Yesterday was my last day working at the running store. Nearly seven years have passed since I first took the job — almost on a whim.
Well, not quite. I got divorced in 2010, and found myself with time on my hands. I volunteered to work a race packet pickup for the company in 2011, and soon found myself applying for part-time employment. I was hired, and over the years became a reliable, trusted and valuable employee. I was given a set of keys to the store, and a security code, that enabled me to open and close the store without supervision.
It was a lot of fun. I learned about running shoes and other facets of running and running gear. I met a lot of really nice people, and have had numerous customer compliments.
But times change. The company has had its ups and downs. The Internet has affected many brick-and-mortar businesses, and the running store was no different. Being locally owned, a “mom and pop store,” so to speak, the resources to compete against the giants are limited. What they do have is a community mindset, trained running specialists, and a real desire to satisfy customers. However, it’s a balancing act to keep costs low and grow or maintain a business.
Management has changed, and in my opinion, not for the better. There is a lot of turnover, which is understandable when you consider all employees (except managers) are part-time. It’s retail, so it’s mostly young people working for extra cash rather than people committed to the success of the business. Store management is non-existent. One man “manages” three stores, which in many ways means he isn’t managing any store. Employees aren’t trained, and policies and procedures are being twisted store by store until no one knows how things are done.
I have no desire to be a manager, even though for the past couple of years I’ve felt like one. So I decided to walk away.
Truthfully, I haven’t quit. Part-time employees are asked to submit their availability for each upcoming month. I have simply declared that I have no availability. I have said that I can fill in if there is an emergency or special event, but I don’t want to be on a regular schedule.
So… what do I do about this site’s name and focus? For now, I’m letting it stay.