Tuesday, May 24, 2016
This is my life now
One year ago my life was so different. Wesley was living with us, I was working at a beautiful garden store, a job I loved and did well. All was good, life was in balance. We rented a cabin in the mountains around this time and had a quiet vacation. Bliss.
Now I spend many nights in a hotel room. I have been in a Richmond Va hotel room for three nights now. I brought my own food, even popcorn for the microwave, and this is my little world. Hotel rooms and my car are where I live at least three days of the week. The other night I was in Tennessee, had grabbed a salad for supper. It was raining steady, chilly and gray outside. I just sat in my car in the parking lot and ate my supper in my car. It might sound dreary, but actually it was quiet and peaceful and a moment away from everybody. I just sat and watched the rain. A refuge from the storm I'm living in right now. We still don't know when/if we are moving. Story for another day.....
My car is piled with tools, luggage, computer, camera, cooler, bag of food, coat, shoes, stuff for work. Shelves, slat wall hooks, banners, merchandising stuff.
Driving at night makes me bleary. The view from most of my rooms is a parking lot or a fast food place off the interstate.
I am in the middle of several big renovations. We gutted this poor building. Windows were falling out, holes in the walls clear through, nasty carpet. This company has been so busy making money, they forgot to look around and see what needed to be reinvested in the properties. Its a big mess. I am dirty and tired most all the time. But slowly seeing amazing results.
I'm hanging out most days with a bunch of seriously hard working good ol' southern boys. They sweat and they get dirty. And they actually make really good money. They say yes ma'm, they hold doors for me, they don't curse around me until they hear me get mad or frustrated, then they go ahead.... its funny. They are so polite, so southern. Nice to be around.
This is Chapel. He has been with this company for 40 years. He travels as one of the repair crew. Hardest worker, hardly ever says a word. Smokes a bunch of cigarettes.
Check out that wall paneling. Remember that stuff? We had it in our den when I was a kid, my mom was so proud of it when we put it up. It's gone now from this store. White slat wall replaced the useless paneling.
I'm trying to help the stores get a handle on inventory replenishment. I keep getting projects dropped in my lap that I really didn't know were a part of this job..... I fill out and place reorder tags on every single item in the store before I leave or I find the least productive employee and give them something to do :)
This was a how my car looked on my way to a remodel in Eastern NC. last week. My truck is finally in, but they are putting artwork on it. Cannot even imagine what I am going to be driving down the road! But it will nice to rest my car. I have put 7000 miles on it in 3 months, whew!
I'm also trying to get stores to understand that if product is in their warehouse, customers are probably not going to see it. I pulled a bunch of stuff today in the Richmond Va store. Another not what I signed on for.....
This job pushes me out of my comfort zone most days. I have been asked to design some store fixtures. I am included in designing marketing items. My opinion is asked for frequently and is often followed up on. I am learning about things I didn't know existed. Its hard every day. But somehow rewarding many days. And the people are just so great, most anyway. There are a couple of rotten apples, but aren't there always?
I look forward to a time when I have a crew that goes out and does this work and I just coordinate it. My body sure is getting strong again though! I have no more arm pain, my upper body can lift more weight than last year, legs are stronger. Back aches. Fingers hurt. Feet hurt.
We learn, we grow, we get stronger....