I have had a few interesting jobs on my time on this weird and wonderful planet let me tell you my dear chums. My first job I did when I was 13 it was in a fish and chip shop in Northampton, I spent 3 hours on a Saturday afternoon picking potatoes out of what appeared to be a modified dish washing machine. The owner was an Italian chap in truth I never really understood a word that he ever said, he was very loud and shouted words that sounded like AYYYE . My job was to remove each spud from the dish washer and then cut any black bits of them so they came out as unblemished chips.

In return for my labour he gave me a bag of chips and 50 pence, this was my first ever payment, I decided that I would do something useful with it. So, I went to an auction with my brother where I brought a large black and white TV for 40 pence that I brought home on the bus. It weighed a ton and with great aplomb I put it in my bedroom plugged it in, and turned it on, it flickered into life, a grainy black and white picture appeared fleetingly on the screen, then it went black. It was as dead as a dodo.

And that was my introduction to the world of work. In fairness I have been mostly really lucky and done jobs which overall I have greatly enjoyed, however I have also done jobs and tasks which were not good or nice. Sacking people for a living is not at all good for the soul, and I did that for too long. But it is not like  the stress that people who fight wars, or keep law and order, or who spend their days saving lives in hospitals have to endure day in day out.

Yes when you really think about stressful jobs are a tough ask. Therefore imagine my joyous surprise and amazement when I heard of a lady who formally worked at the cooked chicken counter at my local Morrison`s. Let me set the scene if I may, I am not ashamed that after going to the gym I have been more than happy to pop into the shop knowing that at 20pm every night any unsold chickens which normally retail at a fiver are significantly reduced in price.

As a result there are a group of like minded people who appear and then hover, waiting like vultures for the yellow sticker lady to appear and start to liberate said bargain birds. Now in the classic economic model of supply and demand, all was fine and dandy if there were more chickens on sale than people wanting them. However, as the appalling scenes of Black Friday at Christmas has shown us, when there are more people than chickens, that is when things get ugly.

There is no justification at all for grown up people to fight random strangers over ownership of a 50 inch TV reduced to a couple of hundred quid, it is really illogical and frankly wrong. However, sadly people are the same be the prize a SONY widescreen or a cooked chicken, I have witnessed it myself with a particularly unpleasant  scene involving two ladies and reduced chicken drumsticks.

The situation was that a queue had built up when the reduced chicken lady appeared and started labeling the bargain birds, one lady was rightfully next in line to take her share, when another woman walked up, pushing in and put said drumsticks into her basket. This of course was well out of order and caused the offended lady to demand what the hell she thought she was doing, and attempted to liberate said drumsticks. In addition others also felt obliged to put their two penny worth in about both queue jumping and unauthorized fowl theft.

Things quickly got out of hand and sadly soon bad language was introduced as the chicken thief felt compelled to defend her dastardly actions.(this briefly reminded me of a tongue twister I had learned years ago which went something like ” I am a pheasant plucker and a pheasant pluckers mate”, to be honest one slip of the tongue especially in polite Company could prove socially fatal.

Of course soon the views of the mob were being redirected to the lady who was actually putting on the stickers as she by default became the official chicken referee. To be fair this was not what she had signed up for when she joined Mr Morrison and his market. As things got more heated she took an executive decision and did a runner abandoning the now unruly mob, and in fairness patient chickens waiting to be released, not to mention the stress.

Her actions did not go unnoticed by the mob with one chap shouting “Look the chicken lady has gone, shes turned chicken”. Genius really, anyway after the dust had settled I made some discreet inquiries to find that it had all got too much for her, and she had asked for a free transfer to the florists where they don`t reduce the prices.

So,remember dear chums stress is always relative, how do I know, because a little reduced price bird told me…..