A Shop Assistant’s Many Talents

Now, before I get onto the regular London bars and hang outs and fun things, I had a thought. A musing, if you will.

Dangerous, I know. But I thought I’d share with you the many skills, talents and the gift of multi tasking many shop assistants – or at least, supermarket assistants, one shouldn’t generalise – must have, in the form a more true to life job advertisement. Ahem. 

Wanted: Shop Assistant

More information about the role…

You are expected to stack shelves, talk to customers, allow them to take out the frustrations of their day on you whilst smiling and completely accepting that you are, essentially, their bitch. You will have long given up any eco friendly ideals and will happily hand out 500 plastic bags to customers so they can individually bag each item, despite only having 2 arms. You’ll have ankles of steel to withstand being run into with roll pallets, and will halt one by literally throwing yourself against it when a child runs in front of you, stops, and stares. You will be an experienced cleaner and organiser. Appearance is important and you are expected to maintain a high standard of presentation despite the fact that food, detergents and shower gels will regularly leak all over you. 

You will be expected to answer every call over the tannoy, even if it is every 5 seconds, whilst simultaneously doing the work you’ve been assigned on your department. Possibly with your toes. 

Sidelines include: An operator of heavy machinery. A binman. A doctor (if you ever stray anywhere near the pharmacy, any way). A painter. A weight lifter. A genius at giant jenga (if you want to stock a roll pallet correctly, this is where to begin). A psychiatrist. An IT technician. A climber. A gymnast. An expert on everything in the store. This includes the stuff on top shelves (make a note of this if you are short, and make sure you know where the nearest stool is). 

And finally…you need to be able to think of the money. 


Feel free to add anything you think I might have missed…

4 thoughts on “A Shop Assistant’s Many Talents”

  1. Psychologist maybe? I worked at Gap in the days when, for reasons best known to themselves, they didn’t translate the sizes to UK sizes, so everyone would come in and – if we didn’t get to them fast enough – try on jeans 2/3 two sizes too big. More often than I was comfortable with, me pointing out that they hadn’t spontaneously lost loads of weight since the last shop but were wearing an American 14 which is a British 18 heralded a melt down about diets and whatnot which… let’s just say after a Saturday full of it I wasn’t as sympathetic as I could have been.

    1. My goodness that sounds stressful! Thankfully we only have a very small clothing selection and no changing rooms. I do regularly get held personally responsible for things that have nothing to do with me though, including the fact that we no longer stock English rose water (who knew?) and didn’t have the correct kind of powdered milk.
      By the end of the day I’m usually tempted to stab someone with my box cutter. Instead I go home and drink wine. Hope you’ve escaped Gap!!!

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