The Tour of Tesco Diary

Day 1 – 18/1/2010

Early start today, got on the road at 6 leaving from Edinburgh and driving down to Blackburn. Having had to delay the trip because of the weather, it was good to finally get going – and to avoid the snow!

First stop was south of Carlisle to grab some breakfast – every intention of keeping to a healthy eating routine out the window within 3 hours!  Using the new sat nav was an interesting experience and it took a lot of getting used to.

Managed to visit 4 stores today - Blackburn, Oldham, Sheffield and Beworth - before arriving at the hotel at 6pm. First few stores were a bit nerve wracking; introducing a new concept to very busy staff members, but I was delighted at how receptive the staff were and this has added to my confidence that the trip will be a success.

After a long day on the road I’m thankful for a hot shower, good meal and comfy bed.

Day 2 - 19/1/2010

An early start today again, was keen to get onto the road and to the next store. I managed to fit 6 stores in - Warwick, Northampton, Banbury, Oxford and Andover. The traffic jams we had planned for didn’t seem to appear. Had some trouble finding one of the stores so a call to BC head office was needed!
I’ve been quite impressed with the driving ability of most of the nation so far – had been dreading stories of maniac and middle lane drivers but over the last few days have not experienced much craziness.

I discovered that my Hotel was in the middle of a one way system so took a while to work out parking. Now I’m spending the evening catching up on work whilst watching the Carling Cup semi-final.

Day 3 - 20/1/2010

Woke up at the hotel by water dripping on my head – not the most pleasant experience in the world, but the manager was most apologetic. Sat Nav went a bit crazy this morning and didn’t seem to want to leave Andover, so used the good old technique of driving until I saw a sign!
It was a long drive this morning across London, although the traffic wasn’t too bad. Chris Moyles kept me well entertained as James Cordon was his guest, talking about forming a rap act. Was delighted that a member of the Tesco staff I met today was an extremely satisfied customer!

Visited 4 stores today - Whitstable, Romford, Goodmayes and Ponders end.

In a very nice hotel tonight, very new with a very comfy bed!

Day 4 - 21/1/2010

After a good night’s sleep started another early day on the road, starting in Potters Bar and finishing outside Cambridge. A lot of city and town driving today so took longer to get between stores compared to the rest of the week. But I still manage to get around 5 stores - Potters bar, Borehamwood, Royston, Saffron Walden and Cambridge.

Whilst checking air pump advertising, I helped an older lady pump her tyres to the correct inflation, she was very grateful for the assistance and the tyre safety advice!

Managed to get lost in Cambridge city centre where everyone seemed to be riding a bike with a basket and regularly pulled out in front of moving vehicles with no warning. Eventually made it out of Cambridge and found the last Tesco on the trip today.
Again at another lovely hotel - the staff are very helpful. Spent the early evening with a trip into Cambridge to have look round and find free internet access. Settled down in a cafe and caught up on some work before heading back to the hotel.

Day 5 - 22/1/2010

Quite a short day of visiting stores today because of good progress throughout the week, visited the final two stores at Thetford and Dereham.

Spent the afternoon at Norwich airport, the first time I had ever heard Helicopter boarding announcements or had to pay a fiver development fee to get to a departure lounge!
Unfortunately the plane was delayed so did not arrive back in Edinburgh until 10pm to finish off a long week of travelling.

It has been an interesting and positive week of visits. All the staff I’ve met have been very receptive and keen to help promote to Tesco customers.

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