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Tuesday, 30 September 2008

When push comes to shove

My partner and I had a long chat about my situation last night and again this morning and came to several conclusions. What has also become apparent is that despite the recession and the so-called credit crunch (when customers come into the shop and pay cash for expensive items I refuse to believe it is all that bad), they need me far more than I need them. What I mean by this is that I know than when push comes to shove, if I had to, I could get another job quite easily, but I would be a lot harder to replace.

This is not me being big headed or anything like that, but comes from the heart. I have been there for almost a year now and witnessed the problems that they have had with both getting and retaining staff. I have seen the struggles they have faced to get people to fill the shoes of people who go on holiday, or as I did, off sick. This is not then borne from ego, but is a statement of fact. They need me far more than I need them, and if they think they have problems now, you just wait until I leave. They won't know what has hit them.

The tables are beginning to turn, and from now on I have resolved to do no more than I have to. Don't get me wrong, I will do my job as best as I can, but what this means is that I will not make any more effort than I have to. If I am asked to do something then I will do it, but no more than that. As far as I am concerned, this job is now a means to an end, nothing more. They have shown through their actions that they have no loyalty towards me whatsoever, so why should I show any back?

A funny thing happened this morning - my partner and I went into town to run a few errands, and for me to look for another job. Walking up and down the High Street, I noticed two signs - one in the cookware shop and one in one of the building societies. I know the Manager of the cook shop well, since my ex colleague the waffler, used to work there. When he left she was advertising two jobs, but I chose not to apply, as I did not want to continue working with him. After he left there her budget was cut, so she no longer had the money for a replacement. I thought then that she was fully staffed and the only jobs available were part time, but I guess someone must have left, as this job is for 32 hours a week - the equivalent of four full days. This is the same as what I currently do, and so tomorrow when I go the gym, I will take her in a copy of my CV.

The other job in the building society is full time. I had the opportunity to meet the Manager for a brief chat, and he seems very nice and personable, as do the rest of his staff. Before I apply though, I need to do some more research about the company and find out who actually owns them and what the state of their finances is. Forewarned is forearmed, and with the current banking crisis (I see that an Icelandic bank has crashed as well now, threatening many UK retailers), I do not want to go out of the frying pan and into the fire.

After that we walked up to the camping shop at the end of the High Street. There was no sign in the window, but nevertheless, something propelled me inside. Imagine my surprise to see the waffler standing by the check out. We had a long chat and it transpires that he is now the Assistant Manager, splitting his time between here and another nearby store. He was friends with the Manager when I knew him, and I know had spoken to her about a job, so this did not altogether come as a surprise. It was lovely to see him again, and I was surprised I felt that way after all that has happened. It left me feeling that I have misjudged him, based on what others have told me rather than on what I have actually seen and felt for myself. He was always courteous with me, well, compared to the others anyway, and told me things that I know he did not say to them.

Yes there were problems with him towards the end, and he did seem to be on a path of self destruct, but he was not one to be pushed around, and a lot of the arguments and conflicts with Management were because of this. If he was late in the mornings (9am rather than 8.45am) and out of there at 5.30 on the dot, this was because he refused to do unpaid overtime and work when he wasn't being paid. It was this that helped foster the belief that he was lazy and unreliable, when all he was doing was doing was sticking up for his rights. I saw no sign of the slovenly, don't care behaviour that we saw; unwashed uniform, unkempt appearance etc, and I suspect that this is because his new employer does not muck him around. They treat him with respect, and so he gives it back.

There is a reason why he has come back into my life, and I said this to him, when I rang him back later on, and that I suspect was to show me that I also need to stand up for myself. He did me wrong if that is the right phrase to use (one hates to be a victim) once before, by walking out and leaving us in the lurch, so it is time to even up the scales - what goes around comes around, and maybe the universe feels that it is time for me to be paid back (in a good way). It is another opportunity that has come my way and one that needs to be looked at.

The funny thing is that as soon as we got home, I was overwhelmed with this feeling of nausea and tiredness. My partner gets this all the time, and so was able to recognise it as a symptom of clearing. The body is beginning to let go, and now the mind needs to follow.

The long and the short of it is that we have exchanged phone numbers and the waffler has promised to call me when a job becomes available - which he thinks may be very soon. He doesn't know what the hours will be, or even what branch it will be in, but it will be one that he works in. He knows me though and the way that I work, and because he is in charge of the interviewing, any interview will therefore be a formality.

Needless to say, I will not breath a word of this to my boss - there are some things that he doesn't need to know. Despite or perhaps because of what has happened, at this moment in time it feels he has begun to lose my respect (I may feel differently tomorrow after a good nights sleep), and so I don't feel that I need to keep him in the loop about what is basically my business anyway, and not his. Yes, he has gone to the trouble of "as good as, without putting it in writing" securing a job for me at another branch, but why the hell would I want that after what I have seen and witnessed this past month?

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