Monday, March 26, 2007

Discordant Shopping

Things I remember about working in Woolworths:

  • cheese and celery sandwiches from Marks and Spencers
  • serving Frank Bruno Easter eggs for his children
  • Christmas cards; tonnes of
  • a girl called Vicki being arrested for stealing from staff lockers
  • smock-like tunics with buttons that always popped open displaying your knickers to all and sundry
  • resigning (at the age of 16) because I couldn't cope with taking orders from an airhead

Why the reminescences?

The Guardian's editorial In praise of discordant shopping

I was scarred for life working in Woolworths. The very first thing that pops into my head when Woolworths is mentioned is music. (Well, I'm lying slightly; it's the second. One day after work I just had to take my tights off and did so in the street after carefully looking around. Unfortunately, I didn't look up and was greeted by a number of cheers from builders on the roof of a house).

We were subjected to the same music on loop for weeks at a time. Lionel Ritchie. The Carpenters. It was torture. For this very reason I would support shop workers in saying no to Muzak which according to Mr Treasure could mean 10% more sales.

Long and often anti-social hours standing on your feet for not a lot of money is bad enough without being forced to listen to absolute drivel. Let the workers choose.


Anonymous said...

Too true. I was 'lucky'to work for a coffee chain and our thing was jazz and rare groove, which I love but the same tunes on a loop for what felt like 43 hours a day was, I think, a ruse to break our spirits. Ah, memories...

Karen said...

I'm sure muzak has caused more than one individual to go postal. Ban it I say, ban it.

And how on earth do you put celery on a sandwich?

Red said...

That reminds me of when I was working in a video shop, and we couldn't play any films that were rated higher than PG... or was it U? Either way, it was Babe or The Sound of Music... all. day. long.

I still love Babe, but I never liked The Sound of Music, and having it on a loop eight hours a day did nothing to endear it to me...

Anonymous said...

Good old WOOLWORTHS in Barking remains yet ...

Ashley said...

I worked at the Gap when I was 16. Folding jeans. The terrible songs that are stuck in my head are:

Sara - Starship
Dancing on the Ceiling - Lionel Ritchie
You Give Love a Bad Name - Bon Jovi
How Will I Know? - Whitney Houston

Cynnie said...

I worked at a place where people sold their blood..

I was the chick that set up the machines and took the needles out of the arms.
8 long hours on my feet the entire time !..omg
it was horrid..
and of course the scum of the earth usually are the ones who sell their blood.
So i was always afraid my rubber gloves would fail me and I'd get some nasty disease..
but at least there was no muzak!

pat said...

given the dross that was choosen by the lads in the packing department i think muzak is better.

ems said...

CB - quite agree; even if you like it on a loop it's bad.

Karen - grated cheese and chopped celery all mixed together between two slices of cardboard bread.

Red - I have never seen The Sound of Music so cannot comment but do love babe.

Rehan - Romford not Barking.

ems said...

Ashley - Lionel again. Does anyone like him?!

Cynnie - ok, ok. You're experience may have been worse.

Pat - I don't remember what the boys played so it can't have all been that bad when I worked down there.