After I left high school in the late 80s one of the options that basically lay ahead of me was either a secretarial job (I loathed the idea because at 17 most of the girlie girls in my class where doing that) or just trying to get general employment in a post recessional country. Now because I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do university wise, or be with the clots from my old school learning to type I enrolled in a TV & Film production course for two years. I excelled in 3 fields, graphic design, editing and photography. At the end of each year we where given the opportunity to work in areas of the industry and to be honest I got the short straw as far as placements where concerned. I had 3 months to work in a recording studio for our ‘work experience’ programme. During that time I mostly made tea and did ‘patching’ on the mixing desks, until one day a well known Irish country and western singer came along and asked the owner for an apprenticeship for his son, and as I was surplus to requirements was given some meek excuse that I was going back to college and that I should enjoy my summer or get something that may pay as he wasn’t obligated to do so since it was ’experience’ he was offering..I promptly got a job in a music shop who’s name I wont mention but look at the cute little doggie listening to music!?
When I got there the assistant manager interviewed me, gave me a music quiz to test my knowledge and asked me when could I start. Delighted with myself and thinking how cool it was to work there I was positively skipping into work the next day. When I arrived I was asked to go to the managers office, apparently I was told by the double barrelled named limey manager that the assistant manager had no business in hiring me and it would be up to him to hire me , so again he made me test my knowledge and thanks to my older brothers musical taste and my dads eclectic tastes there was 3 out of roughly about 50 questions I could not answer, which made this power tripping nazi blatantly wild with frustration. He caved in and set about giving me some really shit jobs just because he had the arse with his colleague .
At lunchtime I noticed the people who worked there where consistently looking for jobs and with Tower records opening in about 2 months in Dublin they all seemed keen but would wait to jump ship until then. There where a few people in there who where up their own arses but generally there where a bunch of nice people. The perks of the jobs where cool; we got to bring home 3 cds,/videos every evening - this in their defence they said was education for staff on their musical knowledge to the public and not selling what was essentially second hand goods to the public. Concert tickets where another, as also where band t-shirts which would be worn the night of the concert and then dutifully folded back into the cellophane in the stock room unwashed I might ad and sold to the unsuspecting fan..
Like I said I got the shit jobs and despite having several customers approach the boss and tell him what a helpful sales assistant I was he still seemed to despise me for some unknown reason. It started to bother me in a big way because I never gave him any reason to do pass remark about any task/sale I made. Now I knew why the staff where like rats on a sinking ship. The all hated him and I was joining their club, when it came to the end of summer I was asked to work weekends, I decided only on the basis that I needed the money until Christmas that I would carry on working there. I was never in one department or the other , one day I would be in Classical Music the next on the chart floor etc half my time was divided on different floors or else in the stockroom. Coming up to Christmas the company would prepare in advance for the sales in January and all orders for sale goods where made to a specialised music company where they got all the ‘bargain basket’ cds etc - in short music that sounded like a pet shop on fire.
All orders to this place where approved by the manager so I got a brainwave one day while making up an order. All of the stock that is ordered by the music store to this company was un-returnable. Once you ordered it that was it you kept it, they didn’t want that shit back. So for at least two weeks I practiced and practiced my boss’s signature and got it spot on. Three days before I left I knew it was my last day in the store room since it was all hands on deck with the Christmas punters on the floor. I put in an order for aforesaid ‘sales’ supplier. I never told any of my colleges what I did because A I didn’t want to get into trouble should word ever filter back to the manager and I get done for forgery and have a bill worth hundreds of pounds, B I like to keep my cards close to my chest.
On the day I left I was just about to walk out the door when they arsehole said to me ‘God who will I get to do all my fetching and carrying now that you’re gone’ and I marched straight up to him and looked him squarely in the eye and said ‘your managerial skills are so poor I am deeply surprised that you have survived this long here. And in my time being here I constantly questioned the intelligence of this company for hiring such an incompetent ass such as yourself. And I turned on my heal and left the shop. It was a beautiful moment we shared.
About two months later whilst strolling down Grafton street I went into the shiny new Tower shop where one of the staff from the old shop told me that an order came into the shop after I left, which made the manager go nuts! When I asked what it was , he proceeded to tell me it was 100 Boxcar Willie albums 40 ‘Russ Abbott’ Atmosphere (I’ve posted the video just to show you how bad it is) albums and 60 James Last albums and any other shit that I just KNEW wouldn’t sell.
Apparently he screamed so bad that day he damaged his voice and his conduct got reported to head office (where he was moved to another store) the employees walked out in protest and they had to close the shop for an hour and yet he couldn’t prove a thing or point a finger because it was his signature on the sheet. All in All the whole total came to about 1,500 Irish punts which is about two thousand dollars worth. I acted stunned but fought hard not to punch the air, a shadow of a smile graced my lips and the moral of this story my friends