Tuesday, 9 October 2018

I Lasted Two Shifts At Tesco

It's been a while since I 'worked' for Tesco but I feel it's now the time to tell my tale about why I only lasted two shifts at my local Tesco store!

So as your probably aware, I'm a stay at home mum purely due to the cost of childcare. I don't get any help with it and as most Nurseries are around £6 an hour for children my sons age by the time I've put him in for a full day, spent money on travel, parking, tax and national insurance I'm usually lucky to make around £50 a month.
So a job came up in my local Tesco express store for early Saturday and Sunday mornings, brilliant I thought, the husband can watch our Son so I don't have to pay childcare! I applied and had a fab interview with the lovely manager and boom. I got the job and had a starting date.

Now before you can start working at Tesco you are required to go through training, which you do get paid for. I couldn't make the dates they had available due to childcare so it was arranged for me that the lady who did the training would cram it into two 4 hour sessions in the evenings. Fab.

Now, I'm one of those people who likes to get to places early. I hate being late, my anxiety simply won't allow me to do it! I rock up to my new store and not a single member of staff has any idea who I am, what I'm doing there and if the lady I'm meant to be meeting is even going to be there. Let's just say it kinda kicked off my whole time with Tesco haha.

I was shown to the staff room upstairs and left alone as all the staff were busy. So I waited. 15 minutes passed of me sitting alone in a staff room with no sign of my trainer or contact from her. Another 20 minutes crawl by slowly and finally she arrives.

Did I get a sorry? Did I heck. Why was she late I hear you cry? She had to pop home and drop her dog off. So I sat there like a total plum for 35 minutes after my training was meant to begin for her to drop her dog off. Fab. Needless to say my training then lasted to almost 11pm not until the 9pm that was organised.

The next day I'm due back for more training. Again, no one in the store has any clue what I'm on about and I'm shown into the staff room. 30 minutes crawl by and still no sign of my trainer. So over two days she has kept me waiting for an hour and once she arrives again no sorry, no nothing. Once again that evening my training doesn't finish until 11pm-ish and after a full day with a toddler I am shattered.

I get my start date and it's a Sunday, I should mention I was working the early shift 6am - 11am. I arrive at 6am to people who've been told I'm starting but don't really talk to me and again I'm shown upstairs. That day I'm told that basically I'm stuck in the bakery until someone is available to train me on tills but as they are short staffed it's probably not going to be for a while (not what I was told at interview but still...). I'm partnered up with the week baker and she shows me everything and how to do it. 

I'd like to mention at this point, I wasn't given a uniform, I had to aprons or gloves or even a hairnet. I was literally just baking stuff. I even had to go into the freezer without gloves and my fingers were burning.

After we'd done the baking and stocked the shelves I was sent downstairs to help stock the shop. I was asked to do freezers. Again, I had no gloves so my hands are completely numb and bright red by this point. I gave up and started putting stock into normal shelves as I just couldn't manage the frozen stuff any longer. 11 am couldn't come quick enough!

Now, I hate quitting. I hate it, I hate starting something and not seeing it through so my next shift was the following Saturday and off I went. Again no one knew who I was and on arrival I get told we're so short staffed I'm going to be baking alone.

Yup, alone. One shift of training and that's it. I wasn't left with a list of things to bake or quantities, I was just told to have it done by 9.30am. I still didn't have a uniform so again I was trawling through freezers with no gloves trying to somehow finish a bake. I started to do it the way I was taught on my last shift when another member of staff tells me I'm doing it wrong and they don't bake like that. Fab.

Halfway through my bake the assistant manager comes in, she simply says 'I'm guessing your Becca 'cause there's a uniform with your name on it here' cheers love. How to make a new member of staff feel welcome! Don't say two words to them and then guess who they are, first class management skills there.....

So I manage to scrabble together the bake only to be told it's wrong (yeah well, duh) and I'm sent on my way to the shop floor to stack shelves again. This time I'm on dry goods and sandwiches (I was still defrosting after the baking freezer so I was almost over joyed). A little background on me is I've never worked retail like that before. I used to be management and front of house in a London Library service, so yes while I've stacked shelves with books, I've never had to worry about date orders or stuff that doesn't fit on shelves.

I'm getting through the boxes and cages of stock when I ask the assistant manager where I put stock that doesn't fit on the shelves because they are already full. Her response was the straw that broke the camel's back and I texted my husband to write my letter of resignation. She looks me up and down and says 'there's a thing called an overs trolley..' and just walks off.

10 to 11 comes round and my husband arrives with my letter of resignation. I go upstairs pop it on the table with my uniform and leave. 

Never have I ever felt so undervalued and overworked. Being expected to do tasks that I shouldn't have been doing without proper uniform or PSE and spoken too like I was something someone had stepped in. Being made to wait an hour for someone to arrive without even so much as a sorry and to be thrown in at the deep end after being told my training was wrong.

What I will say was the manager was lovely, she texted me later that evening and even asked if I'd like to be transferred to a different store but for me the damage was done. My experience with Tesco wasn't a good one or one that I'd expect to receive.

Have you had a bad experience with an employer?



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