Writing Prompts: Past Employment

What jobs have you had?

Like most people, I’ve had a few different jobs in my time. As a young, fresh-faced meerkat, I started out working in an office, and did this at different locations for several years. To begin, I was booking hotel rooms and making travel arrangements on behalf of clients of a major weapons developer! From there, I worked for my local Magistrates Court, and after a brief stint working in admin for the police, I worked for a pensions company too.

Office work brings a certain routine. 9am to 6pm (was 9-5 ever really a thing?), at a desk, crunching numbers and writing letters and emails, provided a regular pattern to the day, albeit not always a particularly exciting experience. It was not until I moved away from Hertfordshire and to Essex that I got into retail sales, which is where I found my calling, so to speak. However, my first employers taught me what not to do, albeit not intentionally! You see, my initial experience was with a family-run business, and what I swiftly learned is that if you were not in the family, you were treated rather poorly. I have never seen the benefit of loudly and publicly berating others, yet this was policy 101 for this lot. I began looking for a new job almost as soon as I arrived there, and within a few weeks I had my escape route!

For the next seven and a half years, I worked for a major office supplies retail store. It was not always plain-sailing, but I made several friends for life there, and I am still in touch with several of them, despite leaving in 2015. It was sometimes very stressful (you can thank the ignorance of head office for that one), but through blood, sweat and tears, we were a close-knit team, and I have a lot of fond memories from that time. I wound up getting promoted whilst I was there, and took on the thankless task of retail management! After office supplies came the rather dramatic shift to bathrooms!

My first spell with bathroom retail introduced me to another valued friend, who I would go on to work with again, a few years later, following a couple of years at a major sofa retailer. I enjoyed selling bathrooms, and though it meant a bit of travelling for me, I didn’t mind that. My only problem was that, at the time, I needed more money, so that meant taking the sofa retail job. I wish I could say I enjoyed that role, but this was more ‘hard sales’ (despite all the noises from them that it wasn’t), with some 14 different KPIs to meet, and a pressured environment that I did not ever truly settle into. When the chance came to link up with my old bathroom boss at a new company, one that saw me able to walk to work in a few minutes, I could not say no!

No sooner had we established ourselves, covid hit, and I was furloughed for several months, but overall, I have enjoyed this job. It’s where I am at, some four and a half years later. It’s not perfect, but I am happy, and that’s the main thing.

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