Hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to work we go… July 24, 2012Posted by Phil Groom in Life.
Tags: Aslan Books, Christian Book Trade, Return to Work, Richard Greatrex, Social Networking, UKCBD
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THIS WEEK sees me returning to work at last after a long absence following my close encounter with a piece of cardboard back in April, just as the weather seems to be changing for the better (although after two days of sunshine I can already hear the water company doom-mongers psyching themselves up to declare a state of drought).
It’s been an interesting time, mostly spent updating and developing UKCBD, the UK Christian Bookshops Directory, alongside catching up and keeping up with friends on facebook; if you’re curious, you’ll find most of the UKCBD updates on the UKCBD blog under Latest Updates. There’s plenty left to do, including adding a whole raft of new entries for shops I’ve discovered that weren’t already listed: despite the economic gloom and the challenges of digitisation/online sales, the Christian book trade is alive and kicking. Whilst some Christian bookshops have gone to the wall, booksellers are fighting back, embracing the challenges and changing with the times, engaging with their customers on facebook and twitter and exploring other routes to market.
I’ve particularly enjoyed and been encouraged by watching Richard Greatrex’s fightback via Aslan Books. Facing redundancy once is bad enough; but to face it twice — first with the SPCK debacle then courtesy of Wesley Owen — and still come back fighting is nothing short of phenomenal: Richard, I salute you. If you, gentle reader, happen to live in the Bath/Bristol area, please make a point of supporting Richard’s enterprises:
- Aslan arrives in Bristol: The UK’s newest Christian Bookshop opens today (9/7/2012)
- With a Mighty Roar: Bath’s microshop receives a name – Aslan Books (19/4/2012)
Back to work for me, however: it’s a phased return over a six week period initially, working short stints and gradually building back up to full time or a revised contract as the case may be. The emphasis throughout my absence has been on getting me fit for work: there’s been no undue pressure for me to return until I was ready to do so; and in the return to work process, again, it’s all about getting it right for me. I couldn’t have asked for a more helpful attitude from my colleagues and employers.
As for getting to and from work: Bradley Wiggins, look out! Yes, I’ve got my bike out. My ankle isn’t ready for walking to and fro as I always used to, but cycling is another story: in my last physio session, the physiotherapist put me through my paces on an exercise bike and it’s clear that I’m okay for that.
Last but not least, a massive thank you to everyone who has enquired about how I’m doing, to everyone who has sent cards and messages to cheer me along the road to recovery: see you out there, people!!