The Horrors of Kwiksave: The Date (Part One)
‘The Horrors of Kwiksave’ is a candid recollection of my memories working at Kwiksave (the now-defunct discount supermarket chain) as a 'Stock Lad'.
I wasted over FOUR years of my life in this maggot-infested hellhole and still occasionally wake up drenched in sweat after enduring a nightmare in which I am working there still.
Some of the names have been slightly changed simply to save my arse in case anyone takes offence at some of the details regarding my facts or opinions.
Many of the people mentioned are now dead as this happened so long ago, but their siblings are not.
This is the 'HIVE Special Edition' of a multi-part autobiographical story (with a little over-embellishment on some of the details) I posted on STEEM over 3 years ago.
It contains a LOT more detail and content than the original and will fill in many gaps that were missed the first time around.
Chapter One: A Prelude to the Best Job in the Land
Chapter Two: The Job Centre
Chapter Three: The Interview
Chapter Four: Christmas is Coming
Chapter Five: The Changing of the Blades
Chapter Six: The Staff
Chapter Seven: The Auxiliary Staff and The Load
Chapter Eight: The Sugar Maniac
Chapter Nine: The Accusation and "Big Lad"
Chapter Ten: Naggy
Chapter Eleven: Shit & Noise
Chapter Twelve: The Death of Mort
Chapter Thirteen: The Time of Many Managers
Chapter Fourteen: The Calm before the Storm
Chapter Fifteen: David Dire
Chapter Sixteen: Bad Totty
Chapter Seventeen: Tracy, The Wild One
Chapter Eighteen: 'Buff-It-up'
Chapter Nineteen: The Demise of Ian Banks
Chapter Twenty: The Date (Part One)
'WARNING: BAD LANGUAGE BELOW'
It seemed just days, or maybe a week after Martin left that things started to happen.
I had seen off my old workmate by accompanying Dire through a get-together in Oldham which meant I had to tolerate sitting next to my fat arsed, bulbous-eyed boss in his cream Cortina.
Martin had stayed for just an hour, excused himself, and left which meant I was miles from home and at the whims of Dire and his insatiable appetite for Mild, a particularly nasty long drink only consumed by 'old people'.
Dire had stayed chatting to the barman for what seemed like hours leaving me bored silly in a shitty working-men's club twiddling my thumbs.
Working-men's clubs are relics of the past. These dirty grimy, shitty, stinking.., (you get the picture) bars sold the cheapest beer available at discounted rates and solely existed for the working-class factory worker (or specific Kwiksave Managers) to get off their faces without spending much money.
Hours later and 16 pints consumed, Dire drove back to the store and dumped me there with barely a word. I would have to catch a bus to get home as the miserable cunt had refused to take me using a lame excuse about being intoxicated.
It mattered little that he had already driven 20 miles or so with all that beer sloshing around his insides. Dire drank so heavily that alcohol literally did not affect him.
Over a year beforhand, I had walked into WH Smith and bought myself a Sinclair ZX81. Within a week I returned it and was refunded.
4 years earlier, computers were mentioned to me at my first job (Asda) by a colleague; it was something about programming steps and it had simply not clicked.
What good were they anyway?
I knew what their use was... GAMES! I was an addict but had grown tired of wasting my 10p's in the local arcade.
Could this little computer thing let me play for free?
It seemed not and so it had gone back. A week later the price had been reduced quite substantially and I was back in WH Smith to buy it again.
Fast forward to the present and I could program in BASIC, had the rudiments of Z80, and bought myself a ZX Spectrum.
It had only taken three tries to get one that worked and considering Sinclair Research's failure rate, I considered myself fortunate.
Sir Clive might have been a genius but testing his products before releasing them was not on his agenda.
This rubber-keyed gadget could play games, though they didn’t match up to arcade standards by any means.
I was intrigued with the device and unknown to me at the time this new hobby, come obsession was forging my future career.
On the way to work, I would pass a newsagent and buy C&VG (Computer and Video Games), a monthly dedicated to these new devices.
During my lunch break, sitting in the Kwiksave derelict canteen I generally had my head buried in this magazine pouring over the BASIC listings and contemplating typing them in order to play yet another terrible game.
Talk about Geek King. Nobody else seemed bothered about these weird new devices or ever asked me what I was reading.
Most of the time the listings had bugs that would result in the program not running, or even worse freezing your computer. If you hadn't saved beforehand this was seriously bad news.
It had passed me by that yet another new checkout girl had started work, and I had taken little notice.
The new girl would sometimes chat to me in the small canteen about abstract topics that I can’t recall. I talked back to her but really didn't think much of it. She seemed nice and was fresh from school but was otherwise unremarkable.
Sometime in the middle ages, someone in the north of England had decided that a random day was to be chosen for each town, and on that day the shops would close at, or around midday.
In the south, I don't think this is practiced and it annoyed the fuck out of me as I always seemed to want to buy things on this 'half-day closing' day.
However, when you worked in retail it was quite a boon as the tradition was followed even by ritual slave-driver employers such as Kwiksave. It must have been forced upon them, that I am sure about.
The next event I recall extremely well. It was a Tuesday and the store closed at 1 pm, leaving everyone with the afternoon free.
I was filling the freezers with solid bags of frozen chips and my hands were red with the cold. Dire was sitting in his office, his bulging eyes fixed on anything female and moving.
A middle-aged lady approached me and asked me if I knew the checkout operator, Barbara.
‘Yes I know her’, was my response surprised at the question. Barbara was the 'new girl'.
‘Well she is interested in you…, you get my meaning?’, and with a wink, walked away.
I was stunned, and I mean temporarily rooted to the spot in a daze for a few seconds. I didn’t get a chance to respond as the lady had vanished by the time I had regained my senses.
I was later to learn that this ‘lady’ was a friend of Barbara’s which seemed strange in itself, and whats more..., her teenage son of a similar age seriously had the hots for her.
Why would a 16-year-old girl be hanging out with a middle-aged woman and why would said woman be setting me up and denying her own flesh and blood a chance?
The last question remained unanswered and forever will be.
It took me the best part of an hour to approach a bored-looking Barbara who was sitting at one of the checkouts. She was picking at her nails and didn't notice my approach.
Tuesday was hardly a busy day, and half of the time the operators simply sat on their arses counting the seconds away.
"Hi", I said idling toward the checkout awkwardly.
"Hi", she retorted with a shy smile, looking up.
(why had I never noticed that smile before)
"Www.. would you like to go to the pictures tonight with me?", I stammered out, desperately trying to keep calm.
The 'pictures' was a slang word commonly used for the Cinema. I verified with my daughter that is in fact now extinct among the young.
"OK", she said in a timid voice, not looking me in the eye.
(was that a blush I detected)
At this point, I had to walk away as I was shaking like a leaf. This girl actually liked me, ME? I couldn't believe my luck!
To be continued...