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Friday, 28 November 2008

Reasons to be grateful

Yesterday was for me, one hell of a day. By the time I got home, I was almost crying with exhaustion, to the point where I could not sleep. I finally did get to sleep, but it was very fitful sleep, filled with dreams of work.

It has been a strange week, with visits from bosses, late nights and even later lunches. By the time I got my lunch break yesterday it was 2.45pm and I was faint with hunger. The other day, my boss noticed a carton of rice milk in the fridge and asked me if I was diabetic. I was tempted to say yes to make sure that I got breaks at decent times, and regular intervals. A diabetic would probably have ended up in a coma if they had to go that long without food - it was more than 7 hours since I had breakfast, and with the frenetic pace as Christmas approaches, I am expending more than my usual amount of energy.

The visit from our Area Manager came and went without incident - much to my annoyance. I was hoping that after the fiasco at my old store (it was the only one in his area that he never bothered to visit - not even once), I may have the chance to talk to him and air my views, but he never even looked my way. It was almost as if I did not exist, which I have noticed seems to be happening a lot lately. I am sure that Mercury must be retrograde, as there are definitely problems with communication, with wires crossed all over the place.

I am not sure how it happened, but on Wednesday, the day of the visit, I had just got in the car to go to work and was leaning out the windows to clean the wing mirrors when I somehow managed to dislodge the rear view mirror. My partner tried to prise it back into place, but had to use such force that in the process he cracked the windscreen. My car has been out of action for three days now, with him ferrying me back and forth while I wait for a new windscreen and mirror to be fitted. It was due to be done today, but the glass people ordered the wrong one, and it was raining anyway, so could not be done. The insurance will pay for the windscreen minus £60 excess, but the new mirror I was shocked to discover, will cost me £65. This was an expensive mistake that I won't be making again.

Every day the news gets worse and worse, and I seem to read about more and more retailers going bust. At times like this it is difficult to keep a level head and not get sucked into it all, especially when one reads that the parent company that owns your own employer is £30 million in the red, and tipped to become the next casualty. The company of course tells us nothing, so I would be the last to know if anything serious was afoot. One thing's for sure - trading conditions are not good, and the worst that I have witnessed. There is still though money about, as we have plenty of customers still buying the larger items.

My partner and I were talking about the situation today over hot chocolate, and suggested that to take our minds off the crisis, we each thought of 10 things that we are grateful for. Top of my list was him, and to my surprise, my job, for despite the problems, at the end of the day, it does pay the bills. I am luckier than most in that I can just about afford to work four days instead of five, have no debts (other than the monthly credit card bill) and at the age of 43, am mortgage free. I also, thanks to my parents, have at least some savings to tide me over if need be. There is a lot to be said for all these things, and I realise that I am far luckier than most.

Here then is my list in its totality:

1. Coran - my life partner and greatest supporter.
2. My job - for all the reasons above.
3. My home.
4. My car.
5. My relatively healthy finances.
6. The opportunities and learning that publishing my book have brought me.
7. My health.
8. Lundy.
9. My spiritual beliefs, which help to keep me sane.

and last by no means least, God.

Amen to that.

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