If you’ve been reading my blog at petergermany.com you’ll have seen that I mentioned that I’ve got some stuff going on in my life outside of writing, no I’m not going to talk about it here but one thing that has happened outside of writing is not only a change of jobs but an entire career change.
In April I started working at a supermarket, after almost twenty years working in the car trade. I started off at eighteen washing cars at a second hand car sales and when I left I was the sole valeter at another second hand car sales. I was pretty damn good at the job. From washing the cars lined up each I got shown how to fully valet a car. From engine bay to roof linings. Upholstery to tires. Was I the best at it? No, but I was pretty damn good. I learnt to work through most weather conditions, from baking summer days to freezing winter ones. I’ve had sunstroke, and been cold to the point where my fingers and toes were numb to the point where I couldn’t feel them. Cleaning cars with hands like that was hard and I had more than a few days where it took me hours to warm up after coming home.
I did enjoy it though. I enjoyed the work, there was something about taking a car that hadn’t had much love and making it look like it had been waxed every week. Like it had been hovered out daily.
I worked with the same core group of people over those years. They’ve become good friends who are the types of friends I could call in the middle of the night needing help and they’d be there for me.
There was more than a few arseholes I met as well. Thankfully those people rarely hung around.
It was hard work, very hard work but I always tried my best. I worked through a lot times when I shoulda probably gone home and sweated out whatever cold I had, or toothache (second worse pain I’ve ever experienced), and worst of all kidney stone.
The job came to an end the early part of this year. With how the market was moving and our way of preparing and presenting our cars not what the public wanted anymore my former employer called it a day. I wasn’t out of work straight away, and could have stayed in the same company but in the workshop. Although I’m not a mechanic I know enough that I could have been of value. I know my former employer wanted me to stay, I had an informal job offer from a former employer and I was told of a valeter’s position at another car sales. With my experience and work ethic I would have gotten both of those jobs hands down, but it was time for a change though.
Retail was calling me, and if I’m honest I would be in retail if it wasn’t for getting a job in the car trade. I had one company in mind and they were one of the first places I applied. I had someone give me a little help with getting my CV up to date and with preparing for the interview. Which I screwed up! I got my times wrong and showed up late. Thankfully I was given a second chance and I took it. Once I was through the interview process I was offered a job, which I accepted.
To say it’s been both exciting and nerve raking is accurate. I haven’t worked in retail since 1999/2000, and then it was a shoe shop. So, very different to what working in a supermarket is. But my nerves were shouted down from the excitement I was feeling. I knew in my gut I wanted this job, I knew that was the place for me.
I haven’t looked back.
I’ve had a few tough days, but most of those were early on when I was still learning the ropes. I like the physicality to the job, I like talking to the customers. The attention to details that are needed speaks to my OCD a little.
Something that I’m enjoying is that I haven’t been challenged to do better in my job for a long time. With this job its a real team effort and I do not want to be an element that let the side down. I feel like I’ve fallen on my feet because it’s such a great group of people that I’m working with, I’ve been welcomed in and am really getting to know my colleagues now.
Hopefully I’m there for a long time.
One of the plus sides is less hours, which means more time and more time to spend with family, friends, and get some writing done. I’m looking at making the most of my time and trying to maximise my time. I still need to work on my focus but it’s slowly getting better.
Things have been hard, but there are a few good things there as well.
(This post was originally posted on my Buy Me A Coffee page).