A while ago, I did a rambly post about my feelings about bookshops, and in some of my mental health posts I’ve mentioned my experience as a bookseller. I’m now in a much better place with my mental health, and I’ve been thinking about how I feel about Waterstones, both at a local level and as a whole.
I can’t keep on cutting off my nose to spite my face; just because two managers were vindictive and malicious, and the member of HR that I was referred to refused to give a satisfactory response, doesn’t mean that I should be denied the simple pleasure of going to a bookshop.
This has been made slightly easier by having the knowledge that one of those managers is now at a shop that’s not particularly local to me, and the other has been transferred to another shop (although it’s a branch that I always liked, I can deal with not going in there; it’s not my local one) and, again, whilst I can be a bit annoyed that although she’s no longer a manager she gets paid the same for doing less work (a bizarre thing is that Waterstones can remove your position to a lower one but can’t deduct your pay), I can now easily avoid having to encounter her.
I’ve decided to let go of the fact that HR didn’t do anything. Sure, bullying and unfair dismissal are things that should be investigated, but I have to accept that, for the person who received my letter, they’re not issues that the company takes seriously.
So, what next?
My local branch now has a new manager, and by all accounts she’s lovely! I’m excited to be able to go into this shop and see it thrive, and in all honesty, I’ll be happy to support it again. I think that if I’d had a manager who actually knew how to manage people and get the best out of people, I’d’ve progressed a lot more. I had ambitions and managers from other branches saw that, and it’s just a shame that I had the misfortune of working under someone who resented anyone who thought for themselves and wanted to progress. I hope to see the booksellers in my local shop fall back in love with bookselling and the company.
Whilst I resent the fact that I never got to demonstrate my full potential as a bookseller and it makes me feel sad, in the end it all worked out for the better. My mental health has improved tenfold, I’ve got my confidence back, I’m in a job that I LOVE and I’ve discovered the world of book blogging, bookish Twitter and bookstagram! I get to talk books with like-minded people, essentially be a bookseller on the internet and read for the love of it.