I used to work in Harrods… Many people have asked me what it was like working there and they often assume that every day was sprinkled with magic and wonder mainly because it’s the World’s most famous department store. It certainly was an unusual place to work and there’s nowhere quite like it but the sparkle wore off after working there for about a week or two.
The first thing that struck me about about it was the size of the place. It’s huge! Several floors up but what the public are largely unaware of is that it goes at least eight floors below the ground too. I never made it down as far as basement eight but if there was ever a nuclear war, that’s where I would go and I would take as many of my family and friends as I could. You could live down there with no problem for a long time. There’s adequate food and space below the ground and I reckon that it’s blast-proof.
Behind the scenes and below the Brompton Road, the stock areas are laid out with actual street names. Cold stuff, such as meat and fish etc, are to be found at the end of “Frosty Way” and I worked in Trevor Square which is downhill and at the end of Brompton Passage. It’s very easy to get lost down there and if you don’t pay attention, you could well get hit by one of the many small trucks that zoom around down there.
Time is elastic below the ground in Harrods. Christmas always comes very early and as soon as that’s out of the way, you start to see Valentine cards and Easter eggs appearing. Not your average choccy eggs though… I saw one once which was about six and a half feet tall and no doubt carried a hefty price tag. It never failed to amaze and irritate me at how much disposable income some people had. Prices ranged from the outrageous to the obscene. It was hard to square working in such a place of financial fury with myself but I needed the work and I felt well established there.
I made some good, if slightly odd friends there and they made the day to day lunatic drudgery a great deal more bearable and looking back on it all, from my current perspective, I miss those people. I didn’t get a proper chance to say farewell to them and I still think of them from time to time. The bloke who emptied the bins…the chap from dispatch with the constant threat of a punishing fart…the chaps from Prada. All good people, and I salute them,
I left that job very suddenly, one morning. I tripped and fell onto a concrete floor and cracked my kneecap. The company that I was working for treated me very shoddily and did everything that they could to make me seem to be some kind of malingerer. So, I had to take both them and Harrods to court and…well, I’ve only ever been in court twice and I have come out victorious both times. Sadly, it blotted my copybook with them and I could never work there again. Such a shame…it was a unique place to work and if the accident had not happened, I might very well be there now, up to my eyeballs in cardboard and perfume but somehow, wrestling success out of the chaos of the one man show that was the stockroom.