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RHU Advice: Should Lazy Coworker Be Ratted Out?

B4Haaaaiii chaps, Kittycatnip here!

Seeing as I now work in a well-known superstore here in the UK, I figured I'd be better off calling myself TillTart on here, which is what all my buddies call me too....Wondered if I could ask you lot a question about a co-worker who is just driving me round the twist.

First - some background.

I got this job back in May after a long and demoralizing search. Jobs in my area are like golddust and while this isn't what I want to do for the rest of my life, I'm smart enough to realize its excellent pay and the benefits are huge - discounted holidays, free trips, cut-price shopping, insurance; everything.

Since I started, I've had 3 bosses. One retired, her replacement got moved to another department after a couple months so right now we have a lady I will call Marmite, as half the staff love her and the rest hate her. Considering how I've only been there a few months, I was surprised when Marmite pulled me aside one shift and asked if I would like a promotion over this Christmas season. The powers that be have decided my store, here in a town with a population of 5000, most of which are over 70, will be going 24 hours the week before Christmas. And they want ME to supervise the night shift. I would, of course, get extra money so I, of course, said yes. So the past couple weeks I've been shadowing some Team Leaders, making sure I know how to fix the little problems that crop up.

Now - this coworker I have a problem with. I will call him Feckless. He was hired, along with a dappy girl, back in September to make up for 10 people leaving to go to university (whats that? 2 people to replace 10 leavers? Good logic!). Both are under 18. This is important to note as they are not allowed to sell alcohol TO ANYONE without first getting approval from a staff member who is over 18. Dappygirl is very good at asking for approval as soon as she notices alcohol in the trolley, thereby reducing delay and any embarrassment that may be felt by her or the customer.


However, Feckless doesn't give a flying fuck. He's already had a talking-to from Marmite about approving alcohol when he isn't old enough. But I think today takes the biscuit. It's a slow shift, we only have a few people coming in with 4 checkouts open but spread out so we look busy (?). I was on the till facing Feckless' back, but I can see his customers and 99% of what they're buying.

And I watched him approve 9 customers in a row who were buying alcohol. 7 were quite obviously old enough to buy it, but 2 I personally would have carded. (In the UK, you need to be 18 to buy booze but my store has a Think 25 policy where if we feel you look younger than 25, we have to ask for ID. Most of the time it's taken as a complement). I quietly got up and mentioned it to the TL I'll call Squee. Squee says he will talk to feckless about it but for the remainder of my shift I didn't see Squee talk to Feckless nor did I see him approve any alcohol sales through his lane.

So my question to you guys is - should I go higher, to Marmite or even the GM, about Feckless jeopardizing the store?

The laws regarding alcohol sales are harsh here, if a store is caught selling alcohol to minors, the staff member who sold it could be fined, the store manager also gets a fine and the store could losE its license to sell alcohol.

So it's not like he's just fucking his own life up. Our store manager is awesome and I don't want to see him in trouble. Feckless' attitude in general just stinks - he often turns up 10 or 15 minutes late, generally acts like he doesn't want to be there and is blindingly rude to the customers - ignoring them until he absolutely has to ask for their money.

Add to that he has a habit of wearing his work trousers halfway down his ass. I had to applaud a couple of American customers I had who happened to turn around as Feckless bent over and showed the world his buttcrack. The Americans immediately went "HOLY JESUS PUT IT AWAY, Lawd gimme a penny or something to stick down there..." - hilarious.

So what do you think? Worth the hassle or not?

--TillTart x



Absolutely worth the hassle to go higher. If you don't think Squee did anything, you need to. That is illegal and if it isn't stopped soon, you're store will most likely face the consequences because he'll approve the wrong person. It's just better for the store if you go higher up.

Sales Agent Guy

Seriously, if he's doing stuff like this, then you should definitely go to the higher ups. He might think you're a tattletale, but see how he likes being fined/fired for his stupidity!

And the fact that he's always late and wears his trousers low, not to mention is rude to customers... seriously, THAT is not customer service!


From one Kitty to another... and I'm also a TL in either the same company or a close rival, so even more so...

Absolutely go higher. In my company, we get retrained on the alcohol laws and policy every year. They can and do use underage shoppers to check that stores are adhering to the policy and law, and if Feckless doesn't ID someone he should and is caught, the fee is 1000 pounds of his own money, as well as the wrath of hell coming down on the whole store (from police and god-help-us high level management).

As his supervisor at the time, you and I both know that his screw-ups become your screw-ups, so if Squee didn't talk to him that's risking his own money too.

Management (in my store chain at least) are unlikely to fire for a first offence, but he'll probably get a disciplinary action (formal talking to from someone with enough power to make him give a crap) and retraining until he can quote that policy in his sleep. He might also not be allowed to sell any alcohol at all unless supervised, at least for a while. I've seen this happen with people over 18 who didn't ID someone, so for an under 18 it's certainly an option. Either way, it's not worth letting him risk your livelihood as well as his own by being a stupid, sterotypical teenage idiot.

Versatile Vegetarian

Go higher! He's messing with everyone's livelihood because if the store loses its license, then there will be people out of jobs because it will lose business.


Normally, I would say not to be a Debbie Downer. But this guy is screwing with people's jobs. I think it is worth being labeled as a tattle tale. I wouldn't risk the reputation of the store or your managers. I would DEFINITELY go as high as you can and make sure he gets properly punished.


Another kitty heard him on it and report to the higher ups...this guy will keep doing it until he costs the company $$ and most likely STILL do it until he's fired.


Might be worth checking to see if your company has something along the lines of what Hell-Mart does, with an open-door policy, where they guarantee anonymity. Even if they don't...definitely go higher.

Lady Red

I have to agree with the others, he's not just putting himself in danger but the store by selling that alcohol when he's not old enough and not checking ids . You need to go higher up since the person you told isn't doing anything about it and let someone who will do something about that know so they can take care of it.

Do it and don't worry about being a tattle-tale. You telling a higher up is actually helping the store by making sure they won't get punished for Feckless 's actions.


Hey guys :) thanks for all the support!
Quick update, I saw Squee today on my early shift and he said he kept an eye on Feckless the rest of the night but didn't talk to him. Apparently Feckless was turning around to nod to Squee (in the stupid way men do) to indicate an alcohol sale but it was AFTER he'd already approved it.
So, I don't know. Squee is an awesome TL and is generally on the ball but I'm really not feeling like Feckless is being dealt with.
@Kittycow - yeah we have that too. We just did it, actually. Are your colours blue and red? :B We had an undercover shopper the other week but I'm not sure how often they pop in.
I'm quite tempted to send an email to HQ about my concerns, thereby retaining my anonymity. But I'm not sure if I'd be taken seriously.


Marmite has shown that she values you, and Marmite is already annoyed with Feckless. Show Marmite her faith is properly placed by letting her know about the ongoing problem.

Stockroom Slave

When I was a till jockey (also at a UK chain) you had to put in a code to authorise alcohol or other age-restricted sales, and underage workers and trainees didn't have a code so they physically couldn't make the sale without getting proper authorisation. We were all pretty careful to make sure the unauthorised staff never saw one of the codes, since it would affect the whole shop if they put through an illegal sale and got caught. Honestly, I'm surprised the big T (which I assume is where you work, TillTart :p ) doesn't have a similar policy. Personally, I'd voice my concerns even after what Squee told you.

Drug Store Diva

I'm in agreement with the others... definitely go higher up. He's putting the entire store in danger by not following the rules and it could be a HUGE loss to the store if he is ever caught. Don't wait either, and if you have security cameras, they can go back and see themselves that he sold without authorization as long as you notify them before they reuse the tapes.


Go higher ASAP. This could end really badly really quickly, and something needs to be done before you all get in trouble.


@Till Tart: nah, our colours are black and green... but not the bum-slappers :)

@Stockroom Slave: yeah, we have to enter a supervisor code for underage sales, but some TLs are too lazy to do it every time and just write down their code (I know, I know).

Also, nodding and grunting in a 'manly' fashion is not good enough, Squee is setting himself up for a manager smackdown by not stopping it. Sometimes it sucks being the big bad guy, but that's why he gets paid more :)

Jen thom

In England under 18s cannot legally SELL alcohol. An over-18 employee has to authorize the transaction - not just nod at the kid - but actually verify and check the transaction. Go higher up. If he's on the till and the local council's licensing team swing by for a test purchase, he has a hefty fine and the store loses its licence.

Queer Geek

If it is possible to be anonymous, definitely go to the higher ups because illegally selling alcohol to minors is a big offense complete with hefty fine or having your business shut down.

My friend was a cocktail waitress and she made the mistake of forgetting to card someone who was underage and she was fired for it. Take it as a lesson lesson learned. Better you watching for your own ass than your lazy coworker getting everyone canned.

Chicken Flinger

I'm going to join the masses here and chime in that you definitely need to go as high as you can as soon as you can.

He is messing with everybody's jobs at this point and everyone from the store manager to Marmite to Squee to Feckless, even to you TillTart, could find trouble for this. If someone found out you knew about the issue, as a supervisor-in-training and didn't do enough soon enough or did too little too late, your job could be on the line as well.

I don't want to frighten you into thinking your ass is on the line too, I just know how these big stores can be- they'd throw anyone under the bus to save their own rears. Go high, go quick. That's my advice. Hope things work out for you!

Laughing Barista

I agree with the majority--Speak up! It wouldn't be fair for the store to lose out or your awesome manager to have to pay just because this idiot can't do his job correctly!

David Byrnes

Not just yes, but HELL YES! This bonehead is putting your workplace, and possibly your paycheck, in jeopardy. If he's not living up to his responsibilities, it's YOUR responsibility to report him.


You say you've already talked to Squee about it, but, since then, haven't seen Feckless sell alcohol without approval. Is it possible that Squee did have a word, but you just didn't see it? If so, if I were you, I'd leave it at that unless you see him selling alcohol without approval again. Then is when I'd start thinking about talking to the higher-ups, but I would suggest that to Squee first, if they're the one who's actually Feckless's immediate superior, so as to avoid making it look like I'm going over Squee's head.

Incidentally, I'm not too familiar with the laws regarding alcohol selling, but, if they're like the laws regarding selling age-rated films, etc, as long as the store can show that they did train him properly (such as getting him to sign a document saying that he understood the training every time they do a refresher course of it) then, if he gets caught, the store's fine - but he's fucked.

Stockroom Slave

@Zmidponk: When I was trained as a cashier, we were told that if anyone was caught selling alcohol illegally, both the employee and the shop would receive a hefty fine - no matter what training the shop had provided. I don't know if it's different where you are, but in this case the employee really is jeopardising the whole store because he's too lazy to ask for a proper authorisation.


@Zmidponk too: as I said above, I'm a team leader in a UK supermarket and have just completed the annual age-related sales retraining - that's for everything (alcohol, lottery, nail polish remover...).

They are very clear in all the training material and in the official documentation that if someone is caught breaking the rules, or breaking the law, both the individual and the store are considered liable and both are treated accordingly. That's why the stores are so hot on the training, they really don't want to lose their liquor license. Hth :)

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