Guide A Retailers Lifetime of Lessons Learned

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Time goes by so fast. No matter how many hours of overtime you do, and no matter how high your pay check may seem, you still experience that crushing reminder that it has to last you an entire month. Payday is an exercise in self-control. The exact situation rarely matters; it makes no difference to such donkey-brained individuals. Dealing with such bull-headed pests is a masterclass in sticking to your guns and refusing to be bullied. One of the more cheesy answers, but a valid lesson nonetheless. Whether you did the bare minimum or decided to go the extra mile, helping somebody out and receiving thanks for it makes you feel all fuzzy and warm inside.

The world is one step further away from descending into anarchy. Well done you. It turns out there are a plethora of behaviours a customer can exhibit to be the most annoying person on the planet.

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Throwing money onto the counter instead of in your outstretched hand. Talking on the phone. Never did I think so many miniscule actions could make me contemplate murder. As well as providing me with anger issues, retail also taught me how to control myself. I have an unbreakable will. I am Even so, working as a lowly peon myself has really groomed me into being the ideal customer. My God. There are no combinations of words that can properly encapsulate the Dantean pandemonium that is Christmas in retail. Working during it is an entirely different story.

People just absolutely lose their nut.

They panic. They push and shove. They fight each other for the last product. Life is like playing a game of Tetris!

Kitchen, cupboards, under beds, shelves, lockers. Things have to fit in smaller places in certain ways, often with smaller or more difficult to access openings or doors, which makes for a challenging time when you want something… but then you remember it is under a bed, in a plastic container, tucked right at the back of said container…and a kid is asleep on the bed.

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Guess its coffee with no milk on that night shift…. Fresh caught tuna is epic. Having a freezer filled with tuna is a delight. This delight has been hampered in Indonesia with the terrible fishing, but Fiji, what a fishing destination it was! A medium sized tuna, these were daily happenings in Fiji!

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It can be overwhelming at times. There is no escape….!!!! The highs are so much higher and the lows also much lower…. Thankfully there are far less lows than there are awesome bits! All through the Pacific everyone spoke relatively good English, so it was pretty easy. You learn the basics pretty quickly if you want to get around and eat! There are so, so, so many more stars than I could have ever imagined. Nights are lit with the glow of the Milky Way and the sparkle of the reflection of the stars across the ocean.

The universe is humongous, awe inspiring and mind bending! Friendships are made in double time.

I had one other mum liken it to microwave cooking. Super-fast and intense, as sometimes you have only a few days with people before you go your separate ways, or other times people pop in and out of your direction of travel, meaning the time spent is more special and concentrated in a way. We have met some incredible people over the past year that will stay friends for life.

It can be hard on the kids Emelia especially feels all the feels when other boats with children come and go, as the saying goodbye is upsetting for them. Maybe they will see these kids again and maybe not. It makes you appreciate the people you meet and friendships that are grown. The ocean rubbish problem is far worse than I ever thought when living at home. I saw all the documentaries and looked at all the photos and read all the reports of it. But seeing it first hand is shatteringly disappointing.

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The problem is much larger than I had imagined, and although we try to clean the beaches where we go, often burning the trash as there is no other means of disposal, it is overwhelming how much is out there. Trash frequently gets caught on the propellers of both Waterhorse and the dinghy and the similarity of a plastic bag and a jellyfish is uncanny. A smal section of an island we stopped at recently.

The whole island was like this, absolutely heartbreaking to see.

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Indonesian people LOVE selfies with you. Especially with the kids, they will take sneaky videos and photos, trying to have us not see their actions! It does make for a good laugh. Catching BIG fish is way more exciting than I ever expected!! Back in the day where vodka was plentiful for killing the fish. Schooling kids is hard. Teachers totally need to be getting paid more! I envisaged sitting with my wee cherubs, imparting them with wisdom and the joys of mathematics and creative writing. Or the sheer time it all takes. Or the mental fatigue! On that note about being driven to drink, alcohol has been expensive over the last 5 months… wine has been nonexistent!!

Vodka has been life!

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Walking to and from markets with kilos of produce makes for sore arms and shoulders! Sharks are not scary and are actually very beautiful to swim near. Something I never thought I would say! Wakeboarding is awesome, especially when you buy a much more powerful engine! Beach fires are epic.

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Friends and drinks and happy kids at the beach along with the fire is even better! Keep the escape hatch closed, unless you are actually escaping….!!! The photo I was taking, the reason for the hatch being open, resulting in the fall…. There are so many more types of reef fish than I ever expected. And so many colors and types of coral. It is literally like some kids cartoon some days.

Indonesia chocolate is rubbish and the price and quality in the Pacific is also questionable! Many blocks…. Salt and vinegar chips, why do more countries not make them??? I would almost commit murder to get a few packs these days! We miss our family and friends terribly and are so glad when they come and visit! Want a sandwich but no bread? Go down to the shop. Milk run out?

A quick car ride and the problem is sorted. Need wine for that quick afternoon drink at your girlfriends, no drama just stop at any bottle store. Out here is all about planning and being super prepared, especially when you are DAYS away from any shops! Everything takes so many more steps to complete a task. Want to do the laundry? Then hang on the front of the boat on the line, that you need to put up and take down each time you need it as you have to wrap it around the headsail. Lucky I only do laundry once a week now! We met a lady in Vanuatu who had bought eggs from a village, popped them in her egg carton and the next morning she woke to find 2 had hatched and she now had 2 chicks on board….

Anchoring off isolated white sand spits and beaches, coconut palm swaying with no one in sight. Nothing is better!