The last time I wrote on my blog was back in May 2020. Goodness me!!!! I’m trying once again to get back into writing my blog and hope that someone beyond myself reads it and maybe actually gets something from it and engages with me. The consistency of writing is the challenge and of course an important draw for anyone wanting to get into reading my posts. I felt that the last few posts were focusing far too much on the fat orange American president, I’m pleased he’s now out of office and the world can think about other more important things, but sadly Trump hasn’t gone away entirely. The spectre of Trump and his brain-dead followers still remains sadly. Swiftly moving on. I’ve become fairly lazy with writing especially during a pandemic when all I’ve been doing is sit around my home watching daytime TV, eating far too much, taking part in alcohol fueled Zoom calls and walking the same 5 square miles around my home. It’s not much of a motivator for blog writing.
The 3rd Lock down has been the hardest for me. The 1st was tough at the start and then I got into a daily routine of eating, walking, cycling and watching all the shows I’d missed over the years and re-watching some classics like Gavin and Stacy, Spooks and Line of Duty, the second lock down was even easier as by then the routine was second nature, however I then lost my job. I’m still not sure how much Covid played its part in the option of redundancy as my old company seems to have weathered the pandemic fairly well and proved that trade can be done without stores as customers moved online but should they reopen after lock down, they have now lost the vast bulk of their skilled and experienced managers that were the driving force and backbone of the company’s prior success. I’m sure it saved them lots of money but it could also become a very short-sighted decision, especially when they actually want to get things done. Once this final lock down (fingers crossed) ends and the economy restarts, I guess time will tell for them. I’ve invested so much energy and thought in supporting that business, I can only wish them well and I have no desire to watch it burn and I wish them all the best.
Having worked since I was 15, the idea of not working has taken me some time to adjust to. It’s actually very different to being furloughed where I would still have a sense of purpose and would still keep in touch with my colleagues by running competitions and delivering online training courses. Now however, I feel fairly lost and without any purpose beyond trying to find a new job which has been mentally challenging and has left me feeling sad at times. I’m also having to try very hard to remain positive with the thought that I will one day, get another job and someone out there will see value in my 20+ years’ experience as a Sales and People leader. I’ve been applying for the few jobs currently available, along with writing my covering letters, doing recorded video interviews and also trying some less conventional methods to find my next career but so far, it’s not yielded a new paymaster. As a result, ‘Lock down 3’ feels more depressing and constricted with no certainty of a future for me or frankly any light visible light at the end of the tunnel. I just have to hope it’s there, but just a long way off yet.
Some of my previous colleagues have been in touch which has been amazing to catch up with them and some have ghosted me. I’ve always known people can be two faced but I’d like to think I’m a good judge of character and it’s been eye opening how you really can’t trust people to be anything but self-serving to the point of faux friendships. People I would have walked over hot coals to help just cut me off and that has been an interesting life lesson. Not having the daily personal interactions also made me realise that I’ve really missed the daily routines and banter with my work colleagues. I’ve just started watching a comedy show called ‘Superstore’ on Netflix that seems to be a fairly close critique of the antics and people in big box retail. I’ve certainly found similarities and I wonder if the writers ever worked in retail as the stories and attitudes are very well aligned. I personally worked with a wide range of cultures and characters with a mix of very smart and switched-on people and sadly some (not all) very immature and workshy millennials and generation Z’s. The latter never liked being managed or challenged and preferred to sit around and ignore customers while also feeling very entitled. Their previous life experiences from school never really prepared them for a working life and they often got upset that they didn’t get a gold medal for turning up to work that day or when asking to go out for yet another Vape and would often sulk like a toddler when they couldn’t all go out to lunch together or get their own way. I’ve worked with so many people over the years and I know that being the manager was never going to result in loads of friends, I never wanted that sort of relationship anyway and always wanted to remain professional, especially with my work ethic being focused on delivering a successful business and a positive customer experience with the often typical push back work ethic that Gen Z’s preferred that was always lacking and constantly required managers like myself to challenge performance and attitude. I’m happy that the few colleagues that I have kept in touch with me are the very best of the people I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside and learn from, and I’m proud to have call them friends. You know who you are and long may that continue. Having had my first vaccine, I really can’t wait to get back to work now and find a new challenge, develop some new friendships and have a purpose.