot and has a moan because that's how he fills the hours of loneliness.

since working at tescos, though, my love of old people has been pushed to the very limit. whether it's old ladies throwing things at me and accusing me of trying to con them...or old men being rude, abusive and generally vulgar...i have found out that not ALL elderly folks are charming and sweet. it's the old men i hate. some of them are so lovely that you nearly accidently call them grandpa...but some of them are just plain horrid. they're rude, they smell, they have a go at you for something that isn't your fault...the amount of times i have had to try and explain that you can't give back change on clubcard vouchers makes me want to shoot myself somtimes. it isn't my fault! and yet, the easier thing to do in shops is to yell at the cashier...and yell they do.

there is another guy in particular who i really had to stop myself from losing my rag with. he threw all his change at me and said "ha! that was your fault. YOUR FAULT! PICK IT UP. you pick it up. your fault. your fault."
so, i just kept calm...and started to count his change. i couldnt even do that though, could i? cos he kept chanting rude rubbish at me as i tried to count. so i counted it wrong. he yelled. and when i re-counted it he said, yet again, "ha! that was your fault. YOUR FAULT." and he walked off. smirking.

god. i wanted to strangle him.

still, if you think the vicious mob of The Local Residential Hall are bad....i'd take them any day over the drunks, the posh ones, the people you have to ID, and the morning workmen.

i don't really have time to write out in detail ALL the horror stories i've had with these people but i will do a short description.

The Drunks --- you will find these tossers on every friday night shift. they come over from the local pub...the male version of The Drunk are red eyed, beer breathed and rough looking, shouting random crap that just disturbs the whole of the peace of the store. they patronise you at the till, they usually ask for "20 mayfair", try to pick a fight with the poor little guy standing quietly in the queue, and bring in about 20 other equally rough and drunk guys with them. The female version has a belt for a skirt, giggle irritatingly, flirt with whatever they think has a pulse and a penis, also ask for 20 mayfair, and then stagger out of the shop looking forward to being slung out of the local pub at closing time. they also both try slamming on the windows after we have closed at midnight trying to bribe us to open. just for them. ha! no.

The Posh Ones --- these pricks REALLY hack me off. they normally come in at lunchtime...razor phones, sharp suits, with a basket full of organic crap. they march up to my till, screaming down their phone, they get out their 4247472974 wads of cash, and look at you like dirt. they do that motion of looking at their wrist (that doesnt have a watch on it) as if to say "like, totally, hurry up!"
they then laugh if you ask if they have a clubcard, get irritated when there is no Silk Cut Purple (only the finest for these people, dar~ling) and don't even say "hello" "thankyou" or "goodbye."
they arnt normally abusive...but they are ignorant and impatient. and that pisses me off more than you'll ever know.

The Ones You Have To Id --- you know the drill. a lad comes up to your till, he's with his mates, he asks for 20 benson and hedges. you think to yourself "oh bloody hell, he looks about 15...i'm gonna have to ask." so you ask the dreaded question "have you got any ID?" and he looks as you as if to say "oh fuck off" and says "no." so you tell him as politely as possible you can't serve even apologize. out comes the splurge of "FOR FUCKS SAKE. I'M 21! I WORK AT MORRISONS! YOU'RE A PRICK!" and for the next 10 minutes you get them telling you what a useless waste of oxygen you are and that they want you dead.
you know they're all talk but you can't help but day i'm gonna get punched.
and anyway, if you look young...there is no excuse to leave your ID at quite frankly...get bent. very soon. very hard.

and as for the Morning Workmen --- these smelling, rude, skanked up arseholes don't even deserve a paragraph. always rude, always with staines down their clothes, always with sleep in their eyes (which disgusts me more than anything else on the planet)..they burp in your face, fart by your till, they have these horrible rough accents and always ask for Lambert And Butler.
i wish these people to disappear. fast. oh --- and they're really rude, as well. and never smile. and they're OLD. they wear shorts that expose their hairy legs and they're just...NO! go away now.

anyway, that's all i have time for for time there will be a whole entry on the wackos we get coming in...and the internal crap that gets me down at work week after week.

see you there!
Iced Fox.

Roxy's Story

this is Roxy's story...she is 31 years old, is a checkout worker, and has been working for the company for 5 years.

here i am; your battered little slave:

hi there, i'm Roxy (not my real name)...i have been at tesco's for around 5 years and thankfully i can finally say what i like about this disgusting company. i have three children, various ages, and i enjoy my job as a whole but just hate the men at the top and the company in general. my mother worked at tesco's before me and when i got made redundant by my last job suggested i tried applying for tescos.
i liked that idea because i initially thought it meant i could fit my busy lifestyle around my job and earn a bit of extra cash to help out my husband when his work had a quiet patch.
when i went for the interview a lovely lady was in charge and she said it could be no problem that i have kids and that tesco would work around my needs ( just like they did with all the other staff, she explained.)

well, my first year was lovely...if the kids were sick then i had the day off to be with them and made up my hours another day. if they had a party, or a school play...then i could do the same.
it all changed just after i celebrated my 2nd year there.
my lovely boss left (promotion) and this new guy came in. very burly, very sure of himself and made no attempt to say hello to his staff or even introduce himself.
the first conversation i ever had with him was when he told me he had to cancel my week off (i needed it off to tend to my sick mother who had left the company the year before). i explained to him my reasons and he tutted and just said "i hear from a good source it's just a week off because you fancy a bit of time off. you have no holiday allowence left so therefor you will be working your normal hours"
i burst out into tears...angry tears...but this made no odds to him. he just opened the door and told me to get back onto my till as, in his words, "time is money, sweetheart."

disgusted, i walked out...and phoned my husband. he was equally as angry and made his way down to speak to him. all he got was from this horrible new manager was "she can have her week off...but as a suspension for walking out of my store this afternoon."

as a member of the union, i thought i had rights...but had to back down as the next day my mother got worse and had to go to hospital. i didn't need any extra strain...i took my suspension and threw myself into looking after my gravely ill mother.

upon my return to work, the sadistic little hitler (who i will just name Him from now on) called me into his office and decided to throw the book at me. he did this even though he was proven wrong by my mother admission to hospital and told me "one more mishap from you and you will find your tesco contract is going to get friendly with my shredder."

as i walked out of the door, my colleague (who we will name cindy), was waiting outside obviously going to speak to Him, too. i walked out with tears in my eyes...and she just smiled at me, flicked her hair and swaggered into the office. before the door closed...all i heard was "cindy! now this HAS made my day..."

when she came back...i asked her if she was in trouble. "oh no..." she calmly said "i was just speaking to him about letting me off next week for my trip to new york." "but you havent got any holiday left..." i told her. "i know! isn't he brilliant? he said it's a reward for making his shop tick along nicely."

so, miss perfect blonde/perfect 10 can have a week off when we're undertstaffed to go to sodding new york but i can't look after my extremely ill mother!!!

i wanted to cry. no, i wanted to scream....and scream i did when i got home.

"what is wrong with this man! why is he doing this" i wailed to my husband...

i am 31 years old. plenty of laughter lines. i am a bit chubby. i wear frumpy clothes outside of work. i have a mortgage and 3 kids. i know i'm no sex kitten...but i work hard. i have 5 years service under my belt and had no trouble on my record.
cindy is 21 years old. natural blonde, perfect 10, killer legs. lives with her mum, has no kids, flirts for england. she does virtually no work, has been suspended for being rude to a customer and her team leader, and has only been there a year!

i pointed that out to my husband...and he told me i was being stupid and paranoid.
i agreed with him...maybe i was...

until the next mother died. i found out mid-shift and i asked my duty manager if i could go home. "of course you can, roxy!" he said...and i made my way to my locker to grab my coat. i needed my kids and my husband around me...i needed my home.

"where do you think you're going?" it was Him. "home. my mother has just died." "how DARE you leave your till with 3 lifts in it! you're staying right here till 4pm." "4pm?" "yes, that's the end of your shift. i just checked." "but mark said i could go home. my mother has just died!" "is mark the boss? in fact, if he does this ever again he won't even be a duty manager for much longer either!" "MY MOTHER HAS JUST DIED." i screamed. and duelly walked out.

he didn't phone me. he didn't even make a squeak when i returned 2 weeks later. it turns out that Mark (our lovely duty manager) had found out what happened, and that on the same day as my mother died he (Him) let Cindy go home early so she could go to a tanning parlour.

faced with at least two cases of evidence against him of favourtism he told Mark he would let me have the next two weeks off and let me off for walking off mid-shift.
when my husband complained to a higher up authority he got told that nothing could be done because he (Him) was too valuable to the company to even investigate.

however, he got moved on to another store...but i'm still left with a sour taste left in my mouth. not just with Him, but with whoever told my husband that would be doing nothing about it.

i enjoy my job immensely and get on with most of the staff...but i despise this company now and all the 'Old Boys' (as Ed and iced fox calls them) that grease each others palms.

oh, and as for cindy...turns out she is now engaged to Him. funny old world, isnt it?

thank you for listening to my story.

Jonathan's Story

good morning ladies and gents!
this is jonathan's story (yep, two jon's in two days!) a 19 year old disgruntled CA on the wonderful section that is produce. keep 'em coming, folks!

A view from a 19 year old at the bottom of the food chain and leaving soon:

Hello I'm Jon. I'm 19 and work as a customer assistant on produce. I don't have a lot to complain about in all honestly but I do enjoy a rant about every other section apart from those on produce (who doesn’t).
My team (produce) is awesome, my manager is laid back, my team leader is a legend, and have two pretty good mates on the section the same age. However it’s the rest of the store that pisses me off, we on produce seem to have to work bloody harder than everyone else in my opinion. I've only been working at Tesco since July but I know that last year they were earning (produce sales) £70,000 a week then before Christmas and since I’ve been there we've been on £88,000 and after Christmas we've been making £100,000 on produce a week (its a pretty small store) which means we have stupidly small chillier that cannot handle the stock we’ve been getting but that’s our problem, not the fault of whoever is ordering in stupid quantities of frigging figs. And yet they want the waste figures to be the same as when we were earning £70,000 which is impossible plus even though we’re clearly busting a gut we still get a right old bollocking when we're caught talking to each other while the bloody dot com pickers swan about the isles constantly in the way moaning about everything and destroying the whole shop floor to find the perfect apple. That annoys me, fair enough find 'the perfect apple' but at least don’t leave a half full tray of apples in the middle of the shop floor, its like dropping chewing gum on the floor because we pay taxes so that the council can pay someone whose job it is to remove it. Another thing that annoys me is how the cleaners are always on a crusade to run you down when they're using the orange cleanly things.
The till team leaders always assume we should stop everything to deal with there “one manky orange” even though they are trained and told to do waste it themselves and we’ve even got a special tray for them on the shop floor, that annoys me because they’re lazy. Provisions (meat and dairy) seem to have an army of workers and then like 3-5 part timers every night covering the full timers lousy shifts, which isn’t cricket and also even though they have so many they’re constantly in the shit with half the store having to help them out while when we’re in a spot of bother (because of absences) no one ever helps us, why is that? Doing 1-10’s annoys me mainly because I have to still be there when everyone else from my section goes home at 6 but also because we’re the only section that seems to have anyone on till 10 which means we have to cover bread, bakery and some times meat and dairy, which is annoying. I/ we on produce get on fairly well with the backdoor lot apart from one guy that seems hell bent on calling everyone a dooshbag, which is extremely witty. However its seems to be pretty much the rest of the store that annoys me and I should think I probably annoy the hell out of the rest of the store too but I don’t mind that so much, because I’m working so much harder than people on other departments, obviously. Oh and some people do not understand sarcasm at all or have any humour which makes the day go slower.
Customers are the worst, especially when they blame us for the hole in their bag, god knows why they think we make the bags. Another reason why customers are bad is because they’re always around when your slagging them off and have an extremely big husband. I could ramble on a lot longer but I shant, I would imagine if you don’t work on produce you’ll disagree with pretty much with everything I said, but that’s the point, in my store your raised to hate every other section in the store and compete with them to be the best (well I don’t know if that’s what other sections do, but we sure as hell want to be doing better than anyone else then complain about the fact that we are because of our natural ability of greatness and not because we have a 1000 people helping us out.)
Anyway I have two weeks left before I leave for Japan, however I have massive respect for anyone that works there with no end of leaving in sight, that is mental.

Friday, 2 February 2007

John's Story

This is John's story. He is a CA (customer assistant) at a store in Bristol.

I'm John, 20, and i have been working for a Tesco's in Bristol since 2005. since working at the store i have seen a sharp rise in, shall we say, the boom of this supermarket...i remember being younger and Safeway being far more superior. I suppose that's what happens when rich men pump copious amounts of money into clever price slashes that lose us no money at all, really.

i have no problem with sad as it sounds tesco's is in my family and any gain for tesco should really be my gain, as well. problem is...i'm not sure that tesco really ARE looking after their staff and more...of number one.
even when we get 100% mystery shopper and 100% waste for the monthly bonus still his the shits.
i enquire about my colleagues who are on the same level as me and the level of bonus seems to change quite dramatically between us all.
but there is one chap in particular who seems to get more bonus than the rest of us CA's. i kow he's on friendly terms with the admin...but my god...surely there can't be a fiddler of the books in the ranks, can there?
this would also lead me to worry about our boss...this stuff gets checked with him right? so anything untoward would be stopped, right? hmmm...
i'm not one for slander...i was hoping to do a law degree until a few years ago so avidly gobbled up anything on the law i could find as a schoolboy.
i just worry...why can't we all get the same bonus if we work the same hours and have the same age? or does this not matter?

also, the other week i asked if i could complete my gold training and maybe "step up"...i was told "no" in no uncertain terms. why? because i havent reached my potential yet and also they don't need anymore step ups for now.
what happens next? the same chap i was talking about regarding bonuses get's put into the staff room mid shift and told he could complete his gold and start counting till lifts.

is it just me or does this smack of "it's not what you know..."

grrr. i just can't tell anymore. maybe i'm paranoid...but i'm a hard worker. in my last store i was considered a strong team member, potential duty manager matierial, and i'd do any piece of overtime they needed me to do. i'm not the only one airing a concern...a colleague of mine got told there was no overtime even though she needed it (she has a baby to feed, y'see...) but the lovely girl who is mates with the chap who is mates with the admin who is mates with the boss...get 16 hours overtime!

screw that, to be honest...

so, iced fox, whoever you are...thank you for this blog...stuff like this needs to be heard!

thanks again, John.

Ed's Story.

this is Ed's story...he works for a tesco's in Manchester and is working his way up to team leader.

Hi, I am Ed...i am 25 years old and i'm a soon-to-be team leader at a manchester branch. I will keep this short and sweet for now as i'm just about to do some overtime but the long and short of my story is this.
i am sick of the shallow elistist managment that runs quicker than water in out store. it has taken me more than 3 years to make team leader...where certain ladies who twiddle their hair and make eyes at the big men get promotion after promotion. what do i have to do to get higher in this god-damn company? have a sex change and make blatent passes at my boss?
or maybe i should just turn into one of the "old boys network" and spend my lifetime on the golf course with them.

maybe i have more morals, or maybe i'm just stupid...maybe our store is the only one with this favouritistic mentality. whatever the case..i wish it'd stop. either that or hand in a transfer request.

don't believe the hype, kids...tescos ISN'T equal ops, and it certainly isn't promotion for hard work. not in my store. and not in a few others, i don't you DARE complain about the service. you try working your arse off for crap pound an hour and no prospects and still be expected to deliver the "every little helps" experiance.

yeah, every little helps...if you have long eyelashes or a golf club.


calling all tesco staff!

why hello there again, dear reader.
i have decided, even at this early stage, to unleash this blog for public consumption. do with it what you will; it's your blog just as much as mine.
if you are a tesco's worker...and you want your rant/story/concerns/whatever published on here...all you need to do is send your story to the following address:

it is very important you put and not .com

i will read through your story, edit any mistakes (or bits that are a bit TOO aggressive) and put it up here ASAP.

remember, this is only day two in the life of this site and progress may be very slow...but together we can put together a place for all of us disgruntled staff members to air our concerns, grief and just general talk of our shifts.

there isn't a story i won't publish at this if you want to be is the place to start. just leave a name (you can make up a nickname if you wish to stay anonymous), your age, and what your status at tesco's is (C.A/duty manager/team leader/bakery/cleaner/etc etc)

thankyou for taking the time to read this. i hope to be hearing from you soon.

much love and respect,
The Iced Fox.

Thursday, 1 February 2007

and so may we be introduced...

hello there, ladies and gentlemen.
i have started this blog after coming to the conclusion that the general public see tesco's workers as nothing but scum that want to steal all your money. robots that don't take in abuse, even. not realising that most of the poor buggers with Customer Care Assistant as their job description are actually humans who don't care about stocks and shares, premium bonds and lifelong pension schemes with the national juggernaught that is Tesco and just normal people who want a paycheck at the end of each month that can pay for their bills.
We do not make the rules and regulations of tescos, nor do we think of each promotion, take home juicy bonuses that can pay for this year's cruise or drive the fastest cars with the latest sat navs.
More often than not, the poor git standing/sitting at the till or stocking the shelves is actually quite hard up and doing 40 hours a week just to put food in their mouths and roof over their heads.
They do not chuckle at the fact that your clubcard wont gain you points on esso petrol, they do not rub their hands gleefully when you buy 5 packs of coke thinking they are on offer when really they're not. They do not mean for your food to fall out of it's bag and go rolling all over the car park, or for the item you wanted in the bakery to be sold out.
No, we're just hard working people who want to get the next 8 hours over and done with without getting someone shouting at us because we have sold out of baking potatoes.
We also do not purposefully not sell you cigarettes or alcohol. The chances are...if you don't look over 16/18 to us then you don't to anyone it's your own stupid fault for not bringing ID with you.
At the end of the day...i would rather you scream at me and buy your toxins somewhere else then get an on the spot fine for selling to an underage person.
Also, there really is no point at shouting "i wont be coming back here again!" as you walk out the door because the chances are that everyone around you will find that a pleasing thought.
What you guys don't understand is that our hands are tied by rules and regulations...why should i get fired and fined because i let your 10 year old pay for your fuel when you could easily just hop out of your car and y' for it yourself.

I am hoping that by setting up this blog, and letting others send me their stories so i can put it up here, for people to become more aware of what is truly means to work for tescos and the stick that we get day in day out.

we really don't mean to piss you off...after all...we don't make the rules. and if you want them changed...shout at the ones who can really do something about it...not the poor buggers that don't even agree with it themselves.

Iced Fox.