DYW Key Workers – Lee Hastie

Next up we have Lee Hastie who has been working in Tesco for 2 years. He is going to study Applied Science at Dundee and Angus College next year and he shares with us what its like being on the front line during a global pandemic!



NameLee Hastie
Job TitleTesco Customer Assistant

What attracted you to the industry you are in?

A strong reputation for being supportive of students , I’d also been told by members of Tesco previously that it was fast paced and challenging which I enjoy.

How long have you been with the company?

It’ll be 2 years in October 2020.

Describe your day-to-day role

I’ve changed around a bit this year, my initial role is Checkouts, Self Scan and Scan as You Shop but this year I changed to become a shop floor assistant to stack the shelves more efficiently in light of coronavirus.

What kind of training have you done?

I’ve done training for health and safety, legal issues regarding age-restricted products, alcohol guidelines and more. Handling interactions and how best to engage with a customer during a situation that could get out of hand. I’ve personally been trained to work on several departments during my time at Tesco.

What skills have you learned?

I’ve learned to become more responsible and comfortable on my own, usually being put in charge if a Team Leader is on a break or absent. I’ve learned to handle money as the tills are emptied several times a day and must be put away properly and securely.

I’ve become more patient and in control during interactions with customers who might be drunk or angry and emotional, additionally being able to ease and calm situations like these has been essential. At times, especially during the initial stages of lockdown, working in Tesco was very intense and fast-paced, you had to stay composed throughout and ensure efficiency to make things go as smoothly as possible.

Have you completed any professional qualifications?

I left school with National 5’s when I was 16 and I’ve achieved 2 National Certificates since then, this year I’ll be going back to Dundee and Angus College to achieve an HNC in Applied Science.

Do you like living and working in Dundee and Angus?

Yes. It’s a comfort zone. Friends and family are here and I have no reason to leave. I’d be happy to and would accept the challenge of new surroundings. Dundee itself is praised for advances in science and medicine too so even educational/career wise, it’s a good fit.

What skills are the most important for you to do your job well?

The ones I mentioned previously I’d say. Alongside essentials like teamwork skills, communication, composure under pressure and so on. I think an under appreciated skill in jobs like these is to be patient and friendly with customers, it often results in a much more smooth experience with interactions. Personnel Management and common sense.

Was there anything about the job that surprised you?

Not particularly, I expected things to be the way they are, I wasn’t expecting to make as good friends and workmates as I have. Everyone is nice and easy to get along with, makes work all the more enjoyable.

Do you get a lot of support from your company?

Yes, they’ve been supportive and helpful of me personally during situations regarding coronavirus.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

The spontaneity and variety of the job. Every day is a new day, different interactions, different customers and situations. It keeps things fresh.

Did you always want to pursue a career in this industry?

No. It was one of the best jobs to coincide with studying and I’m glad I was offered a role here.

What is your advice for young school leavers looking to start an apprenticeship?

I don’t think it’s my place to give advice on this as I’ve never personally done it. My brother however left school early to start an apprenticeship and I know he doesn’t and would never regret it. I’d say if it’s your passion, do it.

What is your career goal?

I want to work in the field of science. I haven’t quite figured out specifically what yet but I know I want to work in the industry of science or medicine. Ideally research or lab work.

How does it feel to be a KeyWorker on the frontline, supporting the Country’s fight against Covid-19

It feels good. I feel like I’ve given something back and contributed towards the bigger picture. It feels nice to be appreciated and given praise, but really I’ve just did my job and tried to help.

Tell us what makes you proud to be a Keyworker

As a Tesco employee or retail in general, we can often be looked down on and I’m proud that we’ve been given a new face. I don’t think the public view us as a generic ‘shelf stacker’ anymore and I’m proud of myself and every other employee in the same industry.