HAVE you ever wondered what it’s really like to work in a busy supermarket?
Or what happens to leftover food at the end of the day – we’ve been desperate to find out what really goes down.
Luckily a former supermarket worker has revealed some surprising revelations about working in one of the UK’s most popular food shops.
A woman, from South East England, worked in a supermarket for seven years until 2014 and said she ‘enjoyed it’ as it was her first real job.
The ex-supermarket employee admitted she made some lifelong friends while working in the store and joked that in retail, good friendships are crucial for the job.
She said: “I worked in several departments, starting off in the bakery until I developed an allergy to the cleaning material.
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“I then went on to night shifts for some extra money – as night shifts are paid surprisingly well!
“The people are great, a real credit to retail and they put up with a lot of rubbish from customers. But I will say that management can be a bit… temperamental.”
The former employee worked with some amazing managers who went ‘above and beyond’ for staff but she also worked with some – who weren’t so great.
Overall she said that working in a supermarket wasn’t an awful experience and she had some great times there – thanks to the staff, not the customers.
But there were some gross aspects to the job too.
She said: “I was a first aider which I thought would be a noble thing to do! However working in a student town, came with student drinking.
“This meant I was a glorified sick cleaner (only first aiders are apparently allowed to clean up bodily fluids!)
“I even had a student be sick on me while I fetched him a sick bucket. That would be by far the grossest thing.
“Also, the toilets. The toilets are another level, if you are a customer, just try and avoid them – even staff-only toilets!
“We once had to address an issue in store called the ‘phantom poo-er’ – a person not flushing their poo consistently every single day. Signs were put up and everything!”
The former supermarket worker revealed the best times of the day to shop are between 7-8am, 11am or 8pm.
But something that customers often don’t realise is that if they’re rude to a member of staff, they often become an infinite joke or story.
She encourages shoppers to ‘be nice’ as supermarket workers kept the country going during the pandemic.
She added: “Something that surprises people is how much bakery stuff is frozen! My job in the bakery was to defrost the baked goods or sometimes whack them in the oven for 20 mins.
“Not much is baked in store unless you go to a scratch bakery store, which are very few and far between now.
“It is quite gross how much gets thrown away though, especially bakery goods. At the end of the night everything gets binned.
“When I worked there, I fought to try and get it sent to the homeless but it came with a bunch of legal difficulties – although I think this might have changed now!
“One perk was that the Krispy Kreme doughnuts didn’t get binned, the Krispy Kreme man gave them to us!”
The former supermarket worker also revealed some funny memories she had of working in the store.
She said that one time, at closing, a customer left their live crab in the store in a plastic bag down the meat aisle. Her manager tried to throw it away.
She said: “I took it upon myself to try and give this poor thing a chance, but my crab knowledge is pretty few and far between.
“I released him at the seaside, hoping he was a saltwater crab. I still wonder if he made it!
“We also held an initiative to improve staff morale called ‘fun at work’. This would involve various activities that would just give a 10 min boost of fun to the day.
“Being on night shifts, there are NO customers around, so our fun at work included aisle races, supermarket sweeps, we even held a bike ride (stationary of course!) for charity!”
TOP TIPS FOR CUSTOMERS:
Avoid the toilets at all costs
No matter what the money saving blogs say DO NOT STALK THE REDUCTIONS STAFF. It will most definitely make them go slower!
Reductions normally happen around 6pm so if you fancy a bargain, go then.
It's very hard to get ‘freebies’ from supermarkets, unless you join their loyalty schemes.
Those scan to shop services are infinitely faster than queuing up the traditional way.
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