Dry Dock Drag

Well, it’s really late in Ollie world – just gone 3am – but I’m again having trouble sleeping. I’ve suffered from insomnia since about 14, and whilst it comes and goes at will, it can get to be a real drag sometimes. (Oooo, I hate that word – it sounds like an angst-ridden American teenager – I apologise and will try not to use that word again!)

Obviously, the condition is usually related to diet, stress and general well-being – that much I do know. I’ve seen a couple of doctors a few years back, and they just gave be a dose of Temazepam and told me not to drink caffeine before bed. Well duh! Of course I don’t put the kettle on before I go to bed – although coffee does actually have quite a soothing effect on me, which is something I could never get my head around. The least insomniac I can remember being was when I decided to leave university and venture out into the big wide world of work. Why my insomnia would clear up at this point in my life is something I again could not figure out. At the time, I was renting a flat with some uni friends and had bills to pay and whatnot. I also had the stress involved with figuring out what to do with my life, and knowing I had only a short space of time to do so. The pressure was on, but in a way, maybe the pressure was off. I had already made the decision in my mind to leave uni, so maybe that was the calming influence that encouraged sleep?

Anyhow, so sleep has been a desired luxury for the past week, which has probably influenced my moods – sorry if I’ve seemed down or grumpy.

There is no stress in my relationship – Claire as ever is being a pillar of support, even if she doesn’t realise it. The pillar wobbled a bit earlier in the week when she told me her father is visiting next weekend from Ireland, and of course wants to see where her daughter is going to be living after her PGCE course. Whilst I have no problems with visitors, the flat is a complete shithole. Not dirty with dishes piled up to the ceiling, but building-site resembling hole. But that’s okay, I don’t mind too much, just as long as I and we are not judged by the current state of work on the flat.

Work isn’t causing stress in itself, as there are no major issues that need resolving. In fact, it is eerily quiet at the moment. Not quiet in terms of business, but quiet in terms of staffing issues and other such headaches that usually blight my attempts at creating serenity and tranquility.

However work is causing a slight upset on a different level, and it has plagued my mind now for a few days. You see, the company I work for is quite small, but still big enough to be considered for corporate banking. So mid-sized then! We run (franchised) restaurants and do it well. I’ve been in the game for over six years now, and my boss has been doing it for over ten. We are a good team and with our combined knowledge (his in business, mine in operations) we run a pretty good ship. Unfortunately, an obstacle has presented itself which may put the ship in dry-dock for a while.

In an ideal world, the company would continue to grow at a manageable pace, and with this growth comes better pulling power with financing and better structure within the organisation. With more stores, we can afford to employ more people to help myself, the Accountant and the HR Manager. Eventually, you would end up with a well-run company that is making a lot of money. That has been the bosses goal for many years, and he has passed that dream on to me. We all want to continue with what we’re doing, to improve and expand. Unfortunately, the bureaucracy that is forced upon us from above and the inconsistent managing of the people that enforce the franchise agreement coupled with a slight change in the way new stores are opened has caused us to reconsider our dream. We still want to continue in the way we are, but it is getting increasingly difficult when it should be getting increasingly easier! I understand change is inevitable (except from parking meters), but some change is too much to take. It isn’t necessarily a problem caused by the big cheese in America, it is more do with the inbetweeners – people who know very little, enforcing stupid or incorrect things, but also have the power to close you down in three months.

So I ended up having a long conversation with the boss this evening, trying to come to a decision or resolution. You see, the thing that worries me most isn’t my job – I know I’ll be looked after, and if that cannot be done, I’ll receive something that will keep me going for a long while. And it isn’t really the possibility of not continuing with what we are currently doing. It is the lack of future direction that has caused this unrest in my mind. The lack of a goal, target or dream. If I have nothing to aim for, what is the point in waking up each morning?

So this conversation led to us brainstorming possible business ventures, and neither of us are particularly creative. Hence why the boss chose a franchised system all those years ago – somebody else did the hard work and he just bought into the idea. We threw various things around (literally, but that only happened once) and we still cannot find a worthy idea of pursuing. Why isn’t there a manual for these sort of circumstances?

I’m sure well think of something, and the current stores will always remain what they are. The future though, well that’s a different kettle of fish all together

Maybe that is the cause of my current bout of sleeplessness? Or maybe it is the hedgehog I keep finding in my bed!? Who knows, but at least it is the weekend and I can catch up on the beauty treatment!

Good morning!