An adventure to Bristol for my new job

I am staying with my daughter overnight and despite being exceptionally tired, I cannot sleep at post 02.00, so I thought I would tell you about my recent training for my new job. I am being aided and abetted in this task by a little black ninja kitten who keeps launching himself at my fingers on the keyboard, an endless source of fascination. All typing mistakes are attributable to him 🙂

Recently I changed jobs and am no longer working in the greetings card industry, rather I am back in clothing retail as a store manager. New to the company, they sent me for two weeks training to the nearest training store; this being Minehead, there are no nearer stores than Bristol. That meant staying for two weeks in a hotel with a weekend off in between back at home. And much needed I can tell you!

Ninja kitten has decided that it is play time at 02.30 so he’s currently tearing around the flat, trying desperately to pull my daughters fairy lights off the wall.

So my first day went something like this: up at 5am, bus into Taunton at 6.15am, train at 7.51am and then a taxi to the store whereupon I was thrown completely in at the deep end. This is a large store, quite a dilapidated building that has no heating whatsoever and suffering holes in suspended ceilings, ripped out cables and other evidence of three break-ins this year alone, the last one resulting in getting into the safe and making off with the takings!

At the end of my day, I dragged my suitcase to the nearest bus stop, fortunately a 2 minute walk, waited for half an hour in the cold for the only bus that goes direct to my hotel. For reasons only known to my regional manager, she put me in a travelodge miles away from the shop, north of the city rather than the one in the city centre which is serviced by frequent buses and plenty of them.

Ninja kitten is now sitting on my head….this is not helping

A 40 minute bus ride gets me to the nearest bus stop, followed by a 10 minute walk dragging my suitcase (why can’t they make quiet suitcase wheels???) where I finally find my hotel, built literally on an island. What can I say about travelodge other than it’s clean, warm and the bed was, thankfully, very comfortable. Oh and the shower was excellent.

Ninja kitten thinks he’s a dog chasing his tail in circles behind a cushion on the sofa. Yes, really.

I have a tendancy to suffer overwhelm in any new place for the first week, so you can imagine that being in a city I don’t know, travelling bus routes I am unsure about, with a training manager who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, a whole team of staff who are pleasant enough but used to trainees coming and going, where I have two weeks to learn all new policies and procedures, was, without doubt, a source of overwhelm if ever there was one. My weekend off was much needed.

The second week wasn’t so bad as by now the overwhelm had transformed into familiarity. Everyone was more welcoming, I had a sense of knowing what I was doing and thus I relaxed a little.

The thursday however, our regional manager showed up, in part to see how I was getting on with my training and to complete a ‘strategic’ move in the shop. What that means to me and you was 75% of the shop was going to be changing places. A move that she put me in charge of, to be completed on the managers day off, and to be done in 1 day when it was really a 2 day job.

And I learnt something else useful that day: when my RM tells me she’s “just batting about ideas” what she really means is “this is what we are doing”. Had I known that, I would have written it all down as the words left her lips. Instead, my head was spinning on its axis wondering if I had managed to remember everything because it all had to be relayed to the asst manager the following morning when she returned after her day off!

Suffice to say we got 98% of the move done, with only a couple of wrong turns (nothing major) and my training manager was not only delighted that we’d managed it, she was amazed we’d managed to get so much done in one day. Brownie points for me then 🙂

Ninja cat is currently skidding across the floor, onto the beanbag, attacking a plastic bag and the hearth rug, all in the space of 30 seconds.

I had the same taxi driver every morning from the hotel to the training store about whom I now know more than I thought possible about one person in ten 40 minute car journeys. Many of the bus drivers were incredibly friendly and helpful, espcially when I got on the wrong bus one day coming back from a different store in Bristol. Plus I made friends with a lady who caught my bus every night and with whom I stood in the cold each evening after work for over half an hour, chatting about our days.

However, much as I love to meet new people, love travelling and don’t mind public transport at all, by the time I ended my second week I was desperate to go home, have a chill day and start in my own store.

I am coming up to the end of my first week but I shall save that for another post, probably when my RM has been for her first official visit with me in situ to see what I’ve done – change most of the shop!

For now, as ninja kitten seems to have run out of energy and I am feeling a little sleepy,  might try zzzzzzz

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