She’s works down the 24 hour out-of-town massive monstrosity of a supermarket though really she’s a musician but with all the pubs closing down gigs are getting hard to find so she does shifts down the supermarket for some extra cash part time. She spends several hours a day in a blue checked shirt pushing up and down the aisles a trolley with a computer stuck to it picking shopping for customers who've ordered their shopping online.
Teresa, as her name badge reads, was talking to a customer when I saw her last week, about how their speed was ranked compared to other workers on the same job, the fastest picker being top of the list. If their speed was too slow a section on their computer screen would change from green to red.
“The dreaded red, warning you to get a move on or else!” Teresa said.
“And if your position isn’t near the top it makes you feel a failure, that you're letting the ‘team’ down. And they tell you off.”
“Poor you having to work under all that pressure! What ranking are you then?” asked the random customer.
“Third from bottom.”
“Can’t be arsed with the pressure to compete and be best. It’s all a psychological game to make us work harder for no extra pay. Stuff that. I used to think it mattered, but now I know better.”
“Oh there’s the boss, poor him squashed between top management and us lot. He has to try so hard, hype himself up, it’s like a pantomime.”
With that the lady, slightly embarrassed at Teresa’s forthrightness moved on and dropped a massive packet of teabags into her trolley.
Thus ends the tale of Teresa, employee and exceptional musician whose gig down The Traveller’s Rest I’m going to this weekend and looking forward to it I am too.