The second one in my series of hellish job experiences!
To have a perusal through the first one, here’s the link - read and go crazy.
My second job was obtained because, towards the end of my first term at university, having a partner live 500 miles away was financially draining and after maxing out overdraft and credit card, I needed to plug this cash shortfall. One day whilst roaming around Staines alone, trying to piece together why the hell I was at Royal Holloway, I found myself in Sainsbury’s (a monolith supermarket) perusing through what type of jarred sun-dried tomatoes I should buy and lo and behold as I left there was a job advert to work at night-time stocking the shelves during the xmas period. Pay: £9.75/hour.
HEYHO! MONEY $£$£$£$£$£$£$£$£$£$£$£
Fast-forward to my first day. I arrive just on time, thanks to being stuck in snow, missing my partner’s arrival into London then having a massive argument (mostly one-sided, I stood in shame as she shouted), I managed to bolt from North West London to the suburbia of Staines in record timing. (I miss my trusty ugly red car)
As I sat in the staff holding pen, analysing my fellow workers - I was assigned pet-food aisle. Not only, do I have no knowledge of pets - I abhor most varieties of animals unless they are owned by my friends and therefore they must be nice. Great, I thought to myself - this is going to be a fucking long night.
I was made to work with a 55 year old indian man who only wanted to be addressed by Mr. P. (His name was something Patel) Now, he looks me up and down and utters the phrase. “You posh boy, why you work here, why you no ask parents for money?” Now usually I would but explaining to my parents I had haemorrhaged nearly over £1000 on random crap from running away to Scotland to get laid; to buying an insane amount of crap off eBay and generally living life to the fullest. (I miss casual champagne hour…) would not result in my receiving of money. Instead, as I have ethnic parents, it would involve me being placed in a locked padded room in my house with a tv playing tv shows with this man for company.
ALVIN HALL IS MY IDEA OF A NIGHTMARE PERSONIFIED.
Obviously, I also couldn’t tell Mr. P, so I made up some bullshit like ‘oh I wanna learn what life is like… blah di fucking blah….’ The days and nights blurred into one. I’d see my partner as much as I could, I’d try to see home friends but seeing as it was banned by the evil partner - 2 weeks turned into one hazy day where so much weed was smoked to make me fall asleep at 9am after returning from a hell night at work.
Until, one night. I snapped. After deciding to go out with my best friend, away from partner, to our favourite haunt, I called into work and said I had the flu. They immediately suspected I had swine flu - you know over-the-phone diagnosis and all. They told me to seek medical advise and call the next day. So the next day - I showed up to work and made sure my eyes were puffy and whatnot. They made me stay and work. Throughout the night, all I wanted to do was punch the manager. Not for making me stay - duh obviously I knew I was gonna stay but all I wanted was to be able to smoke a cigarette. Our ridiculously long breaks consisted of just sitting around a big tv watching the news. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t have a fucking cigarette whereas the manager and older staff could. After being patronised and lectured as to why I shouldn’t smoke so young, we went back to work and I flipped. I was finally tired of pet food.
I picked up a case of pedigree dog food and smashed it on the floor. Nobody heard. The supermarket was enormous and as well as that, everyone had iPods in. I started kicking the cans, throwing packets of cat litter around the aisles laughing hysterically to myself. I pretended to go to the toilet, but instead I got my stuff and ran out of the back door and into my car. As I sat in the car, realising what an awful thing I had just done - I saw the manager walk out of the supermarket hooting and hollering - I switched on the ignition and have never sped away so fast in my entire life. When I got back to my university halls - I couldn’t face going back home and telling them what I had done - nobody was in. I opened the window, blasted some Crystal Castles, wore my comfy pjs and smoked one of the best joints in my life.
In the end, I got paid for the work I had done apart from that fateful night but for what? People may hate on being an intern and working for free. But, I’d rather be poor and intern at a fun, interesting and enjoyable place than earn a fuckload and losing my mind.