People ask me all of the time why it is that I find myself in the pub trade and investing my life and soul into a little old Shanklin pub. Unless you know me very well indeed it is kinda hard to explain.
When I speak of Terry (the old man*) and the halycon days of the Phoenix even I tend to recall a business awash with trade and with cash but there is far more to the story than that.
Cash has always been alluring but what inspired me was the family that I fell into. The interactions between Terry and Carol and their ability to put you up at a moments notice. The invitations to dinner, surplus from the restaurant mostly, were a source of so much pride to a young me. These were my family, I didn’t work for them I loved them, I loved the girls around them (Mwah Donna) I just loved feeling part of something. I was anchored I had a purpose and I loved it, this was my life.
So for me it has never been about staff, never about wages it has been about the plough family and I am so lucky with what I have. I don’t go 24 hrs without speaking to team plough and its rarely about work. We speak about life we talk about how we will address certain things and how WE will continue to grow this lovely old lady. The people who work here are not staff they are as much the plough as I am and even after they leave (Lucy) they are our family.
It is not necessarily easy to join our family and each and every one of us has an opinion of every new face, after all we are family. If you make the grade this organisation will look out for you in every way that it can, we may be an oddball bunch but the plough binds us.
Now I now some will read this and see marketing and bullshit but really, you just don’t understand us. Nick worked a few hours for me today so that I could close down some paperwork and get a shower, he had a shit day and didn’t need the pub but he knew I could do with a hand so he was here.
If you are plough family then the plough is your home, no secret doors, my office is never locked. If you are not comfortable to wander our halls without invitation then perhaps you are not team plough.
I don’t have, and will never have, any privacy in the plough and to be fair I don’t want it. The stairs to the flat are not secured (they are actually a warehouse for stock) I don’t go upstairs and hide I am always here. I often hear a voice travel down the corridor to the office and then turn to head upstairs to the flat, the conversation still happens, its natural there are no barriers. That the people who work here are as happy yelling up the stairs as walking into my office makes me smile after all we are all the plough.
So, as you have gathered, my mood is not the brightest at the moment and all the people here have noticed this. I am doing my best but the purpose is all a bit vague at the moment and times are, to say the least, pretty tough. So what makes me smile in these darker days is when I decide that I don’t want a shower, these old bones are in need of a hot soak. So after I ran a bath and lowered myself into scalding water (thank you to Colchester physio for that lesson). I am literally just getting my breath back when a voice shoots up the stairs and we have a conversation about a remote left with the plug out.
For those of you who have had children, let me assure you that pub family is way less forgiving, for a start they never sleep! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. No, its more than that I am immensely, unbelievably proud of what we have, what we have made and how we are. There will never be a problem that we can’t fix between us, our team looks out for each other wherever we are and you neither cross us or the pub.
So, should you ever read this Tel, this is the phoenix reborn but its done in our own way. I spent my life reminiscing on some of the greatest times of my young life and I think you would be pleased with my version.
*a term of reference not my father