21 years ago I applied for a job at Sainsbury’s, Cobham. I got rejected. Not even an interview. In hindsight, saying that I wanted to work just 8 hours a week might not have helped my case! I was entering the world of work, or at least I was trying to…
Fast forward two decades and I’ve been working night shifts in Sainsbury’s over the last two months, stacking shelves. Don’t give up on your dreams people. Good things come to those who wait.
Seriously though, I am always grateful for the opportunity to work hard and meet new people. When the store has closed I’ve listened to audiobooks through the 10 hour shifts. While I sadly can’t feed myself with all of the food surrounding me, I can feed my mind with words.
A Promised Land, Barack Obama. No offence Mr ex-President, but I preferred your wife’s book 🙂
Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman. It’s a big old book, but interesting in parts. Long story short, I bought 24 shares in Sainsbury’s following this. I now had skin in the game. Ooh yeah.
Think Like a Monk, Jay Shetty – Helena shaved my head in January (lockdown haircut), and with my glasses on, I am looking a little like a monk. I can’t say whether I’m thinking more like a monk yet. No comment on the celibacy thing (my parents read this).
Zero negativity, Ant Middleton. Essentially, it’s Ant telling us what a top bloke he is. His wife also chips in to say the same thing! It does improve though. Get to work (even if it’s a low paid job) he says. Opportunities will come and doors will open. Your big idea may not come to you while sitting at home on the sofa, no matter how much you might want it to.
On my first shift, Little Steve is showing me the ropes. Little Steve, just for the record, is actually quite little. You may be familiar with Little John, who’s actually rather large. Now that that’s clear, I’ll continue.
“Little Steve and Simon are on non-food and pet food tonight.” Even the manager refers to him with this prefix. But don’t think Steve gets out of stacking the high-up shelves. We get stools for that. What Little Steve lacks in height, he makes up for in cheerfulness. It’s like he lives by the values of a Royal Marines Commando, “Cheerfulness in the face of adversity”. Adversity being the 10-hour night shift that lies ahead of us. Little Steve’s got my back, and I’ve got his and our mission is to stack like hell on aisles 18, 19 and 20.
I learned that fabric conditioner is big business and that people buy something called ironing water. Well I presume Sainsbury’s don’t just stock it for fun. Have I been going wrong all these years, filling the iron up straight from the tap? To my clothes and iron, I apologize, but I think you’re doing ok.
“Next we’ll work in the pet food aisle,” Little Steve says.
“Well I like pets…” I say.
“It’s not that exciting.”
Cheer up Little Steve.
While it’s true, moving pet food around might not be that exciting, it’s moderately more interesting than stacking the shelves with bleach and Fairy liquid.
I can’t get over how much food choice there is for cats. No less than 44 varieties of Felix cat food are available. Felix is a fussy little bugger. And Greedy too. The boxes are flying off the shelves.
“The cats eat better than us!” Little Steve says. Remind me not to accept an invitation to dinner at Little Steve’s house. Thankfully there is no chance of that happening anytime soon.
I’d like to say the ten hour shift passes in a flash. But ten hours is quite a long time. So I don’t. I do stack several boxes of Flash though. I clock out at 7am and just manage to keep my eyes open on the drive home. I walk the dog as the sun rises, a quick breakfast (or do I call it dinner?), then it’s time for bed. Ready to hit the gig economy again that night.
The next time I’m rejected, I’ll hear Michelle Obama feeding me some positive vibes, “When they go low, we go high.” Little Steve, you just go as high as you can.
#zeronegativity #mindset #livewellforless #catslikefelixlikefelix #becoming