I work hard, I don't work miracles

Friday, 3 June 2011

Ever find yourself having a hectic day and yet don't seem to get a lot done?

I had one of those today.   I've been off for a few days (and very glad of the break) so returned to the Shop with mixed feelings of 'yay, work, income!' and 'oh joy, Nora!'  Please note the sarcasm right there.

I arrive to find a scribbled note.  Nora has the plumber this morning so she's left me a list of things that need to be done.  The main window is empty so clearly we're sorting out a brand new display which generally entails moving a lot of stock around.

My tasks are to sort out one of the smaller cabinets with the items that have removed from the window.  A few bits are already in, so no problem.  I also have to find various rings in tigers eye to fill some gaps in another display.  The glass in the main window needs cleaning (this includes the stands).  Finally, there are some beaded bracelets that need to be made up - they're like charm bracelets with coloured beads - everything in this place is colour co-ordinated to they need to match up with each separate display.

So I get to work on cleaning the glass first.  Makes more sense to do that first because if Nora gets back soon she'll want to get on with doing the main display herself.  I do a great job on them; remove every little smear and fingerprint so they look crystal clear.

I then move onto the tigers eye rings.  Get these done and an entire cabinet display is finished, rather than have several half-finished.   It may not sound like much but the way the rings are organised makes this a little awkward - they are stored in little drawers by size, but there are separate sets of drawers for smaller rings and chunky rings.  So I have to go through nearly two dozen drawers, opening the bags marked tigers eye, hunt for a variety of sizes and styles (I cannot put two out the same unless we have no other stock), check the prices and sizes on the till (comparing with what's on the tag already) then write out a new price tag if either is incorrect.  Then they have to inserted into the display board in appropriate places - can't have all the massive stones clumped together for instance - they should be spread out.

This does take some time - in the middle of this two customers come in one after the other so I have to stop what I'm doing to help them.  They are both very pleasant and happily go on their way - I've made about £30 from them, and go back to the rings.

The display is completed, bar one ring which I'm convinced does not have the right stock code on it - the price difference on the till is too much.  If it had been less of a difference usually the price has simply gone up and the tag is old.  So I put that aside for Nora to check when she arrives.

Moving on to the next task.  Filling the cabinet.

This is easily the most time consuming task - and Nora will go bananas if she has half-empty cabinets for Saturday.

I'm double-checking prices, cleaning things up, pinning things up in the cabinet in a way that looks ordered and so customers can see everything clearly, plus getting new stock out.

Getting new stock out is almost as bad as ring-hunting.  Lots of little drawers, organised by stone / colour.  Pendents are always separate from chains so I have to find a suitable length and style to match the pendent, check the prices for both, write a tag out, and tie the tag on (fiddly task).

Thus I am in the midst of this and making some headway with the display when Nora arrives.

It's almost 11am.  Her first question is 'Have we had many customers??'  Answer, two, yes they both purchased something, and we've taken about £30.  Her face falls.  'Oh that's not very many!'   Well, no.  'Yesterday we took over a thousand pounds!'   Impressive, but it is also half-term, the parents are no doubt dragging their children around town so we're more likely to have people pop in, it's also coming up to fathers day, and wedding gifts are generally in demand around now.  I respond in a mildly surprised and pleased manner to which Nora beams and sort of looks at me sternly - 'That's what it should be like all the time!'

Are you being serious?  Oh, wait, it's Nora, of course she's being serious.  Albeit naive.

I swear she has not paid any attention to the fact that we went into a recession.  A lot of people are being a little more careful with their money! 

Not only that, but Nora, in case you haven't realised - you sell LUXURY products!  Jewellery does not appear on the weekly shopping list.

It's a bit much to expect to take in a thousand pounds worth every single day but Nora is far from convinced of that.  Oh, and I happened to check what we'd taken over the week - she's taken a lot less on each day with the exception of yesterday.  So why glare at me for only taking £30 so far?

'So what have you done so far today?'  she then asks.

I tell her and show her what I've done so far.  I'm pleased with my efforts.

Nora scowls.  'Oh is that all?  I thought you'd be finished by now!'

I want to hurt her.


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