Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Old Dogs CAN Learn New Tricks!
I'm a mom first, a waitress second and now a mid week manager at a furniture store third. What I really want to be is a writer and this seems to be the avenue to take.
I've never been very techno savvy. When my kids taught me how to use "word" on my cell phone I felt like they taught me a magic trick, I was totally amazed by it! They just rolled their eyes and laughed at me behind my back.
I've been a server ever since I got out of college, well over three decades ago. I consider it sales and marketing. It helped raise three kids and provided lots of leftover food. I was starting to get burned out because I got sucked into the "server" routine. If you work you make money, if you don't work you don't make money. We hit a financial snag a few years back and just started picking up every shift I could. My work weeks started to run together and sometimes my months too.
It became exhausting after four years. When in my twenties I could do it no problem. The problem now is, I am in my fifties working with kids in their twenties who have no qualm about letting the old dog do most of the work. I already get that at home from the Hubster and kids...but at least I love THEM!
A friend of mine from high school who reads my blog suggested I try working part time for the company she works for. She's head of the HR dept for a furniture store which has a location in the town where I live.
Talk about a fish out of water! It was more like a fish out of water with the deer in the headlights look hoping to be the old dog who could learn new tricks.
I was a sales person for about eight weeks. I liked it. I had good days and had slow days but I had two seasoned people working with me and learned a lot. (I thought)
Then they decided to open the store seven days a week instead of four and wanted me to be the mid week manager. I accepted the job. ( think I threw up a little bit in my mouth )
I was a nervous wreck from the jump. I open the store all by myself three days a week and have no one to ask for help.
My first day alone I prayed no one would come in. ( I am serious) I did okay til about three o'clock when a family came in and wanted to buy a bedroom suit. I was a nervous wreck. It took me almost a hour to just ring up the transaction and while hunting and pecking on the computer system sweat was rolling down my back. I finally finalized the sale (after three calls to corporate) and when they left the store felt like falling into a heap on the floor.
Trial by fire is always the best way to learn and I smelled heavy smoke when they left.
I'm in week two of being by myself and kinda like it. They've just started opening seven days a week so I know it will be slow. It's up to me to build business. I'm good with customers...talking is my forte'.
When it's slow I do my nails...they haven't been done in a fort night. I get that saying from the book I am reading when no customers are in the store...A Games of Thrones (great book by the way)
When a customer does comes in , I know how to play it. They all say "We're just browsing." and let them be, then I start. If you engage people, if you become an ally they trust you and I want them to trust me...I'm a trustworthy person!
I didn't sell anything today but made three contacts who am certain will come back.
I like having some down time and having the knowledge to sell. Remember, I'm in sales and marketing!
Every day I feel better and more confident. I started out making a lot of goofs but as my daughter pointed out to me, "If you don't make mistakes how will you learn how to correct them?"
Every day I spend at least a hour on the computer notating what we have in stock and walking the floor to see where everything is. I'm an old dog but I'm a smart dog.
I get home at a decent hour and even my boss at the restaurant is encouraging me. He told me just last week that he would never hold me back from something greater and hopes I succeed.
I need to have more faith in myself and am working on that. Every day I go in I feel more confident.
Nobody told me getting older ain't all that easy....but it sure beats the alternative.
Til next time...COTTON