Monday, 8 June 2015

Deep philosophical thoughts

Happy June! Bit of an odd way to start but, for me anyway, June is starting out happily. I didn't make it widely known because I was embarrassed to be, once more, in this state but I have been out of work for the past 6 months. In the end, my path and Victorinox's weren't the same. I joined because of the opportunity to build a brand in Canada knowing little about the brand. I found it difficult to really sell the brand ( not the product) to our customers and to do what I usually do best which is build a loyal repeat business. When the chance to grow the brand across Canada changed so did my commitment to the company. Sadly, it ended before Christmas. On the positive side I had the winter to get healthy (remember the shingles) and work on really settling in house here in Cambridge. Always more desirable to have another position to go to before you leave the last but everything happens when it is supposed to happen. Another thing I've been doing is really looking at my career and deciding what works and what doesn't. The conclusion was that, while I like to sell and have sold almost everything, I need my contribution to make a difference. This led me back to children's retailing. I started by applying and interviewing for children's clothing retailers and over to the toy industry. That leads me to one of the happy things happening this month which is rejoining Scholars Choice.

 This company took me on when I rejoined the work force in 2000 after my being a stay at home mom for 10 years. My reasons for leaving were and still are important, lack of recognition of my skills and talents. The difference now is that I've made that need perefectly clear from the onset. The odd thing about coming back to a company that knew you is that the conversations start somewhere in the middle. Heather, my new DM, and I were both managers and we both left the company for extended periods of time. My conversation with Heather ran the lines of catching up, talking about the industry and then to the new specifics of Scholars Choice. I'm coming back to a company much changed by the recession and still strangely familiar. To start with they knew me as Nancy St-Onge, lots of water under the bridge in 10 years. I'm gong into a familiar scenario where the store needs to build it's business within it's four walls and adding on the challenge of building the business through B2B connections in the educational/daycare industry. I'm up for it. Lots of work? I sure hope so! Large expectations because of past association? Definitely! As I've said to Heather, I'm looking at this as a completely new job in an industry where I have experience. They've changed and so have I. My quiver is full of new skills both personal and professional. In the end I'm always me; light-hearted, loyal, smart and out-spoken. What I've learned is when and where to use these. Wish me luck and come see me at the Scholars Choice Kitchener store, if you're in the area!

Take a close look at the above photo because getting this group all together for a family photo is rare indeed. In case you don't know, this is me and my brother and sisters, Jeff, Joy and Dayle. I'm the superstar in the shades. No one told me to take them off! We have not all been together since mom's funeral and it was a much happier occasion that brought us together this weekend. Dayle was researching our family tree and came across a second ( I think) cousin, Marian. Being the social butterfly she and Marian struck up an online friendship that dew me in and we ended up trying to plan a get together. Marian lives in England so distance was clearly a factor. Serendipity stepped in with Marian and her husband David planning a visit to her kids here in Cambridge. I stepped out of my comfort zone and offered up our place for a party and so it went. Jeff and Sharon are often left out of the loop because they don't live the digital life but an invitation was mailed and to our delight they said they'd come. Joy, that sneaky so and so,made it very clear that she was too busy and important to join us. Let's just say a few tears were shed when Nat's car pulled up with her in the front seat. 

Marian and David, poor David, got the full Ferrier treatment. Sister speak, as we know it, ran rampant. I don't know if other families do this but we all have so many vital and important things to say that we all have to say them all at once. We can decipher it but for the untrained outsider it can be a bit daunting, again, poor David. Luckily for us Marian is a Kilpatrick, which means she carries the gab gene. Clearly one of us! She even thought she could have some olives!! Only those in the know understand how sacred the olive count is in our family. Needless to say we all had a good time. 
Our family is fairly far flung and we, quite frankly, don't worry too much about keeping in touch but put us all in one place and none of that matters. Sharon's stories are always entertaining, Joy and I catch up on everything and Dayle never shuts up (love you) . Marian and David seemed glad to have met us. At least we didn't scare them off, lol! Mom's side of the family is a mystery to us so having this one small link to it is precious. 
Thank you Dayle for not being happy living in our little cocoon and reaching  out. I'm sure mom is thrilled to know we're keeping family strong and adding new branches. As usual, Love you all.

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