A year ago today I walked into Tesco Dedworth and asked for a job and was signed up on the spot by Lisa Collins… she knew talent when she saw it 😉 She also had colleagues running for the hills with “COVID’s going to get us!” ringing in their ears so was desperate for young blood and perhaps some not so young blood to jump on board checkout 5 😉
I was mid projects, having just finished a 2 year stint as Sales & Marketing Director with a company in the tendering business. My mission complete, it was time to find a new opportunity and I was going through the process when COVID landed… FFS!
Having run a business that had to fold after I spent more time than I should trying to keep it afloat, I could see the writing on the wall for any normal B2B organisations and simply thought what will people always need? “Food” so those doors ain’t closing… KNOCK, KNOCK…
A year on and I am loving it… the proud owner of a Silver Service Superstar badge!
Talking to folk, who want to talk, all day long and getting paid to make them smile… what can be better than that… assuming you like to talk to people and make them smile 😉
I’m now exploring what’s next from my own point of view but normal business isn’t going to happen anytime soon and like I say, I’m really enjoying working at Tesco. So I will be focusing a day a week on the next version of my world and see where that takes me…
I get to meet say 100 people a day and half want to have a natter, the others in a rush to do the next thing and the next… been there, much better living in the now and chatting a while.
Lots of the older folk who struggle with arthritis pop by my till so I can help them pack their bags.
In the early days, when fear was rife and masks were new, I’d be sitting people down, exhausted from their shop, the stress, the lack of normal oxygen flow, etc and allowing them to get the colour back in their cheeks while I sorted out their shopping. It felt good to help them on their way… 😉
People react to stress in different ways and there is always someone looking for a good argument. Learning how to reign myself in and simply smile, call the team leaders over and let them take the heat out has been one of many lessons learned.
Empathy and patience are two skills I have become more appreciative of. People’s brains work differently and while some may look, on the surface, as “normal” whatever that is, when they start to pack you can identify different things going on and so helping them on their journey is a big part of my role.
I have one chap, a few years older who when I first served him just needed to do it all his way. He’d been an engineer by trade, so precision focused but some wires are a bit crossed now and he might put something in a bag, take it out, have a few happy words, interrupt him he might snap, “I’ll do it!” etc so he takes 2-3x as long to pack. Just this week, we’re bantering, all the shopping through the till (need to keep my stats up) and he’s bagging things up. I grouped his products to make it easier for him and he didn’t bite, he said, “You’re on my side aren’t you!” as part of the natural flow of the conversation … I smiled and still am 😉
Most conversations are general chat but it’s those magic moments that make it such a rewarding role for a 55 nearly 56 year old who has no burning desire to own a yacht and have all the hassle that goes with it, preferring the simple life, minimising one’s exposure to financial stress, being mindful and living in the now.
My favourite story at the moment, that gets prompted by the sight of a box of Yorkshire Tea, is the one about what happened in the Guildhall after her Majesty walked down from Windsor Castle as part of her Jubilee celebrations… do ask if you’re buying another brand…
When I see people wearing love hearts on their clothing then I share the story of Dr Emoto and his study of water crystals and the power of positive vibrations. Most people love to hear about him, others may think I’m a bit of a fruit loop but then that’s their right 😉
What many residents are missing are those little conversations, 2m stay away, can’t do this, can’t do that and being law abiding citizens the only chance for a natter for some is when they go shopping… so please don’t rush the person in front of you on the checkouts, give them and you a little more time and enjoy the sounds of busyness going on around you as it can go quiet very quickly for many when they get back to an empty home.
Being the local Councillor, there are many conversations and notes passed over about this or that issue which I try and resolve…
Happy to be of service.