It's the time of year where we all get encouraged - in the strongest possible terms - that it might be a good idea to spend a few days out in our stores working on the shop floor in our busiest trading period. Most people in the office seem to do this somewhat relucantly, and drag themselves no further than the store down the road, meaning that every one of our shops within 25 miles of Nottingham is swarming with staff from head office who don't know their arse from their elbow, never mind how the tills work or where the children's mix and match 3 for 2 gifts are.
Me, I quite like it.
It's a good opportunity to get out of the office and to remind myself where the stuff I work on actually ends up. I also spend a lot of time dealing with my "customers" in the office, and it's useful to be in front of some of the actual customers who buy stuff from us and who ultimately pay my salary.
Besides, I need to be in Oxford this weekend anyway, so going down a few days early to have a few Christmas drinks with my friends in the run up to the annual party on Saturday evening is definitely no bad thing.
I try my best not to get in the way in the store. I'm supposed to be there to help, so the worst thing I can do is to be high maintenance and require a constant chaperone. I know some people who think that they should be spending all their time instore in the manager's office, mucking about on the PC. I'm not proud, though: I'll tidy up the shelves, put stock out, pick up rubbish, print shelf edge labels, man a till, hand out baskets and gift guides to customers.... anything that the store thinks might be useful.
One year they they left me in charge of the haircare section.... people asking ME for a recommendation? Seriously? OK then, if you're sure.....
It'll be a blast.
See you on the other side.