Supermarket staff training manual

Okay, this blog entry will probably do nothing to counter claims that I am an old man, but dammit, some things have just got to be said. My post contains the following elements:

  1. Claims about how things were better in my day.
  2. Allegories of national service.
  3. Criticisms of the youth of today.

The topic de jour (that’s french for ‘topic of the day’) is supermarket staff. Now I’ve done my time in the aisles of the nation’s supermarkets, and I’m the first to admit that it’s not much fun. It brings you into contact with dropkicks, daydreamers and over-demanding divas.

But you might be surprised to learn that despite my frequent rants, I generally like people, and I like to help them. And even if I don’t, I understand that most jobs are about providing a service, not doing a favour.

Excerpts from the Safeway new staff training manual

  1. Safeway solved the problem of wonky shopping trolley wheels in 1967. Customers must not find out. It is important that trolleys are kept only in the carpark and not in the store. From time to time, sales assistants should push trolleys into customer cars. Repeatedly.
  2. Taking customers directly to an item they have asked for is unhelpful, as it takes the fun from searching for it. Give the customer eight to nine different aisles to look in. Make sure all of them are wrong.
  3. Greet the customer by avoiding eye contact and pretending they are not there. You can further welcome customers by sighing dramatically or talking to your colleagues about how drunk you got last night.
  4. One checkout person should be really, really nice. And a redhead, just to be ironic.
  5. It is important to remember that customers do not like order or consistency in the way their bags are packed. If at all possible, place tinned items on fresh produce to ensure it cannot come free from the bag. Always ensure that like items are put in separate bags wherever possible.
  6. Filling shopping bags is a great way to practice your school sports. Imagine every item is a ‘basketball’ which must be ‘dunked’ in the bag.
  7. If you can be identified as a staff member, you’re wearing the uniform incorrectly. Use t-shirts, runners and makeup inspired by Brandon Lee in The Crow to ensure you are not recognised.

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One thought on “Supermarket staff training manual

  1. Nick says:

    Oh dear, what next? How about the waitress that doesn’t smile enough when she pours your glass of chardonnay you bourgeois sook! Seriously though, how about a mention of the current industrial relations policies that primarily affect the young and unskilled, removing overtime, penalty rates, etc. An opportunity missed. And it may not be quite as easy to enjoy helping people at $7.50 / hr.
    They are prats though.

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