Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Closing A Chapter

In the late summer of  2004 I took a job with a kitchen store in West Vancouver, having NO experience in a kitchen this surprised everyone I knew.  It turned out to be one of the best working experiences in my life. 

I spent 2 years in that store, making wonderful friends, getting to know repeat customers, expanding my knowledge, learning new assets, and truly enjoying my job and everything about it. 

In the late spring of 2006 I had finished my last round of schooling and Danny and I had decided to move to the Okanagan.  Leaving my store (and I did see it as "my store") was a hard thing for me to do but the timing was right.  Every now and again I wish I was still there with everyone. 

After moving to the Okanagan I worked a few different jobs for a Very short period of time before finding an even better working experience, with the same company.

In the fall of 2006 I went to work for House of Knives (the sister-store to the kitchen store I had previously worked at).  I'm not going to lie, I took the job because I needed the work not because I was passionate about knives.  Similar to when I started at the kitchen store, I knew nothing about knives besides they were sharp and they can cut things (not just a pretty face over here).  But I knew the company, policies, system, part of the store's inventory, and figured if I could learn about kitchen gadgets I could learn about knives.

I spent the next 3 1/2 years working very part time (sometimes less than 12 hours a month; I had another job that was not as flexible with hours) until I came back from maternity leave and was offered the assistant managers position in 2010, which I happily accepted. 

Unfortunately it was short term position (on my end).  I got pregnant not long after taking the position and by the fall of 2010 Danny and I had decided to move back to the coast. 

Telling my manager I was leaving was not easy; I didn't want to leave.  I love the store, the people, everything.  He understood and helped me every way possible during my last few weeks, while not so subtly trying to convince me to stay. 

Lynden and I were set to move in November and a week before we were to leave my manager was (finally) able to help convince me to stay in the Okanagan, which is where I wanted to be until Alyssa was born.  He told me he's make sure I worked day shifts, had weekends off when Lynden was with me, and even offered his wife's services to watch Lynden so I wasn't driving 40 minutes, each way, in the dark and snow to pick up Lynden from daycare (they lived 5 minutes from work).    I agreed to stay for the last 6 weeks until I started my maternity in January. 

December came and went in a blink in an eye; the hundreds of boxes of stock, hours of reorganizing, the hordes of customers, the pain at the end of the day, the exhaustion, the laughter, the food (I'm still waiting on a lemon shortbread cookie recipe... hint hint Kerry). 

Soon it was December 30th and I had to try to start to say goodbye to these truly wonderful people who I would not trade for anyone in the world. 

First was my manager and in the end I wasn't able to say goodbye.  I acted like it was just another end of a shift because I knew if I tried I'd start to cry (and I'm getting teary-eyed thinking about it now), which is what I did when I got to my car.  He was/is an incredibly thoughtful man who made coming to work every day a blast.  He is the best manager I've ever worked for and I would work with him again any day, any time. 

Next was a girl who I had befriended since returning from mat leave.  She was/is always a ray of sunshine with a heart of gold.  We only worked together for a few hours every Tuesday but it was one of my favourite shifts.

Last was a guy who started not long after me, and (I'm going to be honest) I didn't really like much when we first started working together.  (I only had 2 bad days at work and he was the cause of 1 of them.  However, he was an amazing guy on my second bad day at work).  After I came back from mat leave and started working with him more and more I became to know the great guy he is.  He was/is sweet, kind, and was a lot of fun to work with.  He just needs to remember: Be a duck and let it roll of your back. 

For months Danny and I have been talking about what I was going to do once my mat leave was up and after months of discussions I have decided to not go back to House of Knives (for a multitude of reasons). 

Thus, this chapter of my life is closing.  I have spent the last 6 1/2 years with the company (minus a few months between stores and 2 maternity leaves), have met some amazingly wonderful people (some only by emails and phone calls), worked with the best of the best, and learned a lot of friggin knowledge. 

I am so grateful to have had this experience, as much as I wish it could have continued, and look forward to whatever my future holds.

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