So I’ve started my new job…..and its been a shock. Quite a big one but a nice one. Only when you leave something so toxic do you have time to digest where you were and realise how bad it was but I’ll talk about that later. Let’s start on a high.
My new role. Area Sales Manager for The Electric Bike Shop. We sell Electric Bikes and Scooters and we sell a lot of them. These are not cheap Chinese tat or rear wheel motor stuff thats a bit under powered and prone to problems, these are cream of the crop Bosch & Yamaha powered beasts from the likes of Cube, Scott, Lapierre, Moustache, Tern + more. They are not cheap but that doesn’t seem to be barrier for a lot of people and couples, in particular, happy to part with thousands of pounds and leave with a beaming smile on their face.
I’m currently sorting out the Solihull store in Knowle. Staff, stock, systems, procedures, the layout, the workshop, the lot which will be a blue print for our new store about to open in Sutton Coldfield (and more) which, we believe, could be flagship store. Our intentions are serious and we’re one of if not the biggest players in the game already given what I know about the amount of bikes we’ve bought. We also have stores in Bristol & Stroud with a host of others planned around the country. London is probably next. Electric Bikes and Scooters are big business and its only set to get bigger.
I’ve almost completed my second week and I’m a bit broken to be honest. After sitting at a desk for five years, standing all day now lumping 20-30kg bikes around in boxes is a shock for a weedy looking cyclist like me. I ache everyday. My body is slowly coming round but I love the feeling. I’m not shy of a bit of graft and I’m putting in some hours of my own too (as we’re so busy!). I feel like I’ve done a hard days work when you throw in some commutes on the bike aswell. Sleep isn’t a problem and my mental health is on a high again. I’m looking after my dodgy back which was a bit iffy on Day 1 but I think the careful bending, twisting and lifting has helped build some core strength I probably needed anyway. The other health hazard are cuts. I’m constantly cutting myself on the huge boxes electric bikes come in and the big bloody staples take chunks of skin off your fingers and knuckles. Today I scored a nice groove down my finger and began to bleed. I’m like a newbie and should know better!
Five years ago I had a double prolapsed disc in my back which was one of the reasons I closed my shop. A lot of money and physio sorted it out but it requires regular stretching and careful attention to keep it intact.
So that blog. The one where I laid bare what happened in my last role at Halfords. I think I’m right in saying it was the most popular I’ve ever written. To date it has been read over 650 times ( a lot for me, loads in fact) and I’ve received overwhelming support from ex-colleagues both in the department I worked and some Cycle Republic Store managers and assistant managers reached out to me too saying how right I was and glad someone stood up and spoke about it. I don’t know how they found out about it but it was obviously shared for a reason. Not one person has contacted me and told me I was wrong. Let me be clear, everything I said in that piece was 100% true. Some of it is my opinion, particularly about those I mention, I don’t suffer fools, but I stand by everything I said. On the grapevine, I’ve heard it went up the chain and it ‘disappointed’ a few. All I can say is, if the truth hurts your complicit so think on.
I heard the term Halfrauds so many times I laughed but its true on so many levels
I watched a video I was sent yesterday which mentions me. In it, the presenter describes how these corporate entities are like bullies that create a toxic atmosphere. It was quite refreshing and resonated with me as I could identify with that experience, but the killer line was something I hadn’t thought about but speaks volumes. ‘…the irony was that the Mental Health First Aider and Wellbeing Champion had to leave the business because it was too toxic…’. Think about that and take that in.
But on that note I’m done.