This post is really a marker for me, to record how I feel at this point in time, something for me to read back later with the benefit of hindsight. It goes on a bit, so if you're in a rush here's an executive summary for you:
I have a new job. I'm quite pleased.
Last week I got an offer of a job. In actual fact I have had two job offers and a further two request to attend interviews (one of which resulted in a very definite ending of bonhomie between two employment agencies, but that's another story).
So I have accepted the job. I'm not sure how I feel about it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm really happy to be going to work for the company who want to employ me and god knows I'll be happy (read: delirious with joy) to be able to knock off at 5pm and take holidays without feeling hugely guilty that I should be in the office 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
I'll be happy that if customer Joe Soap decides to do a bunk to Portugal without paying his account (as happened last week) then there will be a team of people that will chase the bastard down and make him pay.
I'll be happy that if my PC (or anybody else's) goes belly up in the middle of the day I (or they) will just use another one until the IT fairies fix it rather than me having to stop what I already don't have time to do and do it myself.
I'll be happy that I won't have to worry about whether George Osborne has decided to change the rates/thresholds on PAYE or NI contributions and I haven't noticed.
I'll be happy that I won't have to try to explain in calm tones to a customer that although he is sure that he's only had the boots for 'a couple of months' but can't find the receipt, the boots have clearly been worn for at least a year whilst digging footings on a building site (or possibly used in combat in Syria) and that no, he can't have a replacement pair for free because they're now 'a bit uncomfortable'.
Most of all I will be happy to not have to witness any more semi-naked builders trying on shirts, or worse *shudder*, trousers.
But it still feels like giving up.
I know that trading conditions have been tough since we started in 2008, and I genuinely believe that had the BP and I not been here the business would have disappeared a couple of years ago. We have had to make difficult decisions that ultimately kept the company afloat. I know that in a more buoyant economy we would be set fair and that we would be able to be pushing for growth from a sound foundation. All this doesn't change the fact that when I decided to go into business for myself there were two primary aims:
- Make more money than I could working for other people.
- Have more fun.
The ideal was both of those things, but one or the other would be acceptable. When I realised that neither of those objectives had been met for some time, and weren't likely to be met in the foreseeable future I decided it was time to rethink the plan. So, in a couple of weeks, the BP will take over the running of the business and I will be off to work for The Man again.
And the thing that makes me feel the most guilty of all is that I'm genuinely looking forward to it.