I was working at the Nottingham Cooperative Society's Co-op House on Upper Parliament Street, in the food hall, as general dogsbody, and goffer.
I was sent down to the cellars below, to lay mouse traps and rat poison, in an effort clear the place of the little mites. An order I thought a little out of the ordinary, but I followed them, collected the traps and poison, and went down into the bowels of the building to do my duty. (Little realising that the staff had set up a tape recording of eerie sounds, thinking it would be fun to scare me to death!)
I soon spotted the 'Bush' tape recorder after hearing the sounds it emitted, and carried on laying the traps and poison pots. By the time I'd I'd finished, there were already some dead rats in a few of the traps.
Full of myself, I extricated a larger one from the trap, and carrying it in my outstretched hand, re-entered the store warehouse smiling and grinning, saying: "'Ere you are then, dead as a dodo, we can put it in the mincer with the beef un make some money... haha..." I stopped as I realised the area shop inspector was stood directly in front of me!
I managed to get another job with Tesco.
Tesco had arranged a promotional visit from Pat Phoenix, who at the time was playing the part of the feisty Elsie Tanner in Coronation Street. She was supposed to sign autographs for ten minutes, then do a mock shop to impress the public.
It was utter pandemonium, we had built a wall of Heinz soup box's, behind which we had placed a table and chair for her to sit at and greet her fans. (with her body guard stood next to her)
So many emotional fans turned up, we had to get all the male staff on the shop floor, to try and control them as they all wanted to speak to her first. At one time, we all linked arms to try and stem the rush of the dear old biddies from causing physical damage to the lady.
After about 40 minutes, she was able to escape, did a very quick pretend shop, took her cheque, and left.
As she was leaving, I noticed that the soup box's had lost there crepe paper covering, and tins were spread out on the floor. At this point, I also realised that I had blood coming from my ear hole, and running down my white coat.
A few days later, a photographer, who had been taking pictures of the event, came in, to find the staff in the photos and sell them a print. One of the girls pointed out to me a particular one - it was taken when I was in the line trying to stem the flow of women, and showed an old lady, about 5 stones and 4 foot tall, just about to push the pointed end of her rolled up umbrella into my ear-hole, in her efforts to get through to her soap opera idol!
Well at least I now knew why I had had four stitches in my lug-hole!