Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Worst Job You Ever Had (Slight Return)

I was a teenage supermarket trolley boy IN THE PITS OF HELL

Now, going round the car park and bringing the carts back to the store sounds easy. And, in truth, it had its perks, such as standing on the top floor on a Friday evening to watch two people doing the sex in the office block opposite when they should have been a) designing oil rigs and b) hoovering.

But the car park was ten storeys high and attracted large numbers of tramps huddled round an air conditioning vent for warmth. They drunk a lot of cider, and there being no public convenience, pissed it out all over the concrete floor and kept their belongings in supermarket trolleys. The more cultivated among them pissed in the lifts as well, while others found a hideous, dark corner for other toilet functions. The result was the famous Reading River of Piss, which flowed directly into the Thames, and gave the Friar's Walk shopping centre its distinctive smell, not to mention a distinctly low-brow clientele.

And it was my job to wade in there and get the trolleys back, because they disappeared at such an alarming rate that there were never enough trolleys for our six customers. The tramps, by and large, didn't want to surrender their hard-won shopping carts, and who could blame them?

So, for my CV: Teenage me had to wade through piss and fight tramps for supermarket trolleys. For two quid an hour.

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