Saint Valentine's Day ManagerSaint Valentine’s Day Manager

Just as the half price sales are over and things are getting back to normal the shops are filled with red heart shaped balloons, cards, chocolates, red roses and champagne. All to celebrate the feast of Saint Valentine, who among other things is the patron saint of engaged couples, fainting and greetings.

It’s alleged that while he was in prison he cured the jailer’s blind daughter and on the way to his execution he left her a note, ‘Your Valentine’.
February 14th is now widely recognised as a day of love, devotion and romance where people express their feelings either with cards, flowers or gifts.

I started my first Saturday job in February in Woolworths in Consett. Valentine’s Day fell on Sunday that year so the shop was expected to be exceptionally busy.
I’d been working on broken biscuits and sweets the week before, but just before the store opened there was a message to say that haberdashery had no cover.
‘ Will you be alright on here?’
the supervisor asked as I stood uncomfortably behind the counter.

After a quick lesson in curtain tape, bias binding, zips and elastic I was informed there was a new record player and I was being trusted with it.
The newly installed record counter had been tagged onto the end of haberdashery and sold a meagre selection of LP’s Including the latest Top of the Pops Albums. Having been given strict instructions to only choose love songs all day, I played TOTP Volume 15 for most of the morning and the shoppers enjoyed ‘Your Song’, ‘Stoned Love’ and ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ by copycat singers posing as Elton John, The Supremes and Elvis Presley.
By 2pm I had run out of things to play as ‘My Sweet Lord’ had appeared three times and the four renditions of ‘Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep’ were giving everyone a headache. In a moment of boredom and madness I searched underneath the counter and found a Morecambe and Wise Album and with mischievous glee played the first track.

As ‘Boom Oo Yata -Ta-Ta’ blasted round the store, it was hard to suppress my laughter as the supervisor hot footed it in my direction, even though most of the customers and staff were joining in.

Understandably reprimanded, as I collected my pay packet that evening and folded up my overall I was called into the office.
Without looking up the Manager said,
‘I believe this is yours’
while handing me the infamous LP
‘Oh and by the way I’ve never laughed so much in ages, Happy Valentine’s Day!’

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