Saturday, July 25, 2009

What Became of Food Place

It's been a long time. Too long. The reason is simple; I just couldn't find the time to keep this blog going after I started university and, on top of the time constraint, the way returning to student-hood changed my priorities and revamped my social life put Food Place firmly on the back burner.

For a while now, I've been occasionally thinking about closure for Working at Food Place. Recent events have finally provided a fitting way in which to do this. But before I go into that, I'll try and give a brief summary of what's happened in the eighteen-or-so months since I last posted.

Store Personnel Changes
Suzanne didn't last long as the customer service manager. Pressure from Terry, who never accepted anything other than perfection, combined with long-running battles with evil-bitch-from-hell-cash-office-supervisor Wendy, left her feeling constantly stressed. She disappeared onto long-term sick leave and never returned.

After Suzanne's departure, no effort was made to fill her shoes and her entire workload cascaded down to Wendy and myself - as the two supervisors. It took two weeks before I cracked and handed Terry written notice that I no longer wanted to be a supervisor. Initially, he insisted that my only option was to leave. When it came to the crunch, however, he offered me a 23-hour contract just working on the kiosk. Perfect.

While I lapped up my new working life as a kiosk assistant - apart from the return to uncomfortably close contact with Food Place clientele - Wendy drowned under the workload and clashed spectacularly with my replacement - Amanda from stock control. The pair had never got along, probably because of Amanda's well known opinion of Wendy as a lazy, argumentative old cow. Wendy lasted a month or so before sodding off to work at Poundland.

This left a vacancy for a cash office supervisor and it wasn't long before I was invited in for a chat with Terry. Would I consider returning to my old job role, but remaining as a basic-grade customer assistant, if it was promised sincerely that I wouldn't be landed with the amount of additional work I had been before. I agreed, with reservations.

Three days later and I'm right back to square one. But before I could kick up a fuss about it, Terry very suddenly disappeared and all discussion of it was banned on the shop floor. It later emerged that Suzanne had made serious allegations against him, the nature of which remains unknown to me, and he'd been dismissed. Cue Suzanne's return as customer service manager.

So, a happy team once more. Amanda and myself managed cash office and the checkouts between us and Suzanne was back to oversee things without the pressures of Terry and Wendy. And this is the way it remained.

Terry was replaced by Derek. He was previously the manager of Ellenfoot Food Place but following it's closure at the end of 2007 he was placed into 'float'. Basically, he was shunted from one store to another covering holidays and sickness leave. His management style was extremely dictatorial - yet fair and consistent. Food Place suddenly became a much stricter place to work, but that only really affected those who were too used to years of taking the piss.

Competitor Hit
At around the time I stopped blogging, rumours began circulating that Tesco had designs on opening a new store on the site of the long-closed Kwik Save store - situated virtually at the entrance to Food Place's car park. These turned out to be true and the local press reported that permission had been granted for the development in July 2008.

There was a long period of silence but just before Christmas last year, the Kwik Save building was demolished and within weeks the new Tesco store began taking shape. Twice the size of Food Place, it was evident that we had very little chance of competing with it. Derek had to attend meetings with our area manager and at the start of February 2009 we were called to an after-hours staff meeting.

Derek and the area manager gave us very frank projections of what was likely to happen when Tesco opened. From an average weekly turnover of £215,000, we could expect to fall to around £60,000. Customer numbers were anticipated to fall from 25,000 to 9,500 and, more crucially for us, the 81-strong workforce would need to be scaled back dramatically. It was made clear that this would not happen through redundancies - instead, staff leaving the business would not be replaced. However, Food Place was not to go without a fight. The area manager announced plans for a £200,000 'tactical investment' in the store. We were to undergo a small-level refit to bring the store right up-to-date with Food Place's optimal trading format.

My worries about the safety of my job were short-lived. In March 2009 I secured a paid placement working within the NHS in conjunction with my degree. The start-date was 1st June and I gave my notice to Derek that I would leave Food Place's employment, after seven and a half long years on May 23rd.

I was there for long enough to see the 'tactical investment'. It was basically a refresher aimed at making the store look new again and making just enough changes for the customers to perceive an improvement. A large area at the back of the store was temporarily filled with clearance seasonal stock, whilst the products that formerly belonged here were squeezed into the remainder of the sales floor. The intention: after Tesco's launch, this area would be walled-off and converted into office space to house the regional offices for Food Place. This would remove over a third of the sales space.

The arrival of Tesco
In mid-May the new competitor opened. It was a Wednesday and our usual turnover of £29,000 was reduced to £9,500. The pattern repeated every day and remained constant: the first full week of trade following Tesco's arrival saw us take £68,000 - three thousand pounds less than we took on 23rd December alone last year.

26 staff had won jobs in the new Tesco, reducing our workforce to 55. But this was still far too many bodies for far too little work. Overnight, we went from needing a fully manned bank of checkouts to requiring only one trolley checkout, two basket tills and a kiosk till - at the most.

My departure
May 23rd came along and my last shift passed unremarkably. I finished at 3:00pm when a staff huddle was called and I was presented with an envelope containing £100 and an enormous leaving card that had been signed by staff past and present. I went home and cried. Then got ready and took myself along to my leaving night out. Which was legendary.

And so ended my time at Food Place. How did it feel? Well, I certainly have no regrets. I learned a lot of valuable skills during my time there, made several friends for life and got one hell of a lot of experience in working with people. A painful process, as this blog confirms! Despite the bad times, my enduring memories will be the fun times.

Thanks to everybody who read this blog regularly and commented on posts - it was a lot of fun reading your responses and I'm only sorry it took me so long to get around to returning to the blog.


James UK said...

Good to get some closure to the blog, as I've enjoyed reading it. All the best for the future!


ell said...

Cool to have some closure. I enjoyed reading it while I was working at a supermarket, here in New Zealand before I left Mat last year.

Checked back regularly for updates and am glad you've found a new position and as James UK remarked, best of luck for the future.

Paul Wynn said...

Hey there, it's sad that I caught the end of your blog. I just found it while searching for pictures on my iphone and I write a blog about grocery clerks as well and was very excited when I found you. Great closure to your experience as a clerk. I'm from the US and I would like to ask you how different it is from the UK. Good luck.

Chris Armstrong said...

I know what you mean about keeping up with a blog - i only just started doing ours on and it's hard work - especially as Google hasn't had the decency to recognise it yet! Hummphhh

philippine groceries said...

Thank you so much for guiding me through this,I love food and I am looking forward to your next post. :)


Anonymous said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Anonymous said...

Amazon launched two new Kindle e-readers priced at $139 and $189 late Wednesday, with the cheaper version a Wi-Fi-only e-reader and $10 less than the Wi-Fi-only Nook.

cv said...

Excellent post! the Competitor Hit was explained outstanding!

Supermarket Sales Assistant CV

Point of Sale Software said...

Nice Post

Anonymous said...

It`s really nice article. Thank u a lot

Anonymous said...

Good Article

Anonymous said...

Good article. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

quello che stavo cercando, grazie

Anonymous said...

Good article. Thank you.

Zane said...

Glad that you can learn something useful while working at food place. Great lesson can be painful sometimes. Don't be afraid to step up and moving on.

Order Anti-Depressants said...

Keep up the good work.

New Zealand Supermarket said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hey, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your blog. I'm a cash office assistant/ checkout supervisor (although I still get paid the same as a checkout operator!) at a small Cooperative and so much of what you have written echoes my own experiences.
My God do I hate my job! I've stuck it out for nearly two years now and am just about at the end of my tether with supermarket retail, how you stuck it out for seven years is beyond me.
Thing is, these days supermarkets are the only industries showing growth, so finding an alternative career is difficult, I used to have vague ambitions of moving up into management but I'm eaten alive by stress as it is. I don't think I'm cut out for this industry.
Anyhoo, thanks for putting this out there. Reading this has helped me a lot on several occasions when the job has really got me feeling very low indeed.
You come across as very smart so no doubt you've moved onto big things?!
cheers. M

Anonymous said...

The most strange and amusing images and pictures online.
Probe dated
[url=]funny images[/url]

Anonymous said...

Hello there! I could have sworn I've been to this site before but after checking through some of the post I realized it's
new to me. Anyways, I'm definitely happy I found it and I'll be bookmarking and checking back often!
Also see my website - GFI Norte

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting, You are an excessively professional blogger.
I've joined your feed and stay up for in search of extra of your fantastic post. Additionally, I've shared your web site in my social networks
My web page: GFI Norte

Anonymous said...

top [url=]casino online[/url] check the latest [url=]las vegas casino[/url] free no deposit bonus at the chief [url=]casino

Ross Taylor said...

It's very interesting blog, You are an extremely expert blogger. I enjoyed to read your blog, it's really wonderful. Very good to get some closure. I like food farm. I think, food place is great place for relaxing. Market Research Report

Anonymous said...

Navigate To This Website

my web-site; bankruptcy attorneys in jacksonville fl
My page : real estate attorney

Anonymous said...

Hello friends, nice piece of writing and good arguments commented here, I am
in fact enjoying by these.
my page - fiber supplements

Anonymous said...

It's nearly impossible to find knowledgeable people in this particular subject, but you sound like you know what you're talking about!

Here is my web-site ... make money internet

Anonymous said...

Great article.
Here is my web site - really make money online

Anonymous said...

Fantastic blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any community forums that cover the
same topics talked about in this article? I'd really like to be a part of online community where I can get advice from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you!
my webpage: insurance companies

Anonymous said...

Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a
collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.

Your blog provided us useful information to work
on. You have done a wonderful job!
my website: creative ways to quit smoking

Anonymous said...

Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
It's on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Superb choice of colors!
Look at my weblog ... plumbing services

Anonymous said...

I needed to thank you for this great read!

! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I
have you saved as a favorite to look at new things you post…
Here is my site health insurance for texas

Anonymous said...

Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of
any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically
tweet my newest twitter updates. I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

Here is my homepage :: spiele spielen kostenlos
Also see my page - Get the facts

Anonymous said...

excellent іssues аltogether, you just rеceived a
brand new гeader. What сould you гecοmmend in rеgards
to your post that you made a fеw dayѕ in thе past?
Any ѕuге?

my homеpage: russisches Radio

Anonymous said...

Welcher Sinn von Arcade-Spielen erscheint, Geld einzunehmen.

If you are new to copying PS3 games and you don’t yet
know how to do this you will be pleased to know that the process has
now been made very easy by the availability of reliable
copy software which can be downloaded. This is your other tank in Warhammer online, special ability is buffs.

Here is my blog - mouse click the up coming post

Anonymous said...

Hello. Facebook takes a [url=]free casino games[/url] risk on 888 casino apportion: Facebook is expanding its efforts to tip real-money gaming to millions of British users after announcing a decree with the online gambling retinue 888 Holdings.And Bye.

Anonymous said...

Amazing blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers?
I'm planning to start my own blog soon but I'm a little lost on everything.

Would you advise starting with a free platform like Wordpress or go for a paid option?
There are so many choices out there that I'm completely confused .. Any recommendations? Many thanks!

My blog ...

Anonymous said...

You made some good points there. I looked on the net to
learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.

Also visit my page -

Anonymous said...

Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i
own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam comments?
If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
I get so much lately it's driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated.

Take a look at my page ... global ims media marketing

Anonymous said...

Tomb Raider, Mega Moolah, Mermaid's Millions, and Blackjack are some of the new Android game apps that have been released from Microgaming's partner, Spin 3.
Thus the games like the Mahjongg Spiele as well as the Naegel machen games are more in demand and this is the greatest benefit or advantage of the online games.
In our next article, we'll be tackling using SNES4i - Phone to do exactly that - play those old favorites, like Chono Trigger, Super Ghouls and Ghosts, or even Super Mario Bros 3.

Take a look at my web page ::

Anonymous said...

Tomb Raider, Mega Moolah, Mermaid's Millions, and Blackjack are some of the new Android game apps that have been released from Microgaming's partner, Spin 3.
Thus the games like the Mahjongg Spiele as well as the Naegel machen games are more in demand and
this is the greatest benefit or advantage of the online games.
In our next article, we'll be tackling using SNES4i - Phone to do exactly that - play those old favorites, like Chono Trigger, Super Ghouls and Ghosts, or even Super Mario Bros 3.

Feel free to surf to my webpage;
Also see my web site > youtube converter

Anonymous said...

Have a look at my weblog - lottery software
my site -

Anonymous said...

What I didn't know was how I would get all of what I wanted in just six hours. (Check out the article: What's Really Out There
in the Night Sky to see how some celestial objectѕ appear
at different EΜ frequenciеs. Even today, I go big gamе hunting and all this,
anԁ the mοre dangeгous something іs,
the haрpiег I am.

Also νіsit my web рage ... This Resource site

Anonymous said...

Hello. Facebook takes a [url=]blackjack[/url] wager back on 888 casino apportion: Facebook is expanding its efforts to make something forward real-money gaming to millions of British users after announcing a decree with the online gambling firm 888 Holdings.And Bye.

Anonymous said...

Good info. Lucky me I came across your site by accident
(stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!

my homepage ...

Anonymous said...

Hi, I do think this is a great web site. I stumbledupon
it ;) I'm going to revisit yet again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

Feel free to surf to my blog - espresso coffee makers

Anonymous said...

Meаnwhile, the ecοnomy cοuld gеt clοsе to асhіeving thе objectivеs
should be kept in seсurе fаcіlities within schools of thought,
bесause heге is Мaгgin trader 247 Compaгіng tο othеr heԁge fund, or ρhуsіcal/ρsуchiаtriс illness.
It would haѵе to ωοrk for you. Authoгitіes ѕay gunman Adаm Lanza, wоulԁ be the most
сrіtical thing iѕ," hungry tigers" ог the ρlacebo and 104
for thе S&P 500. Basеd on the phone.

Lоok into my blog ...

Anonymous said...

When buying a residence, keep in mind that you must not modify tasks just before the shutting down. Banking institutions will check out your credit score if you are applying for the borrowed funds, and often, ahead of the shutting down. You need to avoid any major changes that might be unappealing to your loan company. Work transform is recognized as a significant economic modify. [url=]Hou4445r[/url]

Anonymous said...

Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day.

It's always useful to read through articles from other authors and practice something from other web sites.

Feel free to surf to my web blog ... clear

Anonymous said...

Hi there I am so delighted I found your webpage, I
really found you by mistake, while I was researching
on Bing for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to
say thanks a lot for a remarkable post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design),
I don't have time to read it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the superb job.

Take a look at my blog post online graduate certificate

Anonymous said...

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to
make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away
your intelligence on just posting videos to your
weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

Here is my site :: lose weight fast

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way,
how could we communicate?

my page :: fastest way to lose weight

Anonymous said...

This is very fascinating, You are an excessively professional blogger.

I've joined your feed and sit up for searching for more of your excellent post. Additionally, I've shared your site in
my social networks

Feel free to surf to my website: Visit

Anonymous said...

Over the yeаrs, this fгuit has been known
to aide in thе treatment of obesity.
Appеtite suppressants emerged since 1950s of
the last century. All thе rеaѕonablе answers which tаlk аbоut the conѕequences of fаt burning.
It is safe anԁ effective. The best extraсt in Japan is saiԁ
to bе beneficial to yοuг hеalth and standard of living.
Thіs, in tuгn rеducing the amount of calоries yоu need to know if that iѕ reallу truе.

Since Kаva hаs bееn linkеd to these pills in a diѕcгeet paсkageThey will be сheaper.

Alѕo visit my blog post;

Anonymous said...

Good day I am so grateful I found your website, I really found you by error, while I was browsing on Bing for something
else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a
marvelous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I
also love the theme/design), I don't have time to read through it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the great work.

Feel free to surf to my web-site ... unwanted clothing Items

Anonymous said...

Simply wish to say your article is as astonishing.
The clearness on your post is simply cool and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
Fine with your permission let me to take hold of your feed
to stay updated with drawing close post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please carry
on the rewarding work.

my page -

Anonymous said...

This article is your crash course in business card stickers ktm today
is pretty fast.

my web page ... stickers for guitars

Anonymous said...

Concern Fresh Wind offers a construction investment for different tariff plans. Today , overcame the recent financial crisis, increasingly began to wonder how invest the money at interest . According to conclusions of many of the leading the best analysts, one of the most investment of money in the construction of . It is no secret Everyone knows that the construction of less exposed to the risk of falling prices, in addition a given that, construction has always been important and in demand, and will be in demand. Even the economic crisis did not recaptured removed the desire for people to buy their own property. Therefore, investment in construction will always remain relevant and profitable.

Fwit.Biz - [url=]how to invest money[/url]

Anonymous said...

This is a topic which is near to my heart... Best wishes!

Where are your contact details though?

Here is my page ... best binary options

Anonymous said...

Right away I am going away to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast coming
again to read additional news.

Take a look at my page: the binary options

Anonymous said...

i can see how this can be a great way for improving your income while πως να βγαλω λεφτα is exactly about how to make money.

Anonymous said...

another good site about προσφορες σουπερ μαρκετ which has quite a lot of informating content although its in Greek.

Aaron Grey said...

Hi, Nice site I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing. Would it be possible if I contact you through your email? Please email me back. Thanks!

Aaron Grey
aarongrey112 at

andre said...

obat viagra
viagra asli