Today was cold -- very cold. The plus side of this meant that everything looked beautifully white:
I am working with my dad at his shop at the moment. Usually mum works with him, but she is still suffering with the remaining effects of the flu, so I have stepped in to take her place. The shop is primarily a picture framing business which also sells greetings cards and gifts. My father is also a photographer and sells his work in the shop too. It can be a very pleasurable experience working there, especially when the majority of the customers are so friendly. It is the polar opposite of my previous job in retail: working for Woolworths, a British chain store which sold a variety of products from toys and sweets, to televisions and lawn mowers.
When I graduated from university in 2006 I had to find a job -- any job -- to fund my trip to go travelling to China (my initial plan was only to holiday there for two months, come home, and get a "real" job). After a month or two of unemployment, I decided that Woolworths could be an appropriate means to my end. It was probably my favourite shop when I was younger, I used to love running right to the back of the shop to look at the toys.
I was successful with my job application, and started working immediately. The staff I worked closely with on the entertainment department were all brilliant, and I had a very enjoyable time with them. On the other hand, everything else about the job and the company was a shambles to say the least. The management was a disorganised mess, and it was obvious that the store was very dated; it could not even compare to the likes of the Apple Store which fits right into a 21st century high street. After my seven months of saving came to an end, I genuinely couldn't wait to get out of there. It was certainly a change going from Woolworths to Hangzhou.
I am only recounting my memories of this because today is the day that the remaining Woolworths stores close for the last time. For those who don't know, about two months ago the company went into administration as it was millions of pounds in debt. There were no buyers for the company so it was announced a few weeks ago that all of the 800 stores across the UK would close. Of course, the global economic crisis has had something to do with this, but in my mind it has only quickened what was a certain inevitability anyway.