Saturday, 14 September 2013

Tales of a shop assistant

 
Today was a historic moment in Charlotte World. After over three years of working there, I finished my last ever shift at One Stop (even those in the UK often haven't heard of this shop - it's a convenience store and most of them have been overtaken by Tesco Expresses so it's a bit of a dying breed.) I made the decision to give up work a few months ago, so that while I am in my final year of university I can concentrate on my studies. I think I am going to find this year stressful enough without having to stress about paid work as well. When I head back down to my parents, I simply want to relax and chill and we definitely do not do that in this shop. So, although I may regret it when I am starving in a few months time, it is a huge relief at the moment.

Recently I have very much fallen out of love with being a shop assistant. I believe they are the modern day servants, or the closest thing that you will find anyway. Ever polite and friendly and smiling, all we get in return are grumpy customers who complain that our human customer service is not quite perfect enough. Or they send us on errands around the shop to find things that they could easily have found themselves if only they had used a little bit of common sense. I generally am quite a friendly person and always want people to like me. But I have become very bored of trying to be patient with those people who seem to have forgotten basic human manners. If they have been brought up well rather than dragged up, they should have learnt that it is common courtesy to say please and thank you. It is something which I do automatically now at 21, yet some who have had 20 more years of practice seem a little too busy looking down their nose at me to be decent.

The thing that bugs me most is the automatic assumption that I am stupid because I work in a shop. If people were a little too obvious about this, I would casually drop into conversation how I was a training to be a teacher at a top English university and that normally shut them up. But even if I wasn't, none of the people I work with are stupid. It all suits us for different reasons. Some are deciding what they want to do next, some have families and the flexibility is useful for them, some are making their way up to manager positions...whatever the reason, no human has the right to look down on someone else because of their choices. And the people I work with are far more friendly than any I serve so I hold them in far more esteem despite being mere shop assistants!

Saying that, I did have some fun times. My colleagues are amazing and I made some awesome friends. We always had such a giggle, whoever I worked with, mostly at the customers. I was flirted with, shouted at, thanked, praised, criticised, embarrassed by and laughed at by a huge range of people. I had drunk people slurring at me, I was asked on several dates, fancied by a kid, and had some of the weirdest conversations ever. All in all it's probably made me a better, more patient person. So it must have done me some good.

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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

About time


It's very easy to enjoy Richard Curtis films, although they do tend to be aimed at the same group of people every time. And clearly I am part of that group as I seem to like every single one.

To be totally honest though, I wasn't sure of this one. The trailer just showed it to be yet another mundane romantic comedy and I have kind of grown out of those recently. It just looked like any other. With significant traces of The Time Traveller's Wife, it seems that Rachel McAdams once again finds a time traveller for a husband. How does she manage it? I didn't think there were that many of them about.

But the trailer definitely does not do this film justice. What is sadly missing from those little clips is the warmth and humour brought on by the incredible talents of Bill Nighy, surrounded by an excellent cast. It is an adorable story and despite the idea being a little far fetched, it is vaguely realistic with compassionate dialogue and emotions that most can relate to. Domhnall Gleeson (who is basically unknown except for brief appearances in Never Let Me Go, Anna Karenina and Harry Potter) is an excellent leading man who sweeps us along with his humour and a lot of sensitivity.

It took a while for it get going and the slow pace at the beginning was a little dull. But once it finally did get into the swing of things, I fell in love with the cute story and the mix of emotions that it made me feel along the way. There were many laughs and a few tears (well, I don't cry generally at films...but I nearly did. So if I was normal I would have). One of the best moments was undoubtedly the message that it ended very abruptly with. It reminded you of what it believes to be the most important thing of all - love, friendship and living for today. And I agree with the film. You shouldn't regret what has gone on in the past, as you are unable to change it. Just live for now and work to change the future so you can live life to the full. If we all followed that, I am sure the world would be a much happier place.

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Sunday, 1 September 2013

Shoutout to myself

As I took so much effort coming up with a new Instagram name and editing each of my blogposts to display this name, I thought I would bring it to your attention.

Welcome to the social media world, WalkingIntoTheSun. I am quite proud of my little Instagram gallery which I have been adding to since last July so go and check out my cheeky snaps. There are a few pretty sunsets in there, lots from Italy, a few fashion, a few of my face and many other things besides.

If you don't have an account, there is a link below. And, if you do, make sure you follow me - as you can tell, I do update regularly. Here are just a few  examples to whet your appetites






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