I’m a Home Shop picker for Asda in Ashington.
I do thirty hours a week, it’s fast-paced.
We do two separate shops – one for delivery and one for Click and Collect. Click and Collect normally goes in the lockers outside, but during lockdown the orders tripled, so we were doing 150 customers per day for the extra slots for those people who were vulnerable or self-isolating and there wasn’t enough room in the lockers to store everything. We had to set up new systems to cope with everything. There were still as many deliveries going out, but the Click and Collect orders added onto that. A lot of new temps joined to try and pick up the extra work, so our department pretty much tripled overnight. We had to pick the pace up quite a bit and obviously all the new starters helped. I guess we all had to apply quite a bit of ingenuity and I learned a lot!
I think I enjoyed the customer satisfaction the most and knowing that I was making a difference during lockdown, knowing that people were eating and having contact on a daily basis, even if it was through a window to drop shopping off. There was an occasion where there was a lady stood outside who couldn’t come in the store, she was supposed to be self-isolating but she was on her own and needed to get some shopping, so I helped pick it for her. A couple of days later a letter was sent to the store thanking me personally for helping her and keeping my distance. The management acknowledged it and I was awarded ‘Star Points’ for that. It’s nice to know you made a difference on a daily basis really.
Getting used to a completely new system overnight was challenging though, there was just so much to take in. But once we got it up and running, everyone seemed to just get on with it. I’m lucky enough that I work in a department where I get on with most people, we all help each other out and try to make the best of it.
I live with my husband and my two kids so outside of work I go for a lot of walks with them to relax – we live near the river so we do a lot of walking to unwind and have a good chat when we’re out. I like to crochet, so if I have a stressful day I do that. I’m also studying an Open University Honours course in Psychology and Counselling, so in my spare time that keeps me busy. I didn’t go to University because I never got the opportunity – I thought if I don’t do it now I never will!