I like a challenge - why else would I have moved from a nice business like butchery management? You know where you are with dead meat. But I'm beginning to wonder if it was a terrible mistake. I should have known when PC Galaxy said its new flagship store was is Swindon.
It started well enough, with the local radio interviewer asking me: "Won't you find it very different, heading a computer superstore, after running a chain of butchers' shops?"
"Not at all," I said. "After all, software and sausages are very similar.
They're popular, you can put any rubbish inside them as long as they look good, and they come shrink-wrapped." I think she laughed; it was supposed to be a joke.
"And is everything organised for the grand opening?" she asked. "It will run like clockwork,"
I replied. Hubris, they call it.
A TV crew was coming for the opening, so I briefed the staff. It's the first time I've really spoken to any of them except my deputy Fiona (I call her Number One - I'm a bit of a Trekker). My happy band of workers were lined up in their yellow, smiley T-shirts (company motto 'The PC is your friend'), ready to answer some sample questions.
"Hello, Simon," I said, peering at his nametag. "Imagine I was a customer." His face screwed up with effort. "Now what's the advantage of MMX?"
"MMX?" repeated the unfortunate Simon. "MMX. Of course. With an MMX bike you can ride easily through mud and over hills." I tried to keep my smile in place. "Good lad. Pop down to the stockroom, will you?"
"Now then, Vicky, should I take out a PC Galaxy extended warranty on my new laser printer?" I asked. "You must be joking," she said. "It's a rip-off."
It was the stockroom for her, but just then Number One came running.
"You'd better come and look at the banner," she said. It was draped across the front of the building, almost displaying the PC Galaxy motto. In fact, it said 'The PC is your fiend'. "Get it down," I yelled. Then the phone rang. I'd arranged for one of those popular characters from Vets in Practice to do the opening. You know, the one who always says the wrong thing.
Only she's apparently got her hand stuck in a cow. I didn't panic, I had a backup. The mayor declined so I had to make do with Anthea-thingy from that holiday programme.
I posed with Anthea. The TV lights glared. "I'm very pleased to declare the biggest PC superstore in Britain ..." and then we had a power cut.
Perhaps if I went down to the job centre it could find me something low-stress. Like bomb disposal.
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