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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Putting my house in order

Tonight I am feeling more relaxed than I have been for quite some time. Why is this you may ask? The answer is simple, because this afternoon I was sent home early and have had some much needed time off to do exactly what I wanted. When my Manager said that I could leave at 2.30, just as I was going for a late lunch, I was not going to argue, and so home I went.

If I had brought my gym stuff, or some CV's with me, I may have gone to the gym or to some agencies to try and look for work, but as it was, by the time I did leave, not having had anything to eat since around 7.45 that morning, I was so hungry that I went straight home. When I got in, it was a quick bite to eat followed by a cup of tea and to check my emails, while my partner went to see one of our neighbours to finish sorting out a problem she had with her computer.

When he got back we decided to go for a drive to have a look at the store I am considering transferring to, to talk to some of the staff. I am glad that I did, since it has put my mind at rest. Initially I was a little reticent about the idea of moving stores, and although I am still not 100 percent certain that this is the right thing to do, it may not be such a bad idea as I thought it might be.

Having had a talk with some of the staff there, I can see that most of the problems at my current store are unique to that one, since for one thing there are more staff, and for another, they don't sell any of the low margin goods that take up so much time for so little money. This store sells only larger items. I may not be the world's expert at these things, but I am getting better all the time, and my knowledge is improving steadily.

I am sure I could learn a great deal from working there. It would also mean a considerable pay rise due to London weighting, although I would have to work weekends. That is the only real problem, plus the fact that the store is further from home. It may not then be as bad as I first thought.

Despite these plusses, at the back of my mind there is still this feeling that I should be looking for a job outside of retail, and that I need to get back into the office routine. It has been difficult these last few weeks, and I am sick and tired of all the problems - difficult customers, the constant battle with dust and grime, not enough staff, heavy lifting which causes endless aches and pains, and not having decent breaks. This all takes its toll, and to be honest, I have had enough. When I am brutally honest, the main reason I am considering staying is convenience, and the fact that I cannot face the idea of going through the interview and job hunting process yet again. I have never been good at interviews, and yet I have so much to offer an employer, with my experience in sales and customer service, and superb track record. If I remain here I will be selling myself desperately short, when I am worth so much more.

When I got home, I spent an hour or so surfing the web looking at the various job sites. I applied for three other jobs - one arranging appointments for a team of sales staff over the phone, following up email enquiries from potential clients, one doing telesales, and one as a customer service agent for a major insurance company. I will continue to keep an eye on these sites, and make the effort to visit some agencies this week, stop being so complacent, and see what else is out there.

When I think about it, there are quite a lot of things that I can and could do other than retail, and I would rather be in an office environment, where it is far less stressful, with better pay and conditions, and far more suitable to my needs. At this time in my life I need routine and stability rather than excitement and stress. My current job is suited more to young people than the middle aged, who cannot keep pace with the technology and do not have the same level of understanding.

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