Charity shop worker Gladys Evans, 72, was sacked for gross misconduct when visiting bosses observed her ‘not being fussy enough’, a tribunal was told today. Steve Drummond, regional manager for the British Heart Foundation charity, told the disciplinary hearing that Mrs Evans ‘failed to demonstrate the required levels of unnecessary activity’ during a routine visit last March.
‘Our employees are made well aware from the outset of the high levels of faffing about that we expect from them,’ said Mr Drummond. ‘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.’
‘It’s also vital that volunteers 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. And of course, on no account whatsoever must anyone be able to use the till without first having to get John from upstairs.’
The hearing was told that Mrs Evans displayed none of these qualities, appearing in every respect as competent as a normal shop worker, and as such brought the industry into disrepute.
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 the British Heart Foundation has assured shoppers that Mrs Evans has been taken off frontline duties and is now working at head office spraying donated clothes with that faint smell of urine.
20th November 2010