Relief – The first week comes to an end

This week has been rather hectic, mentally exhausting and not without things going wrong! It has felt as if the universe has been testing me. I passed 😉

Monday was handover day. My training manager came down from Bristol to go through the four page checklist before I can take over.  Without going into too much detail, I can tell you that if there had been an audit that day, the shop would have failed absymally. There is lots of work for me to do in the office alone before I even contemplate the shop floor.

Tuesday, my card machine wouldn’t work. The extremely helpful man in IT told me to unplug it. Yeah, like I hadn’t already tried that. He asked me to go through procedures I already had, then declared it broken. No sh*t sherlock. He promised to get a new one to me via courier for first thing in the morning.

Wednesday my delivery arrives; according to the warehouse it should have been here before I arrived at work but on my arrival, I only found the three pallets of recycling that I’d shrink wrapped the day before staring at me. Great. By 11am it still hadn’t arrived. At midday the warehouse send me an email to tell me it’s going to be late. Really? Not worked that out at all. It finally turned up mid afternoon, by which time the extra staff I’d brought in to cover lunches and help with delivery had gone home.

The card machine also turned up at the same time as the delivery! So much for first thing. The box contained no instructions whatsoever but don’t worry, I’m a female, I don’t need instructions 😉

Thursday and friday have been torrential rain here, very cold too. No body likes to shop for clothes when they are wet, it’s that simple. So I spent thursday sorting the clothing wall out to make it looked loved and more like a shop than it currently was, now we had stock to put out. By mid afternoon I’d done and was just standing back to admire my work, feeling a little smug at my creativity when the phone rang. It was only my regional manager timing it perfectly to burst my little bubble by telling me that I would be trading negatively if I didn’t take x amount of money in the last 1.5hours of the day :\

I don’t think she quite understands the dynamics of this particular seaside town. It is a cul-de-sac, it isn’t a place you pass through as there’s nowhere else to go beyond it except the Bristol Channel. So people come here because they either live here, are visiting someone here or they’ve come to either Butlins or on the steam train. At this time of year we are seriously lacking in tourists which affects trade in the town for everyone. Plus it’s middle of the month so people are waiting to be paid and of course next months wages are already ear marked for Xmas.

Despite explaining all this, she managed to put me on a downer when all of us have worked hard all week to get the shop turned around and looking loved. Oh well.

Saturday was just a disaster day. I was late for work after staying at daughters, arriving at 8.45am instead of 8am leaving me just enough time to throw the float in the till, get the till system operational, turn the lights on and open the door. Then, my new card machine decided not work. Deep joy. And of course, the shop was really busy because Butlins had an event on this week, a British group from the 80’s called Madness who’ve been playing there for 10 years I think. It is extremely popular so Butlins was busy which means there’s lots of shopping to be done.

Fortunately all these people bring cash with them to spend over the weekend so the card machine issue wasn’t one really. For those others, there is a bank 30 seconds across the street with an ATM. How convenient is that? We had a bumper trading day to make up for the quietness of the rest of the week which made me happy and hopefully my regional manager too.

Yesterday was wages day, ie submitting the time sheets for the week on the system which needed to be signed off by one of the other managers. Could I get on the damned system? Nope. Not only is my back office system on the till, the only till in the shop which was constant use, it wouldn’t accept my login details. Fortunately the manager who signs off the rotas came to my rescue otherwise no one would have been paid, including me.

So, at the end of this first week, I have coped with all that’s challenged me. I am mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted, crashing in bed last night at 9pm before falling asleep on my keyboard. Even though today is my day off officially, I am going in for a couple of hours as sunday is so quiet in our shop, I can get stuff done.

I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge, I have a great team of staff who have all been re-enthused about their jobs and the shop since my arrival, working hard all week to change things around to my liking. Here’s hoping my RM likes it when she arrives! Let’s also hope that next week my overwhelm dissipates, things run a little smoother and I can focus on getting the facebook page up and running.

 

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