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Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Hope has a place

It has been a strange couple of days, which is nothing unusual in my life, especially of late. I wonder constantly if my life can possibly get any stranger, but the universe continues to surprise me, which I suppose is a good thing, since it keeps me on my toes.

The week began with a two day training course. The course is based around a revolutionary new sales method from Scandinavia.

The retail sector has been experiencing more than its fair share of problems, with competition from the Internet, not to mention ever decreasing margins. In these times of economic uncertainty, with consumers being encouraged to try and bargain, and discounting being increasingly seen as the norm, it is a difficult time for all.

To stay ahead of the rest, the company has therefore decided to implement this radical new method of training staff. The idea is that by being the best in terms of both price and service, the company's image will begin to change, and we will once again become the top retailer in their sector.

The training it has to be said, was unlike anything I have ever done before. It is so radically different, that although it seems on the surface to be completely ludicrous, I can see that it could really work. When the course was over, and I had to go back into the store and start actually using this, to be honest I felt like an idiot, but that is only because it is so different, and no one likes to stand out (at least not that much), but I have seen the results already. It has been my most successful day in fact for a while. This could be down to the trainer, who was an excellent motivator, but I think it is also down to the methods I have been using.
It was interesting that the trainer was actually the female manager whose store I may be transferring to. I can see that if I was to go there, it would be very different to what I am used to, and I could do really well, coming on in leaps and bounds. It has been really difficult to stay motivated given the situation that we are in. It is almost as if there is no life and no vibrancy in the store; all the get up and go has, well, got up and gone. It doesn't help when you have a Manager who makes it clear that he wants to leave, as he does not feel there is a future in this company. I can understand him feeling like this, but it is not the best way to motivate your staff.

I am still in two minds then as to whether to stay or not. When I am having a good day and a good laugh with my colleagues, I feel that I want to give this job my all, and I really get a buzz from what I do, but the next, when there are difficult situations to deal with, with awkward questions, I just think that it is too much stress and too much hassle. One day I am up, the next I am down, and this is the most difficult thing of all.

Discussing this with my partner, it has become apparent that I am viewing this situation in totally the wrong way. Yes the company could have handled things better, and yes it has and is stressful, but when I look at it, they are not the ones in control at all, I am. I have all these choices; whether to stay or go, whether to work full or part time, whether to split my time between work and writing, and if I do stay, which store to go to. The world is quite literally my oyster, and this is a powerful place to be. I am the one holding all the trump cards, and not the company at all. This then is the pearl in the oysters shell.

Think as well what I have learnt from being here, in those nine short months (I wonder what I am about to give birth to), and the wonderful training I have received. I know that whatever does happen, I have been given valuable new skills that I can take to any job that I choose. It is a choice as well, like anything else, a choice of whether to be miserable and negative, or a choice to see the positive and the good.

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