What we do when we’re not listening to music – A day in the life of a Shelf Stacker

As much as we’d like to the majority of us can’t spend all our time exploring the latest new genre of eastern european dance music or reading up on the connection between Lou Reed’s mid-period hairstyle and DJ Rashad’s use of samples. Unfortunately, as human beings, we all have to eat and in order to do that in today’s society we have to get a ‘job’ and earn ‘money’. For some people I know this is a complete chore: a never-ending, soul-crushing grind of 9-5’s which seem to lead nowhere. But not for me! I am one of the lucky few who has a job they can be proud of: I work in Poundworld. Here is a short diary covering one day in my life so you can all appreciate how fantastic and interesting the work of a sales assistant is:


10:15– My first task of the day was to stack all the delivery pallets and take them upstairs. Yes! Success! Satisfaction!

12:00– Poundworld shelf stackers are the cowboys of the shelf stacking world. We live on the edge, the goods fly off the shelves and we have to be there to fill them instantly. It’s a hot day and the customers are fast… But I’m faster! Yes! The drink section is filled, I feel like John Wayne!

1:00– A lady asks me if we sell bike locks, within seconds I’ve taken her to them. As she leaves I smile to myself, knowing that I’ve prevented her bike from being stolen. People call me a hero but I’m not a sales assistant for the glory, the praise or even for the pussy – I do what I do for the simple thrill of helping those that need it.

2:00– A sales assistant must keep his mind sharp at all times so it helps to engage in an activity when on lunch breaks. Today I create a shrine to Arsenal’s FA Cup winning team on the staff room wall. Everyone I work with supports Man U, they seem less pleased with it than I am.

3:30– I fill in for a colleague on the tills: ‘That’ll be £1 please!’, ‘Thankyou very much, have a good afternoon’. The good people of Maidenhead leave happy, off to continue the rest of their shopping. There are no words to describe the immense pleasure I derive from this.

4:00– LATEST UPDATE! Ice lollies filled! Another triumph! My boss doesn’t thank me with words but the look of admiration in her eyes says it all.

4:50– Half past 4 is face-up time. This is the most technically challenging part of the day – it involves taking the items from the back of the shelves and putting them at the front. It’s of vital importance that the shop looks presentable but today I’m late starting. Will I be able to catch up with the schedule? Will the quality of my work suffer because I’m rushing? I don’t know the answer to those questions for sure but what I do know is that the sound of Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ playing over the speakers for the 6th time today will spur me on to do my best.

6:15– The shop is closed and it’s time to clean up. As I sweep I think of all the other famous sweepers throughout history such as the GB Olympic Curling team, Dick van Dyke’s chimney sweep character in Mary Poppins and Horst Blankenburg who played the sweeper role for Ajax during the 1970’s when they were the pinnacle of European football. I feel satisfied that I can rank myself alongside all of them.

7:00– So this has been a day in the life of a pound shop sales assistant. Looking back over the day I can’t believe all that I’ve achieved. I kiss the Poundworld badge on my chest with pride and delight.



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