For those of you who read my last post and have been waiting with bated breath for my grand announcement…..
….it’s not that exciting! Basically I got a new job. However, what is exciting about it is that I was essentially head-hunted for the very first time in my life. It’s incredibly flattering to know that I have been successful enough in my career that I have come to the notice of another business that feel I am good enough that they approached me and asked me to come work for them.
It’s still retail and still furniture retail which explains why they wanted me. They have taken over an existing business in Omagh giving them a second location for the first time and want me to basically step in and run it for them as they are already hugely busy with their main store.
I was quite nervous about the change, being very settled and happy in my old job, but I was given the mythical offer that was too good to refuse so it’s time to start a new chapter.
I was very sad to leave the old job. I’ve been there for almost 2.5 years now and there is a great bunch of people there that I had a lot of fun working with. The half marathon event earlier this year really brought us all close together and I’m going to miss them.
I’m just over a week into the new job now. It’s the quietest time of the year for furniture sales, in the last couple of weeks before Xmas, but it’s giving me a chance to settle in, get to know the systems, products and suppliers before the post-Xmas rush starts. It is a bit weird being the new guy once again….
On Friday last week the government announced that we were moving forward into Phase 2 of the “Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business” on Monday as expected. What wasn’t expected was that the roadmap would be adjusted from 5 to 4 phases and with some accelerated restriction relaxation giving us the snappily named “Phase 2 Plus“.
What was expected was that retail stores were finally allowed to re-open meaning I was fully back to work on Monday morning.
It was very weird going back to work. Everyone was quite anxious about what it would be like, how busy it would be, how we would all cope with the new requirements and changes and how safe everyone would be. This was compounded by the physical changes in the store as a lot of the store had been refitted and painted during lockdown and lots of the displays had been rearranged. It was great to see everyone again and catch up with them but it was amazing how much I’d forgotten about products and the computer system. To me it felt like we had all started a new job on the same day.
In general we’ve been very busy. Nothing unmanageable and so far we haven’t needed to close the doors or enforce a queue outside. It’s been fairly steady and most people know pretty much what they want before coming in. Wednesday was one of the biggest sales days for many years and Saturday was the same. The other days have been like a series of very busy Saturdays and even busier than a peak period like January Sale. I had my own biggest ever personal sales day yesterday so I’ve bounced back pretty quickly and haven’t lost it completely during lockdown.
The downside of all this work business is that it is now interfering with my fitness training 😆 The level of business is tiring as is just being back to work, my step count is way up and I could really feel it at the end of each day in terms of lack of energy as well as tired and sore feet and legs. Work also means less free time and mix that with bad weather on my day off on Wednesday and today is the first time I’ve been able to get out on my bike for over a week.
It has been much easier to keep running and I’ve now finished WK10 of None2Run meaning this week I’ve been running a full non-stop 20min after my warmup walk which I’m really pleased with. I went out twice this week at 6am and the plan is to do that 3 times each week. I much prefer the mornings rather than trying to muster the energy and motivation in the evenings after work.
The surprise change in the government’s announcement was that instead of relaxing the 5km limit to 20km we are now permitted unrestricted movement within our own county and 20km into another county if we live close to a county border. This meant that today’s spin was a much more normal route taking in towns and roads that I haven’t ridden for a very long time – September 2019!
After a break of 10 days and working all week I had pretty low expectations for today but managed to surprise myself. All the extra steps and running must have had a positive impact as I had an average speed of 27.6km/h over 72km with 505m of climbing. Pretty sure it was my fastest time over that route and I really enjoyed it despite getting soaked twice in very heavy thundery showers. It was a pleasure to ride a regular route without repetition and to be able to stop for a tea break 3/4 of the way around.
The incoming week is forecast to be dry again so the plan is to keep up the running and get two, possibly three, spins on the bike.
If all goes according to the government’s “Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business” announced on Friday 1st May then Phase 1 is due to start on Monday 18th May which is exactly one week today. In a nutshell I could be back at work in 7 days!
I’ve pretty much been in lockdown for 8 weeks today as I was self-isolating for 2 weeks after returning from Switzerland on March 15th and this ran into the official lockdown. Lots of good stuff has been done during lockdown but I’ve definitely slipped into the habit of going to bed late and getting up late. That needs to stop or a 6:50am alarm could come as a nasty shock on Monday morning!
Starting this morning the alarm was set for 7:50am and I was out of bed by 8:05. The plan is to dial this back by 5min each morning and go to bed a little earlier each night until I’m close to being back in the old routine. I hope it is as easy as it sounds!
Today was my last day working in Dreams after 6.5 years and almost 6 years to the day* as Branch Manager in Omagh. While I’ve been thinking of this move for approximately 1 year and actively seeking another job since January it was still bittersweet leaving today.
Robin and Damien surprised me yesterday evening**. Robin disappeared just before we closed up and reappeared with Damien and 3 beers from the bar across the street. We enjoyed a pint in the store to mark my leaving and it was a cracker leaving present.
To top it all off we had one of the best sales week and weekend for a number of months smashing me through my monthly targets and ensuring a good final pay cheque next month.
We’re heading away for a few days this week and as I don’t start my new job until next week it means I’m officially “between jobs”.
*31st July 2013 was my first day in Omagh
**I have a feeling they thought I wouldn’t come in today! 😆
My last week in Dreams before I head for pastures new on the 5th of August and it’s getting more and more difficult to stay motivated and focused. Whoever decided it was a good idea for me to work my full notice was way off the mark!
With the nonsense that British politics has degenerated too and the “Hard Brexit” rhetoric of the incoming Boris as PM it’s looking more and more sensible for me to be working back in the Republic again. The battering that sterling has taken this last fortnight and what will come over the next few months isn’t worth the stress and worry.
Second day of the week for me. Tomorrow, off Friday and then just Saturday and Sunday to get through.