If you know me long enough you will know already that leaving Great Queen Street is not easy. (You can read the first time I had to do it here).
If it was not easy already to leave it as a Team Leader, imagine now that I am the GM.
Looking at the past and reading now through that post I wrote almost 3 years ago I can say I had the enormous luck of being able to go back to GQS as a manager. I remember on my last day before being transferred for the first time, going out the door, turning around and thinking: "Will I ever come back here?" And my hyper-realistic mind answered "Well, you probably won't, Laura. Usually people doesn't get transferred again to their previous shop" but from somewhere (probably my heart, although I hate to admit it) came out: "One day... I will come back... And one day I will be the General Manager". The rest is history, after only 4 months I came back to my first and only true love in London.
I managed to go from the bottom to the top of the Family tree in one shop, I've been in every possible position in there (I was KP for one glorious evening... And fish cutter one crazy Saturday.)
Those almost 3 years back in GQS as a manager (first assistant, then kitchen, then GM) were also hard but rewarding. As a manager, in opposition to being a Team Member or Team Leader, is less about your own development and more about your team's... I had the chance to work with a great bunch of people and give them advice.
I got a good example from those people who inspired me in the past (and some still keep doing so) and I don't have words to express how it feels to see someone improving with your guidance. It's just amazing. I usually say to myself: I'm nothing more and nothing less than the people I work with. And making my team better made me better. I would like to think I made a positive impact in someone's life.
These days I have been slowly realising I will miss little things that I've never appreciated enough like passing by the hot section and checking the quality of the chicken, or having the key of the shop in my key ring, is one of those things that no one thinks about...But it bears so much responsibility. Having a shop of your own is like having a child (forgive me parents of all the world as you might disagree on that) but you just never stop worrying about it! And about all the people in there... Sorry, did I say it's like having A child? It's like having 18 kids! Every single one of them keeps me awake at night (some of them literally). But on the bright side, I get to feel proud 18 times more. I was blessed with my team and although sometimes I wanted to kill them (hehe) I could not be more proud of them.
Like in the post I wrote 2 and half years ago, when I look back at those times now, I stop and think "How the f**k did I end up here?" I'm for sure nothing like that shy girl who entered the shop for a Discovery Day in 2011. I've learned so many things and developed so much in almost 5 years I've changed completely! And that's why it's time to move on now and learn new things and keep developing myself. It's exciting and scary at the same time. But as I learned from How I Met Your Mother: "The future is scary, but you can't just run back to the past because it's familiar. Yes, it's tempting, but it's a mistake."
It's really exhilarating being aware of one's own fears and choosing to beat them, but that makes enough material for a whole new post that I might write in another occasion if I'm inspired. Today is about saying goodbye.
And goodbye is hard but also adventurous as it opens new doors... But for now:
Goodbye Great Queen Street.