It’s Done

Today I handed in my resignation to Sainsbury’s. A part of me is wondering whether I have done the right thing. After all, tedious work though it is, it is regular despite the dire state of the economy and self employment, which is always my preferred option comes with a fairly high risk as I have already discovered to my cost. On the other hand, my motorcycle training has been building up steadily as the summer season approaches and I now have two rail clients on the boil. The crunch came last week when I had to turn away a lucrative rail training job because I was working a night at Sainsbury’s. Yes, sure, I could have thrown a sickie, but apart from that contravening my own code of ethics, it was telling me that I can no longer squeeze a quart into a pint pot. Something has to give and it is Sainsbury’s.

While I have been desperate to get out, I have to say that following the departure of the manager that was bullying me during the first six months, the second six months have been much more bearable –  despite the peculiar shift pattern and despite the targets that were consistently unachievable. It seems to me that a target based culture is one that sets people up to fail as those setting the targets enjoy the luxury of not having to achieve them themselves. I lost count of the amount of times I looked at a pile of work that was supposed to be completed in a couple of hours, yet to even the undiscerning eye, was clearly much more than that. I won’t be sorry to leave that behind. Nor will I be sorry to leave behind a shift pattern that was a one on, one off night shift, causing havoc with my sleep patters. Nor will I be sorry to stop having to tell clients that I can only do Wednesday and Thursday consecutively if they want a two-day training course –  and that included a double shift on the Thursday as I had to get into Sainsbury’s for midnight. Having pulled double shifts every Saturday since the end of January, I am only too happy to see the back of that one. Pulling double shifts is definitely for those much younger and fitter than I. Tired doesn’t even begin to describe how I have been feeling come early Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, teaching people to ride bikes is not only more lucrative, it doesn’t even feel like work. Neither does track safety training, come to that. I just hope it lasts.


    • Given that our position is still a bit vulnerable, mine are double crossed. It’s a risk, but I just can’t see any other option – well, apart from turning away the lucrative stuff for the safe option and terminal tedium. I’ll go nuts if I have to stick it any longer.

  1. It is often that the higher ups set targets but are so far from the work they don’t understand how difficult it can be to achieve. Good luck!

    • In the case of a 24 hour operation, the targets are largely unnecessary anyway. Deliveries are continuously arriving and stock is continuously being put out, so what the night shift doesn’t finish, the day shift picks up. Or at least that should be the case. Obsessing about getting everything out before 7 o’clock in the morning merely puts everyone under stress – particularly when there is more than can be achieved in the time available. Also, bear in mind that with fresh foods, we are supposed to rotate the stock, but the targets are so tight, we don’t have the luxury of the time, so we do the best we can. Then, of course, stuff goes out of date and gets wasted. The targets are counter productive, frankly, but no one would take any notice of me…

  2. Interesting
    You do realise that you have just publicly named a Nationally-Known Household Big Name as a SHIT employer ……
    I wonder if [a] they will notice, and [b1] whether they will try to crush you for it, or [b2] decide it isn’t worth the effort, & ignore you?
    I know what I’d rather do – especially the Railway work.

    • I wouldn’t say that they are any more or less shit than any other large organisation that treats its employees like drones. Sure, they like to disguise it by referring to the drones with affectations such as “colleagues” and encouraging them to be involved in extra-curricular stuff like Sport Relief and other such nonsense, but it doesn’t alter the bottom line; that the work is dull, tedious and unrewarding, along with being little more than the minimum wage. So, it is better than Jobseeker’s Allowance – a lot better – but a “Great Place to Work”? Nah. For that, you need to work for yourself.

  3. Good luck! I’m at the other end of the scale, now looking for drone-work to stabilise the appalling randomness of self-employed income. Not forever, just until everyone else has rebuilt the economy and can afford me again.

    • I noticed you mentioned that over at yours. What is interesting is the time lag. My industry went belly up very soon after the recession hit, so my loss of contract two years back hit me hard. Now things are starting to recover and I am struggling to fit it in and keep up the drone work. Looks like your trade is only now feeling the effects.

      Good luck with the search. Sainsbury’s are always recruiting – you just need to go onto their website and answer the questions they set you – and if you tell the truth as a self employed and independent cove, you will fail, so, ahem, you need to be a bit circumspect with the actualit√©

Comments are closed.