Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Dunnes Stores, Northside Shopping Centre, Coolock


I worked part time for many years (1981-1988) in a supermarket, Dunnes Stores, Northside Shopping Centre, Coolock, Dublin as a stock control technician and hygiene specialist (ok so I packed the shelves and mopped up spillages.) I dreaded the inevitable announcement "spillage aisle #2" and when somebody dropped a bottle of TCP disinfectant (which they did regularly) it was like tear gas and your eyes and nose would burn.

They had a really cheesy jingle of 'Dunnes Stores Better Value Beats Them All'. It looked more like a prison from the outside and there were no windows, so you didn't see the light o' day from the time you clocked in to when you clocked out but at least your pay helped subsidise the beer & smokes (yes I had vices back then!)

You had to work your way up the rungs of the ladder and my first 3 months were spent doing nothing other than collecting shopping baskets and cleaning spillages at the checkouts. I had a crush on several of the checkout chicas and even dated one or two. Eventually I proved myself worthy of managing a whole aisle, the baby aisle. Nappies, baby food, wipes you name it, I packed it and made sure it was in plentiful supply.

There were a great bunch of people working there, including the managers (mostly from the rural areas) and the social life was massive. I met some of the most alive, honest, funny, hilarious, kind, warm, natural, real people while I worked there. Many a pint down the Sheaf O'Wheat pub or The Blacker (Black Sheep) and regular group outings to Saints nightclub in Howth where we christened our regular seating spot as 'Nuts Corner' because we were (for want of a better word) nuts.

That was the Dublin of the 1980's, the Dublin I loved. But I left for foreign shores as many others did along with me in search of a better future. I went back to visit the supermarket a while back and the memories came flooding back. I didn't recognise anyone as now it's mostly the hard working Polish doing the spillages and packing the aisles. I often wonder where those 'Dunnes' people are today and what they're doing, so if by chance you google this please drop me a line using the 'contact me' link at the top of this site.

Looking for some old Dunnes Stores people then try here

Did you have a part time job when you were at school and if so what was it/how was it?


Photo: Northside Shopping Centre

Tags: Dunnes Stores, Northside Shopping Centre, Coolock, Dunnes Stores Better Value Beats Them All, Sheaf O'Wheat pub or The Blacker (Black Sheep)
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20 comments:

Baino July 22, 2008 2:45 am  

Ah . . I worked for KFC for six years from age 15 bloody brilliant, so did my brothers, my best friend, her boyfriend and a plethora of others. They were the days when nepotism staffed a store! And contrary to popular opinion . . I still like the stuff . . .

Quickroute July 22, 2008 3:19 am  

Baino - you've just stirred some memories of my Burger King days so a post coming on that soon!

conortje July 22, 2008 5:57 am  

Pennys in Tralee - can say it was as enjoyable or memorable as yours was...

Nick July 22, 2008 9:10 am  

I never had a job when I was at school but once when I was desperate for cash I worked as a cleaner at C&A in Oxford Street, London. I only lasted a week before I realised how totally mind-numbing and unfulfilling it was. I pity the poor souls who do it year in and year out for mostly totally unappreciative people.

roy July 22, 2008 9:41 am  

I worked in a record shop in Crumlin, weekends and school holidays.... coolest job ever!

Quickroute July 22, 2008 10:11 am  

@ Conortje: Good old Pennys - i wonder if they are still around?


@ Nick: Doesn't sound like much fun. Not surprised you ditched it.


@ Roy: That is a cool job and you probably got discounts while listening to all the latest hits - I'm jealous!

Lover of Nature July 22, 2008 11:36 am  

I use to work part time at a local burger joint but the owners were real jackasses so I left it, ppl I worked with were nice though.

Xbox4NappyRash July 22, 2008 1:17 pm  

I pulled weeds.

Not a word of a lie, I worked with Coillte up in the forestry, pulling the tiniest weeds out of the beds where the baby trees were planted.

My fingers are still raw to this day from it.

Quickroute July 22, 2008 3:13 pm  

@ Lover of Nature: Burger flipping seems to have been a popular job - I did that for a few summers too.


@ Xbox: That's the most unique one yet. At least you were in the great outdoors. Wait a minute what am I thinking - this is Ireland we're talking about Doh!

moon,  July 22, 2008 4:09 pm  

Not so much of a school job, but when I was in Oz, I was a 'de-mailer' of timber stripped out of an old wool store in the Adelaide Docks.. man, that was a shite tough job !!!!

Also, tell me about Nepal Quickroute ...

moon,  July 22, 2008 4:10 pm  

F**K, should have read 'de-Nailer' !!

Megan July 22, 2008 8:56 pm  

Payless Pharmacy. I worked the register, not filling prescriptions. And no, I never took anything. But boy was I tempted sometimes, especially after I saw Drugstore Cowboy...

Quickroute July 23, 2008 11:55 am  

@Moon: That sure doesn't sound like much fun.

I spent a weeek in Nepal including a safari where I saw a great selection of wild animals and did an elephant ride thru the jungle.

@Megan: ha ha - not even a pack of aspirin? - sure we believe ya!

moon,  July 23, 2008 12:54 pm  

Loved Nepal, I did the tekking thing and also some time at Chatwan ... great place, loved my time there.

Quickroute July 23, 2008 12:58 pm  

@ Moon: Yes Chitwan that was it - I stayed in the Jungle Lodge. My guide was really into his job and nature in general so I had a fantastic time. Good memories.

Primal Sneeze July 24, 2008 1:27 am  

I wish I worked in Northside. Such a great, great shopping centre.

roy July 24, 2008 10:50 am  

I worked in Northside, Mc Kennas Electrical remember them? they're most robbed shop...... I think they posted me there for a week as punishment! I lived in Donnybrook!

Quickroute July 24, 2008 11:56 am  

@Primal: Did I detect a hint of sarcasm there?

@Roy: I remember McKennas - there was a smash n'grab there every week. - that's some punishment being posted there!

Caro July 25, 2008 4:55 am  

My first job was in a Chinese restaurant when I was fourteen. I lasted a weekend and they never called me again.

I worked most summers from age sixteen through finishing college in a factory packing pharmaceuticals. Dull but well-paid, it put me though college.

Queen Goob July 25, 2008 9:06 am  

Being the movie whore I am I worked at a theatre so that I could see all of the movies for free. Fun job, great people, hours not so bad.

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