January 20, 2013

On any given Sunday morning most HMV employees would wake up with a hangover , that’s just how we lived . Worked hard , partied harder . It is a way of life , a tribal coming together on a Saturday night to talk about tunes , football , stories from the week , who’s kissing who , who’s not kissing who . It’s just what we did . Every HMV in Ireland has an associated pub a gathering point where everybody knew someone they’d know would be there on a Saturday night . A community centre that sold alcohol so to speak . Most of us however this morning will wake up with the hangover of what has been the most emotional week we’ve ever collectively endured . The hangover of Unemployment is shadowing us all but it won’t get us down , and here’s why .

HMV Ireland people are some of the proudest , hardworking , loyal , committed and dedicated people I’ve ever known in my life. Some years ago I suffered what was a near fatal brain aneurysm having endured all that I did I awoke to find at the end of my bed HMV people I’d known all my life and considered to be friends all my life. A second family . We rally around and what we’ve seen on the Staff HMV Ireland Facebook page in the past few days shows that people rally round us in our time of need . Why did they do that ? Why do we matter ? I’ll tell you why because they know we care . That’s why .

The abject lack of care and more importantly respect shown by the HMV UK directors to its workers in Ireland is nothing short of criminal . They’ve left their Managers scrabbling around in the dark , fighting tooth and nail for scraps of information that would help get their employees what they are entitled to. These Managers were left doing this on their time no safety net of support whatsoever. The sense of community we have as HMV Ireland kicked in again and they rallied around and yesterday got their people what they deserved . Yes we’ll sign on in the morning , yes we’ll fucking hate doing it but for those of us who the possess the drive and determination we showed every day that process will seem all the more easier .

Yes I’ll miss being commercial , yes I’ll miss the buzz of listen the first eight bars of a new release loving it and chalking it up on the blackboard for all to see, yes I’ ll miss Mick who’s walked in from Drimmagh every morning for the past 10 years just to have a browse and a chat with the staff , Dj Karl , where’s he gonna go . Mad Donna , Westlife girl ,Where will all the old characters go ? Who knows?

What I do know for sure is I won’t miss friends cause they’re there for Fucking life . They’ve gone nowhere . In itself that friendship is the cure for any Hangover .

Popcorn has a sell by date , friendship doesn’t .




  1. Word. Very well put; I love that you’ve focused on the human element of this. People are all to quick to point out the financial side. Well said. I’m proud to say that I worked side by side with you in blanch- albeit for a short amount of time. As Morrissey said, “the pleasure, the privilege was mine”….

  2. Joe Kelly said

    Beautifully written. I worked in the two Manchester stores from 83 – 94 and you’re spot on, it was always about the people, I also gained a bunch of friends for life from my time there, don’t know where I’d be without them !

  3. trutherjoe said

    I worked in HMV for years and these same managers that you paint the romantic picture of where a shower of assholes. I seen them stich up staff member after staff member to get rid of them or bully them to leave.
    The amount of people that were shafted over the years by managers like these was CRIMINAIL and now while you are on the receving end of it, it becomes a different story.

  4. […] Popcorn Has A Sell By Date Friendship Hasn’t (Pat Barrett, Pattracer.com) […]

  5. Derp said

    Personally I’m glad a lot of my former colleagues will now be forced to move on. They were in a rut in that place and not rewarded for their efforts. fighting over scraps while still just being another disposable number s not the career choice many of them deserve. Hopefully they realise this now and go on to bigger and better things.

    Especially unrewarded by store management whom 99% of were inadequately trained in dealing with even the most trivial matters, and resorted to bullying and scapegoating in order to keep their position. And now that the shoe is on the other foot, they bitch and whine and can’t help but try and get as many likes as possible by bleating on through social media about how “unfair” it all is.

    HMV Ireland, even if it was revived by a buyer, still wouldn’t last more then a few years. Spotify, bandcamp, itunes etc etc are our new record stores. And you can still buy physical media direct from a band’s website (including amazing limited editions) where more money will go directly to the artist. there is no room for a struggling, hobbling, decrepit over priced middle-man in all of this.

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