Monday, November 12, 2007

me? I like my supermarket to have a Charcuterie

I'm not a fan of Tesco. I suscribe to the view that their ethos is not a particularly moral one, I've heard bad things about the way they treat their staff and I don't like the way that -more than most supermarkets - they appear to be agressively competing with and killing off the independent and local shops. Furthermore, I'm fairly certain that the BBC Whistleblower programme which showed past its sell-by date steak being minced and sold was not an especially unfair snapshot.

But, nonetheless, needs must, and I have had occasion twice recently to call in at the big Tesco's on my route to work. To say that it's not helped my impression is an understatement.

Last week, a member of staff putting some chewing gum on the shelf was unable to tell me if they sold Wrigley's Extra (which I presumed they did) and if so, where I'd find it. Then, today, I was assured (by a smartly dressed and apparently important employee) that I could buy stamps from the normal till, and not just from the Tobacco counter but found when I got there that he was wrong. So, having paid for my milk I had to queue up again.

I'm also wondering how their "helping you spend less" slogan is in any way honest. Firstly, to get to my milk (an everyday item) I had to walk past miles of presumably tempting and irrelevant offers and then, having found it, it cost me 40p for a pint. That's substantially more than I paid in the centre of leafy Bath. In Waitrose. Even the recent price rises across the board can't have made that much of a difference.

Anyway, you know what I think now. I've never bought anything from the Charcuterie, but it's nice to know that in the classier places it's there. And that the 'newspapers and magazines' section is just that and not 'news and mags'. Which really grates, even without being said in the Essex accent which suits it so well.

Meanwhile, hello again Dave. Nice to hear from you. I'll respond to your comment when I'm home and have the facility to do so.


Defined by user

13 comments:

MA said...

I love Tesco :D

dave said...

lol, Hi.

In defense of Tesco... Shocking. They do pay their staff more than any other Supermarket I believe, or perhaps they might be second behind Sainsbury's. I know this because I work for the supermarket that pays the least.

This in turn believe it or not, keeps your taxes down. Several large corporations are backhandedly supported by government. Government knows that full-time on minimum wage isn't enough for a single person to live in a house. So they get money from the state. Essentially this is the same as the state subsidising the company. If there was no minimum wage, this would have to happen more. This isn't even a left/right issue. The government should just up the minimum wage and stop giving money to rich companies surely?

JP said...

Dave, there's more to staff welfare than how much you pay them.

Also, can you supply any evidence to back up your 'subsidy' claim?

Scott said...

Dave is right that the present situation amounts to a subsidy. It's not really evidence that's required. There's no conspiracy. Logically, if the government-set minimum wage is knowingly too low to support someone, meaning they have to resort as well to state benefits, the government is in effect providing the extra money that the employers - the corporations - will not.

I.e. they are subsidising them. And the taxpayer, rather than the supermarket, bears the cost.

dave said...

"Dave, there's more to staff welfare than how much you pay them."

You say this JP, and to an extent I'd agree... In a career where a degree is required for example, annual salary is likely to be in excess of £30,000, other benefits and flexible working time are desirable aspects. But, most people don't have these types of jobs. Most people earn barely over minimum wage, and when you have children to support the difference between £5.50 per hour and £6.50 per hour is monumental.

Scott said...

We aren't a socialist state, however, and one shouldn't really be permanently stuck with working in Tescos: there are many, many ways to better oneself, and to get a consequently better paying job.

dave said...

Hahaha. So if everyone who worked in Tesco all of a sudden 'bettered oneself', who would work in Tesco?

I thought lefties were meant to be the idealists. Yeesh.

JP said...

"when you have children to support the difference between £5.50 per hour and £6.50 per hour is monumental."

Quite - but when you have children to support I'm guessing that you don't want to be forced to work long and inflexible hours so that you can maybe see them once in a while. One of the bad things I have heard about the way Tesco treats their staff is the pressure put on them in this way.

Obviously I am commenting on one or two isolated cases known to me, but it wouldn't surprise me if this was a general trend across the board.

Scott said...

Well, the point is, bettering oneself takes time. Qualifications and experience cannot be instantly acquired.

And the other point is, of course, that the population is always growing in two ways: immigration and birth. So, you know, as the years pass - as they tend to do - a new generation of unskilled labour is always rising or arriving.

And I thought the lefties believed themselves to be the clever ones.

Yeeesh.

dave said...

So we should scrap the education system and let unskilled workers in?

dave said...

Actually, you didn't mean that did you. You meant, make everyone do some kind of National Service type role at Tesco before being allowed to reach an advanced level of education.

Scott said...

I'm afraid you're being too obtuse. And very weird. I never said any of those things, of course.

Oh well.

I'm glad I don't know you. You seem an awesome twat.

JP said...

It's good to have discussion, and differing opinions, but although no-one forces readers of this blog to get along please refrain from the insults.

Back on topic, I popped in to Tesco's again today. I needed some eye drops, but it took three members of staff to tell me where they were. The first ignorantly pointed me down the wrong aisle, and the second didn't even know if they sold them.

If Tesco sacked all those who are clearly not up to scratch they could pay the remainder a lot more money. Though my experience so far leads me to wonder if there would actually be anyone left.