Charity shop worker Gladys Evans, 72, was sacked for gross misconduct when visiting bosses observed her “not being fussy enough”, a disciplinary hearing was told today.
Steve Drummond, regional manager for the Heart Foundation charity, told the hearing that Mrs Evans "failed to demonstrate required levels of unnecessary activity" when he observed her at her shop during a routine visit last March.
Mr Drummond said “Our employees are made well aware from the outset of the high levels of faffing about that we expect from them”.
“For example they need to rearrange all the stock at least four times a day, preferably at the busiest times, and spend as much time as possible chatting to friends, blocking aisles and standing in front of displays so as to prevent customers accessing them”
“Our employees must also spend time wandering round the shop picking out the best stuff for themselves, with some going on to specialise in choosing totally unsuitable toys for their grandchildren, which does take a certain skill”.
“Finally, on no account whatsoever must anyone be able to use the till without having to get John from upstairs”.
“Mrs Evans displayed none of these qualities – in fact she appeared in every respect as competent as a normal shop worker. We can’t have that in our industry – we have a reputation to consider”.
Mrs Evans admitted that she had found the requirements of the role difficult. “At first, all I had to do was to put stickers on the clothes showing the wrong sizes, it was fine. But when they asked me to push all the displays close together to stop push-chairs getting through, and put big stickers on all the books and CDs so that you can’t read what they are, well, I just couldn’t cope”.
The case continues, but Mrs Evans hasn’t given up yet. “I’m hoping they’ll give me a job at head office spraying all the clothes with that faint smell of wee”, she said. “Ooh what a lovely brooch”.