It’s a year today since I started work as a kitchen designer for a major DIY chain.
I needed a job, because my husband had left me. We ran a limited company together – and that was my only source of income.
When he told me he was leaving, my initial shock was very closely followed by a realisation of just how vulnerable I was financially. There was every chance that as a result of him leaving I would also lose my job and therefore my house.
As things have turned out, we’ve been able to continue to run the business together – it hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve been professional about it.
But with hindsight I should never have put myself in that position in the first place. That’s a tricky one isn’t it? When he suggested that I give up teaching and work for the business instead , should I have said, ‘No, I’ll continue doing a job I hate in case you leave me’? Nevertheless, that’s what I should have done. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Well anyway, on 20th August 2019 I started the new job.
There was such a lot to learn – not just how to use the design program to actually design a kitchen, but how to design a bathroom and a bedroom too. How to process a finance application. How to convert a design into an order. And all members of staff have to be till-trained, so that was something else to learn.
I enjoy the work, and the people I work with are lovely. It isn’t without its stresses – if someone’s spending good money on a kitchen you’ve designed, you need to be sure you’ve got it right. But it’s interesting, and it’s a great feeling when a customer says they love your design.
Of course, this year, everything was suspended due to the coronavirus. I wasn’t furloughed – I continued to work, in a much-reduced team, while the store was closed for all but Click and Collect orders. Jeez that was hard work.
We’ve been back to ‘normal’ for a few weeks now.
We weren’t sure how things would go – would sales be slow, because so many people had either been furloughed on 80% of their normal pay, or were self-employed and had had to stop work, so there was less money around?
Or would sales be good, because so many people hadn’t been able to take a holiday this year, and there was so little to actually spend your money on, they might as well replace their kitchen?
Turns out, we’ve been crazy busy. At least two of my customers have actually told me they’re re-doing their kitchen because they’ve not been able to have a holiday.
It’s hard to think that it’s been a year already. Time flies when you’re enjoying yourself.
And I am.
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