The truths no one tells you about working in retail

The truths no one tells you about working in retail

Just last week I received a special delivery from Tesco, enclosed was a red badge with the words ‘5 years of service’ as well as a certificate thanking me for my 5 years of outstanding service. Within the same day I was also requesting my friends to write references for me for my new employer. My time in retail is soon going to be coming to a joyful close. Although I can credit some of my happiest times from working at Tesco, I also can strongly credit it for a lot of bad times and potentially my reasoning for turning to anti-depressants.

I started Tesco at the prime age of 16. After applying to every supermarket and café in my town, including Morrisons, my mum slowly slid the Tesco application over to me. I didn’t apply there due to the fact that my mum had worked there since opening, around 2006. I therefore knew all the staff and I grew up knowing them really. But when you’re 16 and dying for your own income, you accept anything. I started off on checkouts. Now my Tesco is quite small compared the the majority, we only have around 100 staff I believe, which actually makes it a very close knit workplace. As well as this, there is a lot of families employed there. It seems a pattern for mothers and daughters to both be employed at our store! I managed around 2 and a half years on checkouts before I moved departments because I honestly couldn’t deal with it anymore.

Now my time at Tesco was forced to come to an end due to a personal matter, which I can discuss if anyone wants to hear some Tesco drama…Which brings me to my first point. If you work in a store like mine, which has a relatively ‘low’ amount of staff, nothing is secret. I honestly can’t believe that only my store is full of gossipers. It’s actually horrendous. When I went for my job interview, I told my mum and one lady. I returned to work later that day and everyone I encountered asked me how that interview went. Now imagine if I didn’t get the job? How awful would it be to have to tell every single person in that store that I didn’t get it, and have to relive that pain over and over whilst I tell them. This is a constant issue in a workplace like this. Nothing, and I mean nothing is a secret. Now I don’t want to upset anyone with this post, but I do believe that the ladies who work in my store are so set in their ways and destined for the life at Tesco that the only thing that brings enjoyment and excitement to their life is by gossiping about others. Which honestly, I find sad. I mean, we all gossip. I gossip. But there comes a point when it really gets too unnecessary. I don’t need to know why somebody is off ill or why someone had to talk to a manager. People’s own business should be their own unless they decide to share it, right?

The major thing that I would ‘warn’ people about when joining retail is the customers itself. On my first day I was reduced to tears by a customer. Since then, I’ve built up my patience and I can learn to handle it. But let me tell you, it is tough. And don’t believe all the lies told to you that ‘millennials’ are the rudest generation and expect everything. The kindest customers I have served have been under 30. The ones which make me cry, angry and fed up? Ages above. Majority being around the 60-80 mark. It sounds bizarre, but honestly the rudest people out there right now are the elderly. I think they feel entitled for some reason and that they just deserve good service without any kindness in return.

PREPARE TO BE IGNORED… The majority of customers ignore you. Even when you ask them a question. We once played a game and tallied how many people ignored us saying ‘Hello, would you like any bags?’. First to 20 won, the game was over quickly. And like I said, these are mainly elderly or people with a particular plum in their mouth I believe the saying goes…

PEOPLE JUDGE YOU… Be prepared to get asked why you work in a supermarket. The amount of times I’ve wanted to retort with ‘Would you like to give me a job in a nursery setting where I already have complete qualifications and can earn full pay?’ I’ve learnt well to hold my tongue. People assume that if you work in retail, it’s not a choice. That they almost see down on you because you are serving them. I’m earning money, get out of my business random man from down the road!

THE WORST SAYING YOU WILL HEAR… The one thing I can guarantee that you will hear when working in any retail environment is ‘What are you doing in here on a lovely day like this?’. Just typing this fills me with such anger. Do I look like I have a choice, Susan? Would I really be in a supermarket working 9 hours, serving endless customers like you who ask why I’m here, if it was a choice? ‘Oh well I hope you get out of here soon!’. Also the best one. The majority of my shifts finish at midnight, and as sad as it sounds I get so much pride from answering ‘No, I’m here till midnight’and watch as their face falls and they try to even comprehend the atrocity of working till such hour! As if they never realised people work past 5pm in the real world.

Now this ended up being way longer than I anticipated, I apologise! I need to work on that. However, I do have many more real truths about working in retail and tips on how to cope. Trust me, the list is endless. Let me know if you’d like to hear more?

Lots of love x

My experience with ‘Echo’, the prescription app

My experience with ‘Echo’, the prescription app

The whole point of me beginning my anti-depressants was to combat my anxiety- or at least help it whilst I try to combat it myself. One of my worries is talking to people on the phone, and also going to meet strangers for things like meetings or appointments. Luckily for me, you have to do both of these in order to get the actual medication. So, as you could probably tell I was looking for any other way of getting my medication without the whole process of going to the doctors. For some people reading this, you’re going to think that I sound silly which honestly I completely understand. I just hate the process and I worry about every single step on the way.

I’ll panic that I’ll mess up the phone call.

I panic that I won’t be able to find a parking space.

I worry that there will be traffic on the way, resulting in less chance of a parking space and even that I could be late for my appointment.

I fret about making sure I’m in the correct waiting room and never taking my eye off that little computer screen that flashes your name and which room.

Compared to the majority of cases of anxiety, I’m actually fairly mild. I’m lucky and grateful that I can still leave the house and deal with these worries. However…

When I did a bit of googling after and appointment, because I thought ‘Surely there is a way you can get these to your house?’. And I found echo. At first, I even worried about the app itself. I live in a tiny little town on the coastal edge of Norfolk, and my GP surgery is busy, but mostly serves the elderly and I didn’t have much faith in them partaking with the app. However, I’ve now been on sertraline for coming up to 6 months and about 4 of them months now have been used with echo to get the prescription delivered straight to my house. Fab.

Now my worries did kind of ring true. However, I applied for my first set of medication around 3 weeks early to make sure that the app itself would work for me. Firstly, you enter in your details about yourself, your medication and your GP surgery. I can’t remember fully but I believe they contact your surgery for approval. Then you can request a refill of your medication. The first step has to be approved by echo. This was approved within a couple of hours, I was thinking ‘Wow this is going to be so great’. The next step is for the surgery itself to confirm your order. Once it’s confirmed, you pay on the app and they dispatch for you on first class FREE delivery. Amazing.

This is where I got a bit stuck. I had a holiday planned just before I was due to run out of sertraline, and therefore was getting a little stressed when it was a week before and my GP request was still ‘pending’ after 14 days. I decided to myself that my surgery wasn’t technical enough and I’d have to carry on the normal way. So I dropped in my prescription and went home to wait the few days to then go pick it up manually. What a bore!

But then suddenly the next day my request was approved! I’m not sure if it was a coincidence or whether my GP needed that prescription slip as some kind of proof? I obviously haven’t had a prescription slip since so if that was the case, it was only a one time thing. So I then paid on the app and I had my tablets next day, 100% stress free.

There is literally not a single thing I can negatively say about echo. The whole system is perfect and honestly hassle free. As well as the amazing factor of free first class delivery! (Yes, still amazed at that.) To further prove my point of how good the app is and the overall service of the staff involved, I’ve only ever had 2 issues with echo and they got solved efficiently and professionally.

One of my first issues was around my third month and my GP was taking a while to accept my request. I got a little worried but waited patiently. When I had 6 days worth of tablets left, I contacted echo support through the app to query if they knew a reason why they hadn’t accepted. I was told to wait the standard 24 hours for a reply but the average response is 2 hours. I had a response on the same day, letting me know that they were looking into the issue. No exaggeration here, just as I finished typing my reply of ‘Thank you’ I had the ping of notification to let me know that my GP had approved the order and I was ready to pay! I was honestly gobsmacked. I was like ‘Wow, this team is impressive’. And I honestly was impressed that they managed to somehow contact my GP and get the approval so quick. A* service.

My second ‘issue’ was at the start of this week. My GP accepted fine this time, however my app was stuck on the final step, waiting to be dispatched. This is usually a few hours or a day after payment but it had been about 5 days so I was a tad worried (I request my medication early in order to ensure I get it on time.) I just sent a query again on the apps chat function just to query the delay in dispatch. I had a response straight away with an apology and a instant notification of dispatch that day. Honestly, what better service could you ask for?!

This post isn’t sponsored whatsoever. After yesterday, I’m just honestly so impressed with the app that I wanted to talk about it and let people know! This app deals with any prescriptions, including paracetamol and allergy tablets (that I believe people should get in supermarkets anyway but..) so honestly no matter your medication, this app can sort it for you. Until I need to actually see my GP, I’m using echo and staying at home!

Who doesn’t want to stay at home and avoid the doctors?

Lots of love x

LOVE ISLAND- Emotional trauma or staged drama?🌞🍹

LOVE ISLAND- Emotional trauma or staged drama?🌞🍹

*WARNING: Will contain Love Island spoilers*

With over 500 Ofcom reports from the latest Love Island drama (For those unaware, Dani received a text of Jack’s ex arriving) it’s brought a lot of discussion around whether Love Island is really just using entertainment to mess with the contestants feelings and cause them unnecessary upset. The producers blatantly knew that Jack had barely interacted with his ex, especially as they sent Dani footage from around a day earlier. Jack had even been recorded telling Adam he loved Dani, so why send her the footage just to mess with her head?

Now this isn’t the first time that Love Island has received Ofcom complaints. They received complaints after Adam’s ‘apology’ to Rosie, with lots of people saying that the way he was acting was very similar to emotional abuse.

Now I’m not slating Love Island here, as I enjoy as much as the next person. I get excited for 9pm every evening so me and the boyfriend can sit and watch. However, I do often sit there and think ‘is this really fair?’. Especially when you consider the fact that a contestant from a previous year has just committed suicide, it does make you question how healthy this type of show is. I mean, they’re literally forcing relationships whilst also forcing the drama and heartbreak that sometimes doesn’t necessarily need to happen (i.e Dani and the video of Jack seeing his ex).

Previous contestants have also mentioned that they feel like the producers really don’t warn them enough of what the outcome will be, and that they haven’t been checked up on to make sure they are okay. The only time this has happened was after the death of Sophie Gradon. Which makes you wonder, do they know the emotional abuse they are leaving contestants with, or did the death make them suddenly realise they have to make sure they haven’t caused irreversible damage? The trolling and the abuse that they become subject to whilst in the villa and as soon as they leave can be harrowing. Imagine not being on the internet for 6 weeks and leaving to check your phone, only to find millions of streams of comments slating you, or how you acted, or how you look. This could lead anyone to a deep set of problems including depression and anxiety. And the show really needs to warn contestants beforehand of this outcome, and there also needs to be a strong level of support after.

Think of Niall who just left. There were rumours when he left that it was due to the comments about his ears. His. Bloody. Ears. How pathetic? A problem that someone has probably never noticed about themselves and then millions of strangers pick it out and suddenly it can throw you into a deep self loathing and worrying about your self and your self image.

So I’ve kind of tailed off and I painted my toenails and forgot my main point…But what is your opinion on Love Island? Do you think the drama and the upset is fake? Or do you think the way they are treated is just for entertainment and is over the top and cruel?

Lots of love x

(I’m trying to start blogging more I promise!)