The best thing I’ve learnt from my work

University of Gloucestershire

Everyday of my undergrad degree looked like this – I sure hope it’s the same for postgrad…

After nearly two years of working in Market Research I’ve decided to leave my job and go back to University. Not just so that I can have the carefree lifestyle of the student but that I can also once again live in abject poverty.

So as my time draws near (2 and a half weeks away) I’ve started to reflect on some of the things I’ve learnt from my work:

1) Email is a way of life, not just a form of communication which you should probably check twice a day. As soon as you see a message it is vital that you are there to read it and respond otherwise you will probably die


It’s pictures like this which make emails seem exciting and fun instead of the controlling and devastating bytes of information they are

2) I need elevensies otherwise I get really grouchy and hungry. I’m going to seriously miss our snack drawer…

3) If I don’t write it down I’ve already forgotten it – a pen and notepad are always necessary for even the shortest of meetings

4) Printers break…a lot

Broken printer picture 01

Everyday I want to do this. Our printer is currently printing pink, blue and yellow stripes along with big black lines down the middle

5) People will talk about you behind your back – you didn’t think you were immune did you?

6) Cake goes down well but is unlikely to get eaten – everyone is so polite or is on a diet that they take the minutest of slices. Basically only enough to feed a hamster

7) You will let people down – it’s the nature of work, someone won’t like what you’ve done and that’ll be sad

8) Your bosses will always give you amends – I was once told that they need to be seen as having a purpose even if your work is perfect

9) No-one really knows anything – they just say stuff with enough confidence

Professor dog

Someone’s looking serious

Recently though we’ve been doing some work for a supermarket about their online delivery and why shoppers are lapsing from it. One of the big (and unsurprising) findings is that customers are unhappy with the substitutions they received from the supermarket if their chosen product was unavailable.

I originally thought this just meant getting an own brand product instead of a branded one but it in fact goes much deeper. It strays into the realms of the ridiculous and bizarre.

Here are some examples of the products ordered and the subs they received:

Ordered: Lemons ¦ Actually got: Lemon scented shampoo


Imagine that: you’re excited to be making your famous lemon meringue pie and you get some Head and Shoulders. Perplexing.

Ordered: Face cream ¦ Actually got: Gillette shaving foam

Maybe the supermarket were trying to give them a hint.

Ordered: Rack of lamb ¦ Actually got: Onion gravy


Here’s my boat of rack of lamb and gravy – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it

Checklist for roast: potatoes, gravy, carrots, parsnips, Yorkshire puddings and gravy. Wait a minute!

Ordered: Baby wipes ¦ Actually got: Cotton wool and baby lotion

Ewwww. No-one wants that

Ordered: Baby wipes ¦ Actually got: Toilet wipes

Nothing like making your baby have that lemony, disinfectant smell…


Toilet smell = baby smell

Ordered: Cheddar cheese ¦ Actually got: Philadelphia

This doesn’t sound that bad until you think about it. There are about 50 different types of cheddar cheese in a normal supermarket and they couldn’t find one?!

Ordered: Cow and Gate ¦ Actually got: Aptamil

If you’re like me you probably went “what’s the problem?”. If you’re a parent you probably had a minor aneurysm and started weeping on the floor. It turns out this is pretty bad and could harm your baby. Don’t buy two different types of baby milk!

So really the best thing I’ve learnt from my job is that the pickers for online supermarket shopping are sometimes ridiculously silly with their choice of substitutions. They need to get their heads on straight.

I don’t think I’ll be shopping online any time soon because of this but it did provide me with a good laugh.

If you’ve ever had any weird substitutions from online shopping then let us know in the comments. Jon and I like that sort of stuff because we like you all to engage with us…