I have been working at Steamer Trading Cookshop for three weeks now. Going in, I had a somewhat romantic view of what it would be like to work in the British service industry. What I have learned is that work is work, no matter where you are. Duh!
Being on my feet for four to six hours to be quite exhausting, followed by a fifteen minute uphill walk to get home. We work hard in this store. Well managed with a huge inventory there’s always lots to do. It’s been a steady learning curve, especially on the tills, but I am now over the hump and enjoying things more.
I am looking forward to December first when we have a modest staff party at an event called the “Christmas Meal” at a local restaurant.
The people I work with are lovely, ranging in age from 17 to about 40. I do have one work mate, Tracy, who is a bit younger than me. I’m the oldest in the store, by a long shot.
I have my eye on several items in the store where I can get a staff discount. I just need to make sure not to spend all of my hard earned cash. Garry is quick to remind me (more often since I have started there) of the high expense of shipping items to Canada. I was reminded of this when I last sent a parcel which was one gram over the 2 kg limit.
The weight was 2.001 instead of 2.000. For two kilograms the price was £13.35 but because I was over the limit at 2.001 kg [.0005%] the clerk insisted that I pay £41.25. So one gram, cost me an extra £27.90. From her perspective she was ‘just applying the rules’! Of course I was on my feet having stood in line, with some adrenalin coursing my veins. I should have shaved a tiny corner off the box.
My coworkers hate Royal Mail – and now I see why.
Although a part of me misses being in full retirement, I must admit my days off feel sweeter. My part time work serves as a benchmark and I truly enjoy getting to know my coworkers, not as a tourist but as a local.