After the last two posts here & here detailing the evolution of working at Nostalgia & Comics, getting taken over and the travails of working the basement, it seemed a natural progression to finish the trilogy with a little bit on my final years at the shop.
It's not the end of the posts or the series though - lots more stuff to rake over still but this is the final real basement post
(thank god for that I hear from the crowd, more muckracking please....)
So, to get on with it........
After getting the basement finally sorted not once but twice it was meant to get a lot easier and I should have been having a lot more fun in the shop.
But sadly it just wasn't the case.
Instead of actually relaxing and enjoying myself - after all this was still only my Saturday job, the one I did to be with my friends and to be immersed in the comic world - I found myself getting more stressed about the 9 hour Saturday shift than anything else in my life.
I spent most of Thursday and Friday wondering what sort of a mess I'd end up walking into when i went in on Saturday morning. I'd deliberately try to get in extra early on a Saturday morning just to have a little extra time to sort the basement out.
I'd get angry when they needed me on the shopfloor because i was stressed out that I hadn't got the basement sorted to my high (impossibly high) standards.
It just wasn't working and it was obvious.
But of course the answer took a lot of working out.
Eventually my obsessional nature and the stresses I was putting onto myself got to boiling point and I had a bit of a hissy fit at the staff over some stupid things. God bless them, they didn't respond as they should have and kicked my sorry arse out the door but basically told me to stop being such a prick and get a grip.
Which I did.
I almost immediately decided to reduce my work there, dropping down to every other Saturday and gradually got used to that. Although having worked solidly Saturdays ever since I was 16 or so it came as a shock to discover that the weekend actually has two whole days to it.
But I was still getting stressed out coming into the shop every other week and was still getting obsessive about the damn place. Until eventually sometime in October 2005 I actually quit. A very sudden thing. I remember having a truly shit day, very stressed about the basement and the mess down there and eventually telling Dave I was done, finished. Effectively immediately.
To say this was a bit of a shock to wonderful Mr Dave would be an understatement.
But bless him, he understood the reasons and let me go away and get it out of my system, keeping in touch through email until he felt comfortably enough a month later to slowly start to reel me back in. He's a cunning swine, that Dave. He asked me if I'd mind coming in to do a Saturday when he was really short staffed and I agreed.
So I started working there again and, freed from the stress I'd been under before (completely of my own making of course) I found that I really loved it again.
And that was it. Another few months and then I dropped the bombshell that not only were Louise and I thinking about moving up to Yorkshire we'd taken steps, found the school for Molly, found the house and put ours on the market.
And that really was the end. No more Nostalgia & Comics for me.
But of course, the shop never really leaves you.
And I'm still in contact with them and I'm writing these posts to talk about my experiences there.
So to finish, I'll point you to the first post in this series: Nostalgia & Comics & Me part 1.
Nostalgia & Comics & Me 1987-2006.
A glorious place where I had many fantastic times, met so many wonderful people who would become good friends to this day, became a better, more rounded person and created a damn fine basement.
Not bad really.