Conspiracy theories, free beer and dirty looks. It’s all in a day’s work as a supermarket sales person. If you want to learn how to waste time at work, read on…
You need a good imagination working as a supermarket sales person. I’d stand by my trolley for hours, telling people how fantastic my food and wine was. For months I was stuck on Be Natural Trail Bars. You probably know and eat them.
I’d set up my stand in the supermarket for hours at a time describing to each shopper how ‘wonderful’ these nut bars were.
The work got so repetitive a part of me hoped that customers would say no to my free samples, so I didn’t have to repeat myself over and over and over again.
The hardest part was the standing around in the same place for hours, doing absolutely zilch.
“Hi, would you like to try…oh. Um, hey want some…no you don’t?”
I started to do one of two things, to prevent this terrible boredom. I’d waste time, trying to see how much I could screw around on the job. Or, speed my shift time up by slowing it down.
Every action I took began to fit within this economy of slowness.
You get to the work in the car. You’re a minute early so you wait in the car until it’s exactly 10 o’clock when you start. You then approach the shop as slowly as you possibly can across the car park.
Make sure you ride the trolley into the store. It’s your grand entrance. I was always greeted by the dull critical looks of store staff. Sometimes it was like the humming sterile nature of a supermarket had latched onto their sense of humor.
Instead of unpacking the car in one trip (a very easy task), unpack it in two. Then go hide in the bathroom for five minutes.
Come back out and start to cut the nut bars into sample sizes.
Instead of cutting then normally, let the knife lightly slide over them testing its sharpness until the time they break of their own accord. It’s hilarious when shoppers see you doing this.
People either laugh or look very suspicious when they know you’re trying to waste time on the job.
I got a wide range of looks when hiding in aisles trying to read the store magazines.
Talk to random shoppers in an attempt to be more pro active. There are some great life stories and conspiracy theories out there. I started to learn the oral history of every suburb I worked in from the oldies. I never thought there would have been a blacksmith’s in the main street where I grew up.
I even had one lady declare that the English grammar system taught in Australian schools is totally wrong. She wanted to travel to Canberra to show the Prime Minister her revised version. I must say, what she showed me was way more interesting and creative than what ever I learned in the classroom.
There is definitely an art to looking like your doing something; even when you’re not.
One of my best shifts was serving ice-cold samples of Chang Beer on a 35-degree day. Around 3.30pm the local construction workers would drop in to buy a knock off drink. The look on their browned faces as I let them down sample after sample of Chang was to die for!
I even turned into a personal adviser and even relationships manager, notifying shoppers of specials and bargain opportunities. One woman started to get very touchy feely with me after being advised which Wolf Blass wine would go with her fish curry.
I started to give some customers more attention than others. When giving out free lollies, excited little children started to seriously piss me off. I swear, it’s the only time in your life when mothers will allows their children to approach a smiling stranger who says, “Want a lolly?”
Make sure, half an hour before your shift ends leave the store to watch the sun set.
So if you’re ever in a job you hate, just think of me. All you need is a little imagination to make every isle yours!
I had fun. And for $24.50 and hour, so can you
Even better, make me your favourite!