‘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.
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"
Chapter Ten: Naggy
'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.
...'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.
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.
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.
...'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.
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.
To be continued...