Monday, 26 September 2016

My far too honest retail resume

Career Goals: Earn enough money to buy several pairs of Dr Marten boots, taste test the entire KFC menu for marketing purposes, work in hospitality until I have aching feet like most poor-but-cute looking waitresses do in chick lit and know enough PLU codes to not have to look under the ‘search by appearance’ tab on the Bi-Lo POS system.

2001 KFC (12 months) – Hostie
There were many perks to working at KFC. One was my inability to do work their ridiculous cash registers and pack food at the same time, which luckily landed me many close shifts. At $5.20 an hour, coming home with copious amounts of chicken made up for the working hours, the coldness of the coolrooms, being integrated about this girl who randomly hated me for no particular reason (who didn’t work at KFC) and general inadequacy. I also had a red shirt which was way too long for me, and was once described as ‘Lisa is wearing the Old People’s Army uniform.

2002 Hungry Jacks (2 months every weekend, and then every few weekends until I became too old.)
Things I knew about HJs when I started – nothing. Their uniform is ridiculous and they once awarded the Uniform Award to someone who wore blue sparkly eyeshadow because she wore blue sparkly eyeshadow. KFC loved training people. HJs loved making you watch a video then being expected to know everything. Fortunately I turned sixteen and a half, and was mysteriously no longer rostered again. Also, during a late night break I read a story about 3 women who were tourists from the UK and were murdered. I have never forgotten that and it still scares the living daylights out of me. The walk from the HJs back door to my Mum’s car was terrifying that night.

2002-2006 Bi-Lo (and Coles for a little bit)
Working at Bi-Lo was my favourite job. We had great staff and a lot of laughs. More than that, I felt that I really didn’t belong at school, but at work I felt really comfortable, and I loved pretty much everything about working there. Some perks included Christmas Eve lunch followed by Christmas Eve supper. Totally worth doing both front end and night fill that day. In late 2003 we had late night trading began and Tanya and I got up to much mayhem, including the time she made a security guard a helmet out of a box, with decorations, and she kept telling people ‘we’re eating Smarties coz we’re smart!’

2005-2006 McDonald’s (Aug 05-Dec 05, then Feb 06)
Pretty much the worst job I ever had. The perks: 50% staff meals. I ate a Fillet o Fish most close shifts. I haven’t touched them since, and it took me a long time to start enjoying their fries again. I also became addicted to Hot Apple Pie Runs. This ritual stopped soon after my last shift. Also I had Steve working there with me and I had a horrible shift once, so he wrote me a note of encouragement which I still have and look at every now and then.

Everything else: I wasn’t paid for the first month I worked there, valuables had to be stored away in a locked cabinet, which was weirdly unlocked after about 1am. I hated having to get changed at work, it took so long, and also I had many spot checks on whether I was wearing black socks. Yes, I was because I mostly only owned black socks then (ha!), but I was also wearing ten hole Doct Martens, no one could see them, so most of the time I had to stretch my socks out of my boot, or take the whole thing off, because ‘we have to check anyway’. Most people yelled, I may have cried on at least three shifts, and I was called into work almost every second day.

Best story: Once a lady came through the drive thru at 2am. She had a lengthy conversation with me at the speaker, reminiscing about how soft serve cones used to cost thirty cents. She ordered four soft serves. She came through, there was only her in the car. Who was going to those half melted ice creams?!

Story for Mt Gambier People: Right on close we had a car load of people come through but the manager was in an awful mood and refused to serve them. They had came all the way from Mount Gambier, so I pleaded with her, but no avail. Anyway, I apologised profusely, and they screamed ‘fuck you’ at me. Ahh, so typical.

2006 Salmat – That time I delivered catalogues for two weeks.
I don’t know why I thought this would ever be a good idea, but it really wasn’t. I know people who do this, and like it, someone like me shouldn’t and didn’t. However, I know have excellent geography skills in a very small area of Brooklyn Park, there had to be a perk somewhere. Total payment was something like $60, probably less. I am now blacklisted from Salmat and its affiliates.

2008 Domino’s (July-September)
I delivered pizzas (a bit scary) and did customer service. Now, I thought I’d be getting free pizza. No, hardly ever. Just twice when we had made mistakes. Pay was $13.50 an hour, plus $3 delivery, plus tips, but this was also when petrol was $1.60+ a litre, so tips was probably all I made out of this job. Also, the franchisee was super dodgy. He was nice enough and always called out ‘it’s Little Lisa!’ when I came back from a delivery, but he never gave anyone payslips and no one was surprised when the place went under and the brokers couldn’t even get in touch with him.

Reason I quit: way too many shifts and not enough pay. Also, I put in a complaint against a customer who had been really inappropriate and it wasn’t upheld.

Some cool things: seeing how the other half live – I once delivered a pizza to a very cashed up teen with strict instructions to stay in the car and they would come to me. I once received a tip for being a girl. I also stood on someone’s doorstep and overheard the mum say ‘here comes the pizza man’, but never corrected this when opening the door. I hope that little girl realises I was a girl too. There was also a customer who was on the banned list, but he kept getting pizza mules to do his bidding.

2008 Subway three weeks, if you include training.
I passed the first screening interview, the second was an induction day. I had an event at my day job and was five minutes late. I was then dubbed by the HR staff as ‘Late Lisa’ for the next three hours. Fire and First Aid Training were fun, and I enjoyed being trained at the Newton store, the manager there was awesome and liked Fresh FM. When I was transferred to my new store, I was less than impressed. I was brand new, had one shift with someone, and then mostly left to my own devices, except when there was a change over of staff for lunch or drag shift. I haven’t checked, but if OTR still runs on that 80s POS program, that is bloody ridiculous. I am also blacklisted from OTR. It was the only job where they wouldn’t let me keep my name tag.

2010 Pizza Hut (Feb-July)
Pizza Hut is the reason I have carpal tunnel, though, this as been disproved by WorkCover, I know the truth. Looking back, my job at PH, who is no longer owned by the incorporation who were the franchisees in this state, was pretty risky. I spent most shifts by alone for five hour stretches, making dough, making pizzas, serving customers, doing banking, phones… everything. I was told there was only one store that had more than one staff member on for lunch, which was the only store who had a big lunch rush. During a lunch shift I would sell 30-40 pizzas I had made and sold all by my lonesome.

Why I quit: the pay rate was salary, so I worked all Easter, and ANZAC Day for $15 an hour. One of these shifts I had to ask my brother to bring me Nurofen because I had so much pain in my hands. I was on Work Cover for awhile, I was at the point where it was too hard carrying groceries, I couldn’t manipulate things easily – for example, it was super painful to hold my phone and press buttons to send text messages, my hands could barely stretch around the can of canola spray, let alone use my index finger to press the button. I spent three weeks doing next to nothing, except tutoring, coaching and watching the OC on DVD.

Skills and knowledge I earned during these ten years:
  • When to have empathy with customer service staff members, and when to kick up a massive stink
  • The Scanning Code of Practice
  • Weights and Measures – yes, this is a regulated practice!
  • Food safety
  • Christmas is fun but also super busy
  • Some people will have random vendettas againist other people for no good reason. An example – someone skipped out on a shift, and the person they stuffed around never got over it
  • Not everything is about you
  • If a person who hates you, or her sister dates your ex boyfriend, or someone from high school thought you were pathetic, they will always come through your check out. Not because of karma or logic, but because they try to lord their power over you. Go figure. You’re the one with the cash register.
  • Don’t eat chicken teriyaki.
  • Sometimes the person who gets the promotion gets it because because they can work 24/7. Sometimes it’s because of talent, other times because you are good at being bossy. But mostly, availability.
  • Meatball is the most popular sub, but also usually the worst for you
  • Coles shot themselves in the foot by re-branding the BiLo stories as Coles.
  • There is milk in soft serves and thick shakes. I know because I used to pour plastic bags of them above my head, into the ice cream/shake machine.
  • Work friends are awesome. And some of them buy you chocolate.

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