The Horrors of Kwiksave: The Date (Part One)

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(Edited)

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.

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Other Articles in this Series:
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

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‘Some kids are best left to fend for themselves, and others were born to stack shelves’ – Steven Wilson


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Chapter Twenty: The Date (Part One)

...'August 1983'...

'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'.

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...'Mild, a very dark beer that sits well on your gut and was about 3% proof. When you can no longer muster Cider or Lager or even Bitter.., this is your drink'...

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.

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...'a derelict working-men's club I failed to get into. The nightmare of being inside one again could well have broken me'...

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.


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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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!


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To be continued...


Cover Picture is a combination of free sources from here and here, combined and edited with Luminar 4. Any unsourced images are my own.

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40 comments
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The Pictures is extinct now?! Oh man, I kinda knew it wasn't used much but it still saddens me slightly that it is gone. Everyone says the movies now.

How the wheel of time turns!

I remember typing in those funking code listings and you are right, half the bloody time there was something goosed that meant they wouldn't run and as you were new to it you could never fecking find it

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Yes, 'pictures' is now an obsolete term, and I think Mild has also gone down the swanny!

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HA, I forgot to put that in my original comment. I had a boss that drank mild in my first job and he drove whe drinking it as it was so fucking weak. He called it boys beer. Ah, things were nuts in the day

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I too was a shelve stacker. This will be interesting as I met my first girlfriend through the same little older friend drops the hint scenario.

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I too was a shelve stacker.

I hope your experience was better than mine, it scarred me for life!

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That black beer reminds me of a guy in a movie in a nightclub who wanted to drink a glass, and it was so concentrated that he felt strong pain inside his intestines and everyone looked at him strangely.

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I wish the "pictures" was still used these days. To me it sounds cool and very interesting. The woman who is friends with Barbara is really funny, I think she knows her son isn't good at women issues that why she asked you to make the move before it was too late. I just love the romantic atmosphere in the end. Hehe

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Not sure about romantic.., I was terrified!

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Hahaha! Why? Hope you made good use of the opportunity?

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Oh, I am sorry for bad supermarket memories. But ZX spectrum and Commodore 64. This was such a classic that only few of us oldies can remember!

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Dude, this cracked me into pieces:

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?

😂😂

Really interesting story, my man, would surely love to see how it panned out.

Then again, I remember reading something you wrote in 2017 or 2018 about how you got the name @slobberchops, I think you said it was from a customer at a place you work who you guys called that name or something similar because of how he looked and stuff, do you recall? Was Kwiksave the place again?

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It was an old man customer who repeatedly entered the store and was found to be 'slobbering about'.., he got the name from me.. and then I used it here. I remember writing about it some years ago.

It was at Kwiksave.., we had to make the best of the horrors of working there somehow!

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Heheheh. Cool. I hear people applauding my memory right now, excuse me a bit let me tell them they're too kind.😎

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Hello @slobberchops. I remember reading this. I thought it was within the last year. Maybe it was on Steemit. You remember more now that you've had time to think about it. Usually when bad experiences occur, you forget a lot of the details because you just can't believe they actually happened.

Good luck with the Hive version. Take care.

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The original version was during 2018, almost 4 years ago now. I never felt I did it justice and someone suggested it could be made into a comedy series at the time 😁. While the script is now out.., that won't happen.., but I want a more correct version of it with more details published.

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Thanks for the explanation. So it is possible to publish on Hive old posts from Steemit. I was under the impression this wasn't allowed. I've seen several Hive members admonished for doing so. But as you say, if more meat (details) are added to the original and explanation, then that's acceptable. I appreciate the update.

Good luck on your new series, and take care.

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Its a complete re-write, not a lift and shift.

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I understand. Perfect. Thanks for letting me know.

I have a story series I started on Steemit and wanted to continue it on Hive. But now I see that I should have approached it differently and need a complete re-write. I just didn't know if I was allowed to do that.

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I don't see why not, if you are upfront about it as I was.

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My parents and grandparents never stopped calling it the The Pictures! I never did, but, I always knew what they were talking about.

I would guess that Barbara's mother and this middle-aged lady were probably friends or neighbors. Growing up, I was friends with our neighbors, or at least friendly enough that I could see that happening. Wait... How did it go with Barbara?

I remember the Trash 80 and later Commodoor 64 and on and on... I can remember the phrase, "We will never have to upgrade again!" Famous last words.

I didn't do much drinking but, my brothers made up for it. They called it Panther Piss, but, not sure what it was. ;)

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(Edited)

I would guess that Barbara's mother and this middle-aged lady were probably friends

I'm not sure about that, I didn't hear much more about her once things developed.

Wait... How did it go with Barbara?

I already let too much out of the bag, Part Two coming up in the next few months.

I remember the Trash 80 and later Commodoor 64 and on and on... I can remember the phrase, "We will never have to upgrade again!" Famous last words.

I was always changing machines!

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Ohhhh!! Few months!!??

Oh, yes! Although, as a gamer, probably changed a whole lot more. Now, it's the phones I change more often. Our little computers.

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The gap between this and the last was that long lol..!

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It really was! I thought you gave up on it, but this is a romantic cliffhanger!!! Give us a break! ;)

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They take ages to write, the urbex stuff takes me half the time! I have to wrack my brain and remember what happened in 1983.

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:) You are right! I am just being whiny! It takes me forever just on what I write. Thanks! Have a great night!

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Hilarious! I also had a ZX Spectrum and programmed some primitive games. Was really fun and an addiction.

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I quickly moved off the Speccy to better machines, but it was good for a while!

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Wow this is such an amazing and well written post. I just can't believe it rang up only $145 dollars. You deserve far more! Only if you knew the right people. Oh well. Still, you are doing great! Keep up the great work!

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Dear @slobberchops
It has been one long month since you wrote this part. It has been a long wait for part II
(Sir I am stopping short of saying that the wait is pretty agonizing.)
Am I being nosy or maybe I am finding your style of story telling very captivating, well I am not very sure.
However I do know I am keen to know how the next part of the events unfold.
I wish you good health and I have no qualms in saying that you are truly blessed to have the ability to tell stories in such a captivating way.
I know this is not a story but how life unfolded for you. however reading it does make me take a walk through the Kwiksave store though I have never visited one.

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I am finding your style of story telling very captivating, well I am not very sure.
However I do know I am keen to know how the next part of the events unfold.

Thanks for the audience! I am not sure who reads these, or I am writing to nobody? I will endeavour to get Part II done soon.

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Actually the experience of reading these is like walking with you feeling the stress of the situations experiencing the slightest detail.
I feel I am living the part and special taking me back to the time when I was relatively young.
Though in another part of the world.
It is so relatable and not everyone has this skill or shall I say a true gift

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(Edited)

Dear @slobberchops
I am your audience all right but I very strongly feel you talent deserves a bigger audience.
Since you are already doing the hard work of writing.
Any reasons for not putting it on Amazon as an ebook?
The posts you make here could have backlinks to your ebook and can perhaps be used to send traffic to amazon book with the right keywords.
So that you may get even more income from sales and the royalty .
Also you could change the name of the store and characters just to avoid any copyright issues.
Just a thought :)

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I am getting together with a writer next month who does publish at the HIVE meetup. I will ask him about this.

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