On life surprises and ego highs, being appreciated at the workplace

Now this is a pleasant surprise. Following my dive into the retail management world (Smart Retail), I was recommended this little gem and I couldn’t put it down.

Absolutely loved it. I had to skim through the baby and baby boomer chapters (only for the truly retailers…), but boy, what a fascinating reading. Paco, I would have loved working for Envirosell myself, but so far I am drowning my significant one with retail statistics, facts, tips and the like… she just got a new job as a Store Manager in London’s busy Regent St., and as much as she is being praised by “her” ideas, she already told me I am overwhelming her.

What can I do? Today, she just told me that her MD just told off her area manager and another manager during lunch because she started talking about this Thursday’s 1% drop in interest rates by the Bank of England to 2% and it’s potentially positive consequences to the business. He told the other two off because “they should be read more finance papers” like her.

What can I say? She’s just repeating what I told her yesterday and ended up on a massive row because I don’t give her a break.

I really must make an awful partner, but funny enough, I work part time on Saturday mornings (no-brainer job, cash-straight-to-savings scheme) in a Sloane St store (scaling down from full time sales assistant 6 years ago to, 8h/week stock boy). What am I doing there? Don’t know, panicking I guess. I must be of the scary type, and the more I see jobs going, the more I realise how much of a mirage stability in the workplace is. Plus, my girlfriend works every Saturday so I guess I am what they call, supportive.

Anyway, the title story goes like this, from my 8h a week unqualified job, my boss (ex-boss now) has been promoted to flagship store manager. All well, and I am happy for her, she’s really made an effort in the last year and she’s harvesting the results now. But the interesting part is that:

a) She wants to build a stronger team around her and she wants me to move over to the flagship store.

b) They are assembling an inter-departmental team a la Cisco’s multilayered organisation, and she, and our Area Manager, want me in it

What a burst for the ego, huh? Today the Area Manager was in store and he told me that it wouldn’t matter my position or number of hours per week… At first, I told them I was not interested, that my attention to details and boring chat (mainly money, how to make money, how to save money and its little sister, how to optimise  and simplify procedures to save money) was only a “hobby”.

Well, they stroke back and I could not say no. My past as a junior consultant back in Spain for the tourism management industry left a bug in me, and I crave for some intellectual challenge.

So strange. So unexpected. So proud of myself. On the good times, about 4 years ago, they turned down my application for the Junior Allocator position. Apparently, and I quote, I was “overqualified” for the position and I would get bored quickly (apparently that didn’t apply for the shop floor).

Thanks to that episode, I got into other ventures (property investing, and other animals that helped me grow as person and mature as a human being), and I must say that I don’t complain about what I have achieved so far. But last summer I had a crisis of confidence and again I fooled myself on looking forward a “stable job”. I promptly applied again for a Business Analyst position that was available, and again they promptly dismissed my services.

But that was then, and this is now. Then, company expanding, sales increasing, they were on top of the world. But now, now is different. Sales are down 30% on the year and they consider me for a “crisis team” they are building. How odd all together.

I haven’t even asked whether they are going to pay me for, at least, my time. And if they do, at what rate? I am pretty sure a Merchandising director doesn’t make per hour near what I do. But I guess that, at this point in time it is only about ego and recognition, but hey, I am no fool, or am I?



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