GETTING MORE TALE #456: An Anniversary to be Celebrated
Christmas is a stressful time of year, and that goes double when you work retail.
Today is the 10 year anniversary of one of the most stressful but important days of my life.
Although it wasn’t much of a plan, at one point I figured I could turn the record store in a career. The Boss Man had sold a few of us on that idea. “Within five years, I want to have 100 stores across the country, and you’re going to be a big part of it.” I heard that, T-Rev heard that…a number of us heard that. We grew store by store, but downloading slowly put the brakes on that. After The Great Change (Napster and the like) I eventually came to the realization that my career plans were not going to work out. However depression and despondency grew within me, and one particular supervisor made my life at work hell for years. I could not pull myself out of that rut. Finding new work wasn’t easy either. Deep inside, I knew that I would have to reach a breaking point before I was truly ready to move on from the job I once loved.
That breaking point happened 10 years ago today, December 19 2005. They pushed me one step too far, and made demands that I later found out they could not make. I finally worked up the courage to say “I quit”. That was the last straw; I had been shoved around that place for way too long. The true story of this happening can be found in Record Store Tales Part 320: End of the Line, if you want to read how it went down that day.
Short version: Second best decision I ever made.
(The best decision I ever made my marrying my wife!)
I love music so much, and having a job working with music every day? Why, that’s the dream job isn’t it? And it was, for several years. I’m glad to have done it. Without the store I would have no Record Store Tales, and my collection today would be but a fraction of its size. Moving on from something you once loved can be a hard thing. “Maybe this will be the year it gets better again,” I said a few times. When a relationship becomes toxic, sometimes the only way for both parties to be happy is to move on.
10 years ago, I made the serious decision to make the break after 12 years of joy and pain. The funny thing I just realized is, while Record Store Tales could not exist if I never worked at the Record Store, they also could not exist if I never quit! They would have continued to gather dust on a hard drive, because I wouldn’t have been able to tell the stories under confidentiality restrictions, and that would have ripped my heart in two had I stayed.
Things worked out for the best! Thanks for reading along. And if you haven’t, it’s not too late. You can read all 320 chapters of the original one-and-only Record Store Tales right below.* Happy anniversary!