Tuesday, 31 August 2010


I worked at Makro for a month when I was 18. It truly did feel like 10 years. Here's my story...

The jobs I liked were ones where I could get to know people. Usually the people I worked with. That's what interested me. That's what helped me get to work in the mornings. Then I went to work at Makro. 

This was a real turning point for me because I hated that job sooo much! Bryan doesn't even know all of this. I don't know if anyone knows all of this. But, well, here's what really happened at Makro:

I started work at 6am in the morning. It was the best and worst shift to work because it was so quiet, so you could do your own thing until the store opened at 9am. Usually we'd deal with old people at this time and they had some promotion running every two weeks on a Thursday morning. Old people really love promotions because they think they are getting a great deal. Usually promotions are run just to attract customers who wouldn't normally come to the store and they end up buying things they don't need plus buy into the promotion. It's an old age marketing strategy and it still works on people to this day. It was the worst shift to work because it was the shift that was filled with the most sleazy and misogynistic men I've ever had the displeasure of meeting. I tried to be subtle about getting moved over to another department, but someone decided to stir things up and told all these sleaze bags just why I'd been moved to the clothes department. This made working there ten times worse. I make no apologies in standing up for what I believe in and I still maintain those standards today. However, with hindsight, I should have taken the easy route and found some other excuse to get moved. 

Working with clothes was a bit better...but there was one awkward moment sitting in the staff room with someone I worked with in that department and we got talking about what we did before Makro. Then she went all teary eyed and told me she'd had three miscarriages and was trying to get pregnant again. Now, not many things silence me and I like to think I'm a person who can't be shocked/has an answer for everything (inner smart ass in me) but well at this point I was a little sheltered from random people telling me they'd suffered multiple miscarriages and were trying to conceive. My heart didn't understand the pain of what that feels like. So I said; "Oh...Oh. I'm sorry." What a dumb reply, but better than a lot of other things I could have said.

I made friends easily with a guy called Ian (names are true, after all, he's not going to read this is he?) and a few other people, but Ian was someone I could say I trusted in that hell hole. Boy did I get burned by him! 

We started to confide in each other about who we thought sucked and who rocked at Makro. I did impressions of our Manager (Jenny, I think her name was) and basically told him I hated the place. He told me the same thing and we'd spend our time together planning our escape routes. Then I said I had lied about having a migraine when I was off. The truth was too embarrassing and related to bowel troubles, so I thought off the top of my head and told Jenny I had a migraine.

Then, one day, Ian was called into do an extra shift. No way would they dream of calling me. I was way too unreliable for that kind of nonsense. And I wasn't hurt or offended when I found out they didn't consider me to do extra work. 

However, when I got back to work on Monday, I found out the lovely trust-worthy (NOT) Ian had back stabbed me and blabbed everything our discussions had been about, including my lie about my migraine, to our lovely Jenny. Needless to say I was taken "upstairs" (it looked like the behind the scenes of Big Brother) to HR and interviewed about my "conduct" and discussions I'd had with Ian. I was mortified. I felt betrayed first and foremost because those conversations were private and couldn't actually be validated. Although I wasn't willing to lie any further and confessed everything that had been said and because I am dog-sick loyal I didn't drop him in it. I know, I know...I really should have. But I am not like that. I kept my mouth shut, my nose clean and my head down from there on in. Also, when I was taken to HR they embarrassed me by saying; "Oh and you said you would have liked someone in here with you, do you want us to get someone in for you?". As in a witness. Because I'd told Ian that when Jenny had previously taken me up for a "chat" (about my "migraine") I would have liked to have a witness in there because she was running circles around me. And now she was making a mockery of me and to be fair I deserved it, so I took it right on the chin.

From that point on I plotted my revenge on Ian (just kidding) and got on with my job. I didn't make friends with anyone else because I didn't trust myself around other people and if anyone tried to chat to me, I didn't talk about anyone or anything to do with Makro. Ian the back stabber taught me a massive lesson, however, and that was never to let your guard down at work. Never talk about the boss or other workers. Even if you have to put the biggest smile on your face and find something positive to say about everyone who works there whether you like them or not, you do it. What you don't do is bitch or confess things to people. Unless they're your best work mate friends.

The funny thing was, with Ian out of the picture, the hours dragged on and I hated the job even more than I had before. I decided to give it up, went on holiday and didn't hand in any notice. Very bad behaviour and not something I condone but I just didn't have any fight left in me for that place. Not even enough energy to let them know I'd left. So I went on holiday for two weeks and when I got back I had a lovely letter waiting on me letting me know I was fired.

The moral of the story: don't lie and don't work for Makro!

I am so blessed that these days the only thing I consider my "job" is this boy...