Good Saturday evening from New York.
When I last wrote, I wondered about entanglements that I would discover upon my return to the shop from my jury duty stint.
Now I am aware of the entanglements, and wonder what would have happened if Fate had put me onto a jury panel.
My current job as a shop manager is, in a way, the easiest job I have ever had. Prior careers have required more education, more verbal and written skills, have paid more, have had their own level of stress. I still laugh a bit to think that I once thought that a position in retail that connected me to the fashion world might just be fun.
On my first day back at the shop, I was approached by one of my staff, a staffer who in the past months had been on the verge of being let go. Many hours were spent meeting with him, trying to get him to realize that he did need to improve his performance. My company is very benevolent and tries to draw the best from each employee. Well, this staff member has found another job, and has given his two weeks' notice. This leaves me just further up the creek.
I am pleased for him, and (if I were not already missing my assistant manager and the other staff member now on personal leave, related to domestic abuse) would be glad to have a chance to re-fill his slot on our schedule. However, right now I am about to be down three people. Yipes!!!
Remember all, that I already have had difficulty in finding time for days off for myself. Well, perhaps this will be the watershed that will turn the tide. (That is a lot of water-words, please forgive me, I slip in the moisture, but am dry myself and still standing.)
Other staff members now know that they really do have to help each other. So far, some have actually contributed more than they have done previously.
Upwards on the corporate ladder, others now realize that they have to swing into action to get my shop properly staffed. The coming week features a special promotional event day centered on petites sizing and also a big summer sale. If either day attracts the quantity of customer response that is wished for, we will be quite overwhelmed! I actually hope that this is the case, since I have been asking for more help for months.
I am going to have a longed for day off on Monday, and will therefore actually not go to a meeting of my fellow store managers planned for that day. Let them send me the notes! That could be the day I get that elusive camera.
Meanwhile, a bit of New York scene reportage. Tomorrow is the annual NYC gay pride parade. The route, down Fifth Avenue, passes right past our shop. It is quite a visual and aural spectacle. I remember seeing the first such parade many decades back, that resulted from a police raid on a bar in the West Village. That parade was not a spectacle but more an opportunity for many gay men, mostly, to walk along a route and thereby declare that they were gay. It took some courage to do so. Now, it is sort of a Carnival parade, with outrageous costumes side by side with quieter family members, or more subdued people who want to declare their status. As decades pass by, the contingents that take HIV/AIDS as their cause have to find ways to continue to ask for support.
As I recall, last year's effect of the parade on business in the shop was minimal. We saw and heard amazing stuff pass by our front window, but also had many customers pop into the shop and try and buy our current styles. We shall see. I only have three folks, including me, scheduled to handle things tomorrow, so hope that will be enough.
Do you see how I meander?
What I was trying to write about this time around, was the notion of how we do get off course. How sometimes trying to do something that we thought that we wanted to do, can turn out to be not quite so wonderful.
I still do like many parts of managing a successful clothing shop in New York, but so miss the freedom to pursue my drawing and painting. I have no clue now how I may be able to find time to return to my real interests and still be able to support myself. I resist morphing into a revised version of myself. I want to still recognize the version that I value. We cannot control change, and should welcome it, but even so....
Maybe I should not have read "Diary of an Ordinary Woman" while on jury duty!
Do enjoy your Sunday! I envy you your gardens, lanes, sunsets, pubs....