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The job was too much...

Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

The job was too much...

I was in our local Sainbury's yesterday at the deli counter for some ham off the bone. Behind the counter were two women, the one who came to me was a very attractive mid-twenties Asian girl. I pointed out the ham hock I wanted carved. From that point the girl became quite flustered and looked frantically at her collogue, hoping I guess that she would take over the carving.
She (the colleague) merely stared coldly back, folded her arms and smirked evilly. "my" assistant picked up the ham with obvious distaste mounted it on the contraption used to hold hams, shrugged her shoulders, took a deep breath and apparently with her eyes closed proceeded to hack lumps off the ham with what seemed to me a blunt knife. It happens I don't mind my ham in small chunks rather than paper tin slices, but the state of the ham after she had finished with it was...well awful.
I felt very sorry for her she was very obviously attempting something beyond her skill and more than likely against her religious views as well (that's a area that I wouldn't want to discuss here) at one point I offered to go round and carve it for her (I was quite good at that once upon a time) I could then have taken a swipe at the other (English) assistant who was obviously enjoying the discomfort of her colleague.
The point is of course, do supermarkets such as this provide any training for their staff. 
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When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
15 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: The job was too much...

Sainsbury's pride themselves in their staff training. At my local deli counter the girls, and one man, could not be more helpful and pleasant. I think you got someone with a bad attitude. Hopefully the store will deal with it.
shalom2010
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Registered: 28-12-2012

Re: The job was too much...

@armo I don't think they will 'deal with it', unless @Petlew gives feedback to Customer Service, which he has not mentioned. As long as it's given with some sensitivity then I think it's a great idea
so that extra training can be given. Perhaps the member of staff could be offered a different role within the store, as an alternative, if they feel uncomfortable working there.
Just my thought!
Community Veteran
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Re: The job was too much...

If she was a Muslim, she may have felt uncomfortable handling the meat (pardon the innuendo !) as it is against their religion to do certain things with pork based products.
shalom2010
Grafter
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Registered: 28-12-2012

Re: The job was too much...

Exactly my point - she should request to be moved to a different role within the store (maybe she has & nothing was available?!)
Community Veteran
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Re: The job was too much...

It is possible that the poor girl is a victim of workplace bullying and someone has deliberately put her in to that role.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Community Veteran
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Re: The job was too much...

Petlew: How about emailing them via http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/sol/contact_us/contact_us.jsp#
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: The job was too much...

Definately needs a complaint made against the english one if you ask me. Trouble is in this day and age it'll be the other one who gets the boss's attention.
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Community Veteran
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Re: The job was too much...

You are right, I didn't mention the attitude of the Asian girl who served me, which was as helpful and smiling as she could be under the circumstances. What really annoyed me was the deplorable attitude of the English woman with her who, was positively but overtly enjoying her "colleagues" plight.
I did not get annoyed with the state of the purchase (I've already said I quite like my ham in chunks) but did my best to be light-hearted about it with her. But I feel she was quite close to tears when I left, as much as the self-realisation that she is probably not cut out (no pun intended) to be a meat carver as she was at the attitude of the "other" woman.
And also yes, I certainly did point out my visit to the deli counter to the duty manager <with whom I have a nodding relationship> but not to complain about the service or the state of the ham, but to complain about the attitude of the other woman behind the counter.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: The job was too much...

I always get the impression at my local Tesco that the staff are like one big happy family, there are certainly some characters there but I'm sure like all works places there are conflicts.
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Community Veteran
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Re: The job was too much...

Thats the impression that they want you to get strat.
I worked for our local one for a couple of weeks as a temp one chrimbo and I can assure you that behind the scenes is a bit different. The staff room was certainly an interesting place to hear of things happening and as soon as the manager calls your name the entire room goes quiet.
It was still miles more friendly than most of the other places I've worked in though but I earned less than the trolley pushers  Crazy
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Community Veteran
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Re: The job was too much...

If the Asian lady did have a problem with handling ham then surely it was something that should have been raised at interview.
JamesM
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Re: The job was too much...

She probably will stick it out for a while, then when she is sacked, she will claim prejudice that they put her in the meat counter which is against her religion, take them to court and sue them. 
Just the other side of the coin.
Community Veteran
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Re: The job was too much...

But that could be seen as discrimination in the politically correct age artmo. What should have happened was that she ask her colleague to do it instead (see thats how the employer can turn it around) or the customer ask the english person (which of course they wouldn't dare say to the customer).
It'll be the weakest links fault - it always is.
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Community Veteran
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Re: The job was too much...

No, if she has agreed to work on the deli counter she should perform all the functions required of the job. She will have a contract of employment and knowing Sainsbury's it will be a 'multi-task' contract.
At my local Sainsbury's there are times when only one assistant is available on the deli counter.  What happens then?