It's the night before I return to work and I guess I'm feeling a little apprehensive, but not without reason. Not because of the virus, as it has receded a lot in London and I'm intending to ride my bike to work tomorrow, so I won't be travelling on public transport, unless I feel too tired to ride it home and get the bus instead!
I guess I'm feeling apprehensive because my fellow Deputy Manager, with whom I job share, has resigned and won't be returning to help open the shop with me. The Shop Manager is still in Europe where he has spent Lockdown and isn't returning to the UK until Friday and then will need to quarantine for two weeks, so I seem to be the last (wo)man standing at the moment.
Thankfully, my Area Manager has arranged for another Shop Manager to help me re-open the shop and make it safe for customers to return, but he also has to open his own shop next week. I am meeting him at the shop tomorrow and we are going to work our way through the list of things we need to do in order to re-open the shop. I spoke to him on the phone tonight and he's a really nice guy, so I'm hoping we'll get quite a bit done and work well together.
It will all depend on what we find when we enter the shop. Three months of being locked up and who knows what's been going on in there. Leaky roof? Unwanted visitors wreaking havoc (i.e. rodents)? Layers of dust? Hopefully, none of the above, but we'll have to wait and see.
I've packed the pannier bag on my bike with the things that I think I'll need. I just need to add in the clothes I'm going to wear, as I'll be wearing my new padded cycle pants on the way to work and will need to change when I get there, plus my lunch, of course. I've completely got out of the routine of going to work and it's going to be a big change getting back into it.
I had to telephone my ex-colleague today, to remind me of the shop email password, as it's been so long since I've been able to log in, that I'd forgotten it. In addition, the charity has changed over to a new system, so it might not be so straight forward when I do try to log in tomorrow. I'll just have to take it one step at a time and do what I can.
Fortunately, a very good volunteer is coming in to help us tomorrow, which is a God send, as I'm sure he'll succeed in raising my spirits. If it wasn't for him and another long standing volunteer who is coming in on Thursday, I might feel like resigning myself.
I am looking forward to getting on and getting the shop safe to re-open, but I would have preferred it if I wasn't the only paid member of our shop staff doing it. There's nothing I can do to change anything though, so I will just have to suck it up, do my best and hope for the best.
Today, I've spent carrying out last minute tasks such as doing a big food shop to make sure that there is plenty of food in the house to last us during the next couple of weeks. I'm probably going to be pretty tired when I get home and on my days off, so it's one less thing to think about.
I managed to clean the whole house in the last few days, bar the upstairs bathroom, which I left until last and just didn't have the energy to do. I might give it a quick once over tomorrow. I feel like I've done what I could during lockdown and tried to make good use of my time, but all good things must come to an end.
I'm now thinking of trying to pay back the hours that the charity have paid me for during lockdown. I've calculated how many and I am thinking of working them back voluntarily over the next few months. After all, it wasn't their fault that Covid hit and they are a charity. I feel guilty for taking money from them to stay at home, to be honest. Either that, or I may forfeit some leave and give the time back that way, as I will have 3 months less time in which to take all my annual leave and I'll probably never get around to taking it all.
I've now done all I can for tonight, so I'm going to get a reasonably early night and try to get a good night's sleep. I need to do a couple of things in the morning before I set off for work, i.e. buy a few cleaning products and toilet rolls (in case there are none in the shop) and try to get into the shop email to send an email to all of our volunteers and then I'm ready to go. If I don't manage to do the latter, it can be done when I get to the shop later. I'm hoping that the Shop Manager might be able to contact some volunteers and do some social media whilst quarantining, but I'm not sure whether he will be back off Furlough or not. It would take the pressure off those of us working in the shop if he could.
Thank you to those of you who have wished me well on returning to work. I really appreciate it. I'll let you know how I get on, but it may be a couple of days before I have the time and energy to write a post about it. Wish me luck!