But as of Friday last week, I bid farewell to that place and to everyone who put up with me during all that time. And this week, I've been working at a Respiratory Warehouse called Dolby Vivisol (down the road from Evans) with Dad.
I won't say a lot or comment rudely about my hardship at my first job, but I am glad to have done more than my time at that place and now I'm onto new beginnings which will affect my lifestyle, personality and capabilities. Right now, I'm talking about my time and last day at Evans Cycles.
Right before my first week at College, Dad asked me one afternoon during the week if I wanted a Saturday job at the warehouse he had joined 3 months prior. Of course, I said "Yeah, sure" since I wanted money and knew that this level of responsibility was inevitable and essential (plus it beats having to search for myself instead of turning down an opportunity that's being offered).
And on my first Saturday, I didn't exactly have the best or positive first day since I spent it reading the Fire Manual for several hours and swept a couple isles in the warehouse since their wasn't really much for me to do that day.
But the following Saturday, that's when I was shown the ropes by a different Manager Wendy who then onwards became an overseer during my future there. From then onwards, my time at Evans began where I was helping the others unbox the stock, scan it into the system, label the products individually and then find a location to store them away, but my main job title and responsibility was being the Shop Picker *queue epic choir emphasis music*.
My job all the way up till August 2015 (where I changed job roles and departments) was to walk/ run around in my Steel Toe Caps around two Warehouses the size of Airplane hangars whilst navigating around isles with outstanding and complicated numbers on three floors each... I was basically Pac-Man running around endlessly come rain or sunshine.
But like all things, it has it's time. My time as Evans's best shop-picker "shop b**ch" came to an end after a fallout with the afternoon Albanian manager who called my Aspergers Syndrome and Crohn's Disease "a lie and an excuse for not working properly". I'd been doing that job for 5 years and he had the nerve to say that to me, when I always managed to get someone to cover me when I had to rush off to the toilet.
But my salvation was to transfer to Wendy's new department to help others security sticker and tag the bike pieces, clothing and equipment before being sent away in the trucks to one of the 60+ stores across England. It was a good call and better than walking out of Evans with no plan B.
I made some more friends (a few are really special and so are some others in the building) and I joined a team who took equal responsibility instead of being a "one man army" on the go constantly.
I've had many laughs in both departments whilst learning the levels of Banter plus Wendy forcefully taught me Sarcasm since it is a language of the workplace and an essential lifeskill.
Over said time period at this tough working environment, I've matured (debatable) from a shy, timid and constant reassurance seeking boy into a sarcastic, funny and confident lad. I've had many days of stress that sometimes I said and thought horrible things and the people weren't exactly helpful.
But thanks to my long and serious post, I released all my anger and honesty into that post and felt the grief and stress lifted off my shoulders just by confessing and relating my words and thoughts into lyrics from Rock and Metalcore bands.
I've had it rough with a handful of selfish, obnoxious and self-centered c***s who made my life a living hell and I never got to give them a piece of my mind or tell them to f off due to the rules, lack of managers sorting them out and even because they were higher up than me. But I still prevailed and came in, did my part, had a laugh with some, chatted endlessly about mutual interests and fiction (mainly Star Wars and Family Guy) and it was every moment like that that count and mean a little in my time there.
I still remember how at lunchtimes everyone would be chatting in the canteen mainly about Football and Ben and Dave "The Captain" were the main voices of banter, laughs and inappropriate humour and comments haha. To me, they will always be the perfect example of C-3PO and R2-D2 in measurements and they'd make great cosplayers haha.
Plus I had fun nerdy Star Wars and Comic-Book talks with Dave, Stephen, Marc and Tom (The Stag Do Lads) and it was always a shame that our encounters were short and limited and they still are amazing friends with great humour.
I've had a handful of memories there that will stay with me forever and I'm glad to have been a part of, such as Dave Puett's Stag Do and Wedding Reception, the Xmas Do's and some quality LOL moments with the right people who never made my muscles tense in anger but rather through laughter.
I've said goodbye to many people ever since my first month, people have gone onto better things or more awkwardly returned after a short while from trying something else. I've known loads of Saturday boys who some I have kept in contact with or seen at someone's party whilst some left and I heard news of their lives here and then.
I think I drank 2 Buds, 3 Koppa's and drank half of the Long Island Ice Tea with Dave that night and that's why we were out of it but not enough to get kicked out. After Kurt dropped him off, The Captain gave us some words of wisdom and encouragement including "we are both capable of so much more and we should never feel limited in our lives when it comes to future jobs and our lives". Plus he promised to meet up soon and keep in contact since this wasn't really goodbye forever.
But surprisingly and remarkably, I aced it in record breaking time and I felt soooo much better having sweated and breathed all the alcohol out of me haha. Don't think I can ever do it again in 23mins 39secs even if I came 61st out of 343 runners. My reward was joking the others and meeting some new faces for a Bacon Roll at Horsham Cafe which led to me being invited to Aimy's BBQ later on that same day. I got a glimpse of a good photo spot up Horsham's enormous tree by the Pavilions on my way home.
So I got ready in the late afternoon and headed out (after having taken a selfie by my neighbour's gorgeous tree and changing my profile picture) ha.
We soon near nightfall walked through the Southwater Fields to Bax Castle Pub for a few drinks. I'll have to walk that way with them again in the summer since we passed several huge fields and had a laugh like we were on an expedition. And I made some new friends that night so overall it was great and I'm glad I accepted Aimy's offer. Looks like I'l be seeing them lot again soon, I hope.
Anyway, back to the Job story.
|Tony and the Cake Tray I bought |
for him and Unit 1's lot
|Dot, Nick, Old John, Lee, Jamie and Dorota|
I was given a Marvel Bag and 3D Comic Book Frame from the team and I couldn't have asked for anything more special from them who knew me best. I was so chuffed and blushed like mad (comes with being me) and I didn't even want to rip the perfect Star Wars Wrapping Paper (it was like a tease to get to the good stuff). Jamie was given a cool EPIC quote T-shirt and Huge Coffee Flask as a good luck present.
I gave a speech off the top of my head:
"Well to quote Jamie Lawson, "I wasn't expecting that!" I feel unbelievable spoilt and lucky to have such a send off and thoughtful farewell moment along side Jamie. I can't help but wonder that you're all gathered here to cover the camera and "do away" with me haha. But really, I must say that I'm so grateful and thankful to have worked with you all. Plus I feel blessed that you've all put up with my incessant amount of rambling, random outbursts of facts and endless talks and quotes from Family Guy and Star Wars. I'm going to miss you all and I love the gifts. And I can reassure you all that you won't find someone like me again so easily. It's up to you if that's a blessing or loss haha. Thank you, really, Thank you so much for everything!"
I was so chuffed and grateful to everyone as I was rewarded with these gifts, a small applause and hugs/ handshakes all around.
And I spent the last 2 and a half hours grabbing friends as they passed by my area to get their signatures too (I felt like I was back in my last day at Forest School and getting teachers and a few friends to sign all over my white shirts as mementos and words of courage and farewell).
I missed a few people that day but they knew I was leaving this week and said our goodbyes during the week since we knew our chances were little to say it on the day. I know a few people's addresses and am sure I'll see them again soon so I'll get their signatures too.
I was looking forward to the evening where Lee, Jamie, David, Old John, Yaz, Lorna, Chris and myself would be at the same Horley restaurant where we said goodbye and good luck to Wendy back in March. Sadly not that many people could come, but it still turned out great.
So after saying goodbye to the team and I was being let out of the gate for the last time, I came to a startling and hilarious scene where my car had been vandalised with love and embarrassment haha.
Lorna, Yaz and Francesca found 6 embarrassing photos from deep in my Facebook and stuck them to my car windows, bonnet and rear window. Plus they spelt BYE with sticky notes on my windscreen, Oh how thoughtful! Thank you to Lee, Lorna and Jamie for helping me clear up after I took photos of the damages, I mean creative work.
I also popped over to Lee's parents house to meet his gorgeous German Shepperd "Bolt" who was lovely, huge and lively. And Lee's parents were polite and great plus his Mum wanted to know a bit of my condition since she works in my school, so I entertained her with my craziness for a while before leaving to go to my Grandparents house in Horley.
So I had a fun night at 50Degrees North with the gang and Jamie and Me got showered with drinks. After food, we popped over to the Pub across the road for more drinks and slowly people started to go home one at a time. Lee, Jamie, Me, Chris and David were out till 11.20 and everyone wished us luck and hugs on our futures and next jobs. I thanked everyone for everything. And after I said bye to the guys as they made their ways home, I had a word with my main man Lee. Said thank you for everything and all the days of cheering me up and encouraging me to talk nerdy to him about Star Wars and the hype for the films and knowledge I know from outside and before the films too. I know we'll be friends forever and I'll see him again soon! We made our separate ways home knowing we wouldn't change a thing.
Jamie and myself were reminded on the Friday to not make our way to Evans Cycles on Monday morning. Jamie will be doing shift work at the Airport doing Baggage Handling (best of luck to him and he better not screw up and end up back at Evans any quicker than me) haha.
However, one thing that I was proud of was that I had actually had a taster of Dolby Vivisol thanks to popping in for 4 hours during my week off in beginning of April. You see, Dad asked me if I wanted to come in for 3 hours to meet the people and try out the job since I had a sure fire way in. And I had my interview a couple days later and it went well so I handed my notice in near the beginning of May and luckily managed to cut my resignation by 2 weeks like Jamie.
SO, as for my first week at a new working environment it has been great! I've been working with Dad and Sydney (a man who joined the company a month before me). We've been working together all week whilst rocking out to Metalcore music since it's all he loves haha. It's been good listening to Issues (whom I'm seeing next week with Lewis), Crown The Empire and Bring Me The Horizon. And he's introduced me to Asking Alexandria, Secrets, A Skylit Drive and I See Stars and I showed him Northlane today.
My new job consists of cleaning 20-30kg suitcase size generators that contain oxygen as well as testing them out before we send them off to the 6 stores.
I also clean handbag size machines plus we have to test the pressure and use Nasal Cannula to test out the pressure at different levels. I know it sounds dark of me to say this, but I feel like I'm one of the actors from House M.D or something having to actually feel the pressure instead of saying I'm in need of Respiratory help like real people.
There are several different models and size machines that need to be dusted, have their components changed as well as the outside being scrubbed and cleaned with Dettol. Followed by the usual testing of it's power and pressure which we can alter if necessary (the broken models get sent to Bedford for repairs) and scanning the stock into the system like a usual business.
I've swapped two bunker warehouses for a small warehouse, I see about 7 others in the warehouse with different roles and there are several guys including the main man Matt upstairs. And I love it, it's an easy job with polite people and there's been no pressure this week or with the workflow. Syd and I have got the work done by 3 and I feel so relaxed already. I am in a place where I earn so much more money than ever, I work 8.00 - 4.00 and in a couple months I'll get to learn First-Aid and Forklifting (things I never got to learn at Evans).
So far, it's been the best choice in ages. I still miss all my friends from Evans but this is certainly bringing out the best in me and it feels rewarding that I'm helping sustain other people's loves and I feel humble too.
Over time, I plan on rekindling important skills including Cooking and learning to use IT software in the fields of Graphics, Animation and Coding (once I get them off my friend in a month or two). I think these alterations to my current life routines will help bring out a new me and will also help distract me from my anxiety from chasing the wrong people, waiting for love to find me and is an essential choice for the better.
I aim to explain more about these choices as progress begins over the next month or two and talk about what's been going on in the dating scene and my views and honest comments about it all in general. And I now know that this job will help towards my earnings for Africa and it will help diverse my attention from negativity and encourage me to do more productive learnings that I never had the enthusiasm to do before.