Ok, so what happens exactly when one unpluggs from just about all things internet for about 51 days? Well, everything, yet nothing. See, for the past 8ish weeks, I’ve essentially been unplugged from my computer thanks to an opportunity to help a friend move, and setup, his new business.
Doing a bunch of site development and implementations as a freelancer has provided me with some great time flexibility, and when my good friend Dean (and his business partners) decided to buy an existing SCUBA diving retail store, and move it to a new location, I was in a great position to lend a hand.. some blood.. some brains.. some muscles… some 16h days.. and really, about 8 weeks of pure mayhem.
The shop they purchased was the Float n’ Flag Dive Centre located in Burlington, Ontario. The shop has been around for over 30 years and the original owner decided it was time to retire. Dean, recognizing a great opportunity, seized the chance with two other business partners and the mayhem began.
So what happens when you buy a dive business and decide to move it? Well, just about everything. Dive shops are unlike any other retail businesses in that they combine a full retail store, a warehouse for inventory and rental equipment, offices and a classroom, a full service lab for testing and repairing equipment, as well as a gas supply factory for filling SCUBA tanks…
When we finally got the retail space finished and open for business:
the initial thought was “Great! We’re half way there!”, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The retail space has been open for just over 4 weeks now, the gas supply part has been functioning for 3 weeks, the warehouse has barely been functional for 2 weeks, the lab is 75% finished, and the drywall in the office just got it’s final sanding and priming on Thursday morning… The carpet for the office has arrived, the computers have arrived (no accounting software yet), the racking for the rental gear wash bay has arrived, the stainless steel counter-tops for the lab are being picked up tomorrow, Transport Canada is due to arrive once the hydrostatic testing system is finished being hooked up, and then it is simply a matter of getting all our tools out and finishing up the little bits like doors, trim, and well, figuring out office furniture and tool organization for the lab…. Did I mention that there is a fully operational retail store going on at the same time with an unbelievable amount of traffic?
Needless to say, it’s been one hell of a ride!
Moving two 400lb air compressors, twenty eight 100lb cylinders our of a basement, and installing a 300lb I-beam 12 feet in the air, test your physical abilities. Designing and building retail space, classroom space, office space, a lab, a warehouse, and a gas supply factory on the fly tests your mental abilities. Running on little sleep for weeks on end, dealing with customers, suppliers, and business partners definitely tests your emotional stability to say the least.
Much has been learned already, and much has yet to be learned – I can assure you of that.
The weird part in all of this is that somehow I have managed to land full-time employment in the technology sector, and I start on Wednesday… Talk about culture shock! I go from freelance web-bum, to retail construction guy, and now I’m throwing myself in to a corporate environment complete with suits, meetings, benefits packages, and limited vacation days…. Weird, I know! The plus side to this move is that I was sought out and recruited for my skills, and the job appears to be challenging, exciting, and right up my alley when it comes to technology – I can’t wait.
Am I going to miss the dive shop? You bet! The two passions in my life are: my wife, and SCUBA diving. The great thing is that I was able to help lay the foundation for a friend’s ultimate success. This is his opportunity to make his mark, use his years of experience, and apply it to something he is truly passionate about – I wish him all the success in the world.
So what does all this mean for LOGICal eMOTIONs, right? Well, with somewhat ‘normal’ hours in the very near future I will actually have time (and the mental capacity) to keep adding to this blog. I’ve felt bad that I essentially vanished from this blog for the last while and had every intention of posting a quick update – except 2am blog posts of unintelligible gibberish isn’t really good for anyone. I knew there would be an end to the intensity at some point, and I’m glad you’re still here now that I’ve found it.
To sum up: after a blurry and fuzzy 51 days – we’re back!