Welcome back to my monthly blog, and what a month it’s been…
Ever received news which just comes out of the blue and floors you to the point of you not knowing what to do with yourself?
A few weeks ago, I found myself in that exact situation when I was told that the charity shop that I manage would be closing for at least six months in order to do some much needed renovation works. With (apparently) nowhere else to place us within the company, both my assistant manager and I are being laid off without pay for the duration.
I knew they were planning on doing some work in the near future and common sense told me that the shop would have to close for a period of time but I never expected it to be for so long, and I genuinely thought they would place us in another project to help out for that time. However, here I am facing being jobless for the first time in 11 years, and now I’m doing all I can to try and find work as I don’t want to and can’t afford to be without it for at least six months.
It’s no secret that I have been looking for a new job for a while now. I’ve reached my mental capacity working in retail and I’m not getting any younger, it’s now or never to chase my dream of working in the media industry. Having said that, there’s a big difference in looking for work when you’ve got a job and just want a new start, rather than being forced to look as you’re about to be jobless.
Everything in my life is so up in the air at the moment and I hate not having any control over what’s happening. I don’t even have a definite lay off date, although it will be at some point next month. Work is so stressful because for the past few weeks, we’ve kept the news a secret amongst the volunteers and staff, however, now it’s fairly common knowledge as we’ve been told to stop taking in donations which has prompted one of two reactions from customers:
1. concern and sadness over the shop/our jobs.
2. annoyance because they have to walk ten steps further down the road to take their donations to the next charity shop.
Well I’m sorry I’m not psychic Susan, I can’t make it any clearer that we’re not accepting donations than the big sign attached to the shop window and unless I know someone’s planning on bringing things in, how can I stop them before they get to the shop? It’s genuinely causing me anxiety whenever I see someone come in with goods as I don’t know what their reaction is going to be like, and my heart can’t take any more pissed off people acting like I’m causing them the biggest inconvenience in the world.
Since finding out the news, my motivation and confidence levels have been at an all time low and I’ve found it hard to carry on with all the writing I do in my spare time in addition to looking and applying for jobs. The more I look, the less qualified I feel to do anything. However, one of my hopes for 2019 was to find moments of happiness and positivity even in the darkest of times, and I’ve been trying my best to do so.
As I mentioned before, I’ve been wanting to switch jobs for a long time, so now I’m just being given a bit more of a push to go out and chase my dream. Funny story, I actually had an interview for my dream job exactly a week before finding out I was being laid off, but sadly I didn’t get it. However, I tweeted afterwards that I wanted a sign that I was on the right track in life, and I guess that nothing is more of a sign than being laid off from a job which is making me unhappy, right?
Also, whilst I’m going to miss my team and some of the customers dearly, there are a lot of customers and annoying traits that I am not going to miss in the slightest. People coming in to browse one minute before closing, wanting their bags back when donating goods (typically lots of small bric a brac items which you can’t just tip out onto the floor), trying to haggle over something which is already cheap enough, asking us when will we be getting more of something in, the “last of the big spenders”, “ooh there’s no price on this so it must be free”, and the ones who are just rude for no reason. I’ve worked in retail part time since I was 16, and then started working in the charity shop full time five years ago, so it’s safe to say that I’ve grown tired of all of this over the years and I hope that once I close the shop for the last time, that I won’t ever have to deal with those particular things again.
Whilst 2019 isn’t exactly going to plan so far, it’s definitely a year for change. I recently started contributing to Buzz Magazine, whilst I’ve also signed up to do an online Digital Marketing course, both of which will hopefully build my experience and confidence.
At the moment, I would say that I’m pessimistically optimistic about the future. It’s causing me stress and upset and I hate being in limbo, but I’m doing my very best to see the bright side of it all. I’m still a believer that everything happens for a reason, and I hope to god that in six months time I will look back and be in a much better position and wonder why I was so worried in the first place.
Check back next month for another blog instalment.