I’m taking a moment to step away from the creative side and get real. I’m a doer of all things, I have many hobbies and could never really decide on what to do with my life. Customer Service and the retail industry is something that I’ve been in for almost 15 years. I started out in retail customer service and this is where it ends.
I suppose I’m like anyone really, but in today’s world, I battle between the want of doing something I love and the need to make money so I can survive. Most people can balance a little bit of both but in the end the battle to survive most definitely overcomes the want (and need) to do something I enjoy and love so much. In today’s world a lot of people take what they can get, and then thrive within that little work community. They find a way to enjoy it while also maintaining their survival.
I was one of those 1,500 people who lost a part of their survival yesterday when a large Canadian (or once Canadian) corporation brought us all into a meeting and delivered to us the most shocking news of all: Future Shop was shutting it’s doors and/or merging into one brand. AKA almost all of us were getting fired. There’s no other way to put it really, but “Shortage of Work” is most definitely not a reasonable excuse. I think the worst part was that at 7:15 am on a Saturday morning we were all told our lively-hood, the only source of income for many, was being taken away from us with no notice. None what-so-ever; No inkling, no hint, nothing.
I must say, besides a few tears I took it fairly well – yesterday. I was more sad for my colleagues than anything. Many of my friends and co-workers I had worked along side with for more than four years. Some were new to our family as well, but they were still apart of us. For four years I took shit from customers, I dealt with numerous errors all the while turning many frowns into smiles and hoping to make the experiences of customers a little bit better. I’m a people please-r in all senses and I get upset when someone else is upset. All-in-all though, most customers were amazing. They were friendly and the few that came in telling me stories of their lives made me feel (and themselves) like we were all friends.
I learned about electronics and how insanely technologically advanced we are as a society, how to handle myself in tough situations and how to stick up for myself when something was wrong. I also screwed up, spoke sometimes before I could think and made rash decisions but that’s what life is about – whether it’s your personal life or work life. If anything this would be a learning experience for us all.
Today’s not as good as yesterday. The emotion rolls through me like a roller coaster where one minute I’ll be fine and relieved that I have some more free time, and the next it hits me and I get scared. I was one of the lucky ones to have had FS as my secondary job. I have a job to go to tomorrow and money to make. I will also have questions and sympathy from co-workers who are all shocked and wondering why such a large company could do that to so many people.
Why keep us in the dark? Why not give us time to emotionally and mentally prepare ourselves to make the life changes needed in order to survive. Isn’t that that the most humane thing to do?
I’ll be the first to say I worked with the best team I’ve ever had. We may have bickered, fought and even stopped talking due to our differences but in the end we all came together. We were (and still are) a family and I think that’s what hurts the most about all this. I know in this day and age where social media and online presence, it’s easy to keep in touch, but we all know it won’t ever be the same. We won’t be able to give each other comic relief after a difficult customer or comfort each other when something happens. These people were the faces I saw most outside of my family and friends. I’ve learned so much about them as people, about their culture and just how amazing they really truly are.
And I want to thank the managers. They handled it with such class when you could tell it was doubly hard on them to see everyone go through such a drastic change in such a short notice. I’ve worked with a lot of people and a lot of managers and I have to say (minus a few), that the team of managers I had at Future Shop were some of the best people I knew. They understood their employees and became fast friends. They stood by our side and made it a little easier knowing they were hurting just as much as we were. So thank you. I sincerely hope we will all stay connected and meet up here and there because my heart breaks the most at the thought of losing these great and amazing people.
While I am sad, and a little angry, I’m slowly starting to see this as a blessing. It hurts now but once the hurt is gone, life must and will go on. We will all find new jobs and new sources of income but it’ll never be the same really. But as nuts as it is, we have to be positive. I’ve had more than a few people say they believe that when one door closes another opens – and I want to believe that is true. I want to believe I will be a better person after all this. I want to believe that this will be the gateway to a career I will now thrive to achieve. I’m not a psychic though, just an optimist. Optimism is what makes the world keep spinning. For now, we sit and we think. Later, we conquer what we set out to achieve.
“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.”
― Steve Maraboli