After the realisation of how little my employers cared for me hit home, it made me look at my career to date. I was always after self-betterment and I had wanted a ladder to climb, to achieve things. But, I now know that all my employers had seen that trait in me, knew my ambition and had wanted to make the most of me, while they had me.
I spent 10 years of my life travelling the length and breadth of this country, doing store openings or refits for major retailers. Each time, staying away from home for months at a time, until a job was completed. After that I would finally return home or go onto the next job. It was not an easy job by any means, it was 12 hours a day or night, seven days a week, for up to 3 months at a time; living in some hotel or B&B.
After a couple of years I was no longer doing the groundwork, I was a team coordinator, organising and managing a team of up to 35 people. I was responsible for making sure that the job was done well and done right on which ever shift I was working on. My colleague and I, who covered the other shift, were accountable if things went wrong, after all time is always equivalent to money.
After that, I began to run the jobs, organising my teams, sorting transport and accommodation, interviewing and recruiting new staff, dealing direct with the clients, and still travelling to do site visits, which was always rife with some complaint or other, which I had to deal with. When I was not in the office, which was the majority of the time, I would be in my car and it became a very lonely job.
With a team of core people, plus locally employed general assistants, we worked hard and played hard. I used to say:
“that it took a strange breed of fish to do the job, either people were running away from something; or they were trying to find something”.
I am still not sure which category I fell into, but eventually the need arose for me to find a permanent place, where I could finally hang my hat, and empty my suitcase.
This coincided with the death of my brother, who had been very ill for years. It was at that point, that I knew that I had to move on. I had always said to myself, that by the age of 30, I wanted to own my first home, and have real independence, and a few days short of my 30th birthday I finally managed to achieve just that.
Note: It is only now when I look back, I realise that buying my first home on my own back then, really was a big achievement. But for me, it was something that came naturally and I just took it in my stride. Sx 🙂
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