Being Tony: A New Start


It was not just my friends that were moving on. In the spring following that very memorable Christmas party, a new store was opening in the retail park, a general furniture store that was keen to expand. I heard on the grapevine that they were looking for someone to head up their new bedding area, and I put some feelers out. It sounded like a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new venture right here in Lynn, so after some negotiation I gave my notice to Brightstone Beds and moved the short distance to New Lynn Furniture.

I was in sole charge of the bed and bedding area, which was a change from being the head of a team, and it was a challenge I was ready to raise to. What I immediately found was that the management was somewhat unrealistic in their expectations. My sales were not high, but we were at the back of the store, and hardly inviting to the general public passing by. I had been promised a marketing budget, but it turned out that they were more interested in promoting the front of the store, and my area felt somewhat isolated and left behind.

However, I gave it my best shot and was happy enough to help out my colleagues in the other departments when it was quiet back in my area. The company had a much more modern ordering system than I was used to, and so I also spent some time updating my skills on the latest software, and generally everything was going well.

This job fitted in well with the rest of my life too, and I was able to keep in touch with many of my friends. I met Mary occasionally, and we enjoyed each other, and it was straightforward, just two friends having fun together. I went out casually with a couple of other women too. I liked to show off my knowledge of the out-of-the-way places around the area that even many of the locals did not know about, which often led to more intimate explorations, but I never got to any sort of vulnerable place with them

Mainly, however, I liked to just hang out with friends at the bar, or go to the beach by myself. I was back to maintaining the Jag myself too, but this was getting to be something of a pain with no workshop to work in, and I let it slide more than would have done in previous times.


I had been employed at New Lynn Furniture for nearly a year when one day I got a call to go and talk to the General Manager. He told me that their bed venture was not as successful as they had hoped and that they were scaling back their operations in that area. The result was that they would no longer need a specialist salesman in this field, and they were letting me go.

I admit it was a severe blow to my pride, not to mention my finances, but I reasoned that really, the management was at fault in not allowing me to promote the business more. Rather than work out my notice period, they offered me paid vacation time for the rest of the month, and I took them up on that, I could not see the point in staying around working when my heart would not be in it.

I spent the next few weeks pottering around the North Norfolk Coastline. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next with my life but wasn’t in any hurry to jump into anything. One morning Jenny called me and asked if I would be able to take a delivery to Norwich for her, and I was pleased to help her out. It was a long time since I’d driven anything other than my Jag, so it took a bit of adjustment to drive her delivery van, but I did a good enough job, found my way to the location without any problems, and dropped off the delivery. Then I took the pretty route back, along the coast road, and it was late afternoon before I dropped the van off at Jenny’s shop.

I was in limbo, not sure what I would do next, but just letting the flow of life take me, which, after all, had worked so far.


About Derek Knight

Transplanted Brit, now in the US Mid West | Writer, blogger & author | passionate about life | Traveler and home body | | | |
This entry was posted in Being Tony - A Novel, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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