The Horrors of Kwiksave: Naggy

in #hive-1707982 months ago (edited)

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
Chapter Three: The Interview
Chapter Four: Christmas is Coming
Chapter Five: The Changing of the Blades
Chapter Six: The Staff
Chapter Seven: The Auxiliary Staff and The Load
Chapter Eight: The Sugar Maniac
Chapter Nine: The Accusation and "Big Lad"

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‘Some kids are best left to fend for themselves, and others were born to stack shelves’ – Steven Wilson


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Chapter Ten: Naggy

...'July 1981'...

'WARNING: BAD LANGUAGE BELOW'

Mort would warn me when the area manager was about to visit, I felt more to save his own petrified arse than anything else.

“Mr Welsby is here for the day tomorrow, so you had better look busy”, he would say briskly while brushing down his bright red freshly ironed overall with some vigour.

He’s coming tomorrow, not today so why are you trying to spruce yourself up dickhead?

Elton Welsby was the area manager, a figure I had no interaction with and so did not give a shit if he was visiting or not.


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...'Elton Welsby was my made up name for the Area Manager, what his real name was I don't know. My levels of insanity were getting worse, ... apologies Elton...'...

Mort had displayed extreme nervousness on previous visits, though the thought of helping me to visually create a positive impression (by doing some work) obviously had not gone through that dense skull of his.

On this particular occasion something happened on the day after Elton left. I was unloading a huge pallet full of tinned foodstuffs when I spotted Mort approaching with his usual unreadable mask.

"Another stock lad will be starting soon, make sure you teach him what to do", he said before walking away in the same direction.

There was no training at Kwiksave, you were expected to ‘guess’ how to do everything, or learn from your fellow grunts. That’s was the way.

The new addition started quicker than I expected. I was introduced to Graham, a big lad of over 6 feet tall who sported extreme acne ridden cheeks. Graham told me he was recently out of school and part of that fabulous 'YOP scheme'.

Let me explain what the Youth Opportunity Program is. When Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979, the country was in a big mess. Unemployment was high, bins were not being emptied, and rats scurried around the streets.


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The Youth Opportunity Program (YOP) was formed by the government to create jobs for young people and subdue mass unemployment for the young.

The scheme was ran by the Manpower Services Commission, a government funded body that paid employers to take young people as apprentices at zero cost.

In truth the YOP scheme enabled employers to gain free slaves to work for them and for them to be general dogsbodies. YOP employees worked the same hours and did the same job for around £20 per week.

There was no fucking way I would ever be a YOP, I would rather sit at home on my arse all day than be subjected to human slavery.


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At the same time Graham started, I was earning around £35 per week at Kwiksave to Graham’s £20. So now I had a co-worker, conversation and my insanity levels slowly started to diminish.

Graham was a good lad and we gelled well. We also had some common interests outside work such as Space Invaders and those Fruit machines at the local arcades that you could pour your money into and rarely get any back.

We both played Chess, a game which I took great delight in beating him at though I am admittedly a crap player.


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...'in 1981 I was addicted to playing Space Invaders and wasted lots of money on these machines. One year later the Sinclair ZX81 would arrive in my life and I would never visit the arcades again'...

Graham continually boasted a stupid grin on his face and one couldn’t help liking him. I guess the grin was due to that fact that he was quite dim.

However to be able to play rudimentary chess he must have had something else up there besides pure sawdust.

During our many visits to Rawtenstall’s Bank street arcade, Graham introduced me to his best friend, a bloke whose name I can’t recall.

Graham’s ‘friend’ referred to him as ‘Naggy’, a longstanding nickname I would come to realise. Thinking about this now, I can’t imagine him to be much of a friend.


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I did think ‘Naggy’ was rather appropriate, as Graham did have a nodding lolling head, and with the continuous grin could possibly be mistaken for a human horse if you had downed a few pints beforehand.

I didn’t personally call him by this name as I felt it a little mean, though the nodding grinning gait would have changed little if I had.


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To be continued...


Cover Picture is a combination of free sources from here and here, combined and edited with Luminar 4. Any unsourced images are my own.

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Space Invaders and Fruit machines were a great bonding thing!!

I was like you, when the spectrum came out I was done with the arcades!

The ZX81 was much worse than the Spectrum, but as well as the games, I started learning how to code. It made me a hermit and that's never really gone away.

The UX trips are about as much exercise as I get, though I forced myself out for a run earlier.

Oh damn that's right the zx81 was prior to that! I learned to code as well on my spectrum. I think a lot of people did back then. Crazy but fun times.

You remember the magazine's and stuff that had programs and cheat codes and the like that you would have to excruciatingly type in? There was always a typo or ten too, lol.

I will be out running as soon as my knee is completely better but will take it quite easy to begin with.

There was always a typo or ten too, lol.

Always several, and announced in next months magazine, by then you were bored and had moved on to something else. If you didn't save (to tape) before running, then lockup and cycle the power. Did everyone do that at least once?

I will be out running as soon as my knee is completely better but will take it quite easy to begin with.

I hate running, I mean.. detest it, but it makes you sweat a lot, and loses the pounds. There's no denying it.

We all did that more than once!

It's true, I hate it as well, the only reason I do it is that it shifts the beef like nothing else!

Space Invaders was cool along with Asteroids and Defender. I hate to know how much I payed out over the years but it was all good fun.

Yes, they were all in that same arcade, Defender was great but intensely hard. If you fucked around too much on a level those skinny things would come get you.

I never really spent that much time at the arcade. There were a couple that I went to, but it was never very common. For the longest time we didn't even have a mall, so there just wasn't one to visit.

It could be that you are too young and missed the experience. Computers came along and there was no longer a need for the arcade.

So. The human slavery trade (or government employment scam) was on both sides of the pond by that time. I don't remember what it was called over here.

I missed the arcade deal mostly. I lived in a really small town, no machines and by 1972 hit the bars to play pong and whatever came next. Truth is, I was a pinball wizard.

Did naggy provide some cover or spacing between you an Mort, or did he just get his own version?

Pinball Wizard was a prequel to the Space Invader craze, your a little older than me!

Did naggy provide some cover or spacing between you an Mort, or did he just get his own version?

This part of it is a little hazy, I can't remember what his relationship with Mort was like tbh. I'm trying to think but there's nothing there!

Area manager, regional manager, area security officer, regional security manager, regional training manager.
Area supervisor, Regional supervisor

All trying to justify their role top heavy management. I usually ended up with the regional manager turning up on a Friday afternoon, as it was the closest store to his home. I had to look a busy bollox.

Can you explain why that cunt didn't get sacked then? It was little wonder he always looked worried, and he was a stock lad beforehand.

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I think I have wasted more than a few hours on Space Invaders lol.