As a teenager Carolyn O’Connell from Dublin had little patience for books – by the time she joined Eason at 18 her love of literature was growing, as was her career.
It’s been around 10 years now and Carolyn is the Assistant General Manager of Eason in Blanchardstown. She says it has become her “second home” and a job that has changed her life for the better.
“Working at Eason has made me more patient, it has made me more aware. I now know how to deal with the public.
“I was pretty shy and nervous before, but in the last 10 years I’ve come out of my shell.
“Meeting people here every day does that.”
Eason is a legendary Irish retail company and brand with a history and heritage dating back more than 130 years.
The company currently employs over 650 people and operates more than 55 branches.
Struggling to get on with her life, she left school hard, but after entering Eason’s O’Connell Street Store the day after her Leaving Cert, Carolyn began that journey.
“When I started all these great managers took me under theirs and there was a really great atmosphere. I didn’t know that I should create my future, but I just fell in love with the store. I couldn’t see myself anywhere else.
“Our vision at Eason is to inspire and engage people of all ages. This mantra has kept me focused and connected with clients
“We try to build lifelong relationships with them and celebrate their passions through rewarding experiences.”
The past decade helped the Dubliner decide that a career in retail is for her because it “made me realize that I’m actually good at this and that I can grow in this area”.
Now, as one of the senior staff members, no two days are the same as Carolyn handles staffing schedules, billing, deliveries and delegates tasks among staff rather than taking on other duties.
“I have to make sure the floor standards are up to standard, oversee all jobs and look after the employees. But I spend most of the day on the floor that I love,” she added.
Spending time with books and meeting authors is “magical,” said Carolyn, who is now a self-confessed bookworm and one of the founding members of a special Eason book club.
“I now love to lose myself in a book. I never thought I would have the level of focus to get absorbed in a good book but I enjoyed it.
“Even my mother was a huge bookworm and I was never very interested in it, so it’s great to have that bond, to swap books, to recommend books to each other. It’s only because I started at Eason.”
She now counts crime novels among her regular reads, especially when the book is set in Ireland and Irish author Louise O’Neill is one of her favorite authors.
“I love books that relate to places and can visualize places. Liz Nugent is good and so is Jojo Moyes but you have to give me a good day for that,” laughed Carolyn.
Again, this is another benefit for Eason – the thrill of flipping through the pages of a must-read book while the excitement on children’s faces visits their shop.
“It’s heartwarming to see the amount of attention they create and the patience they have in the store. There is no urgency, there is no “get your stuff and go”. They can take out the books, they can sit on the floor, and they can take care of the space.
“It’s about the experience because for a lot of them it’s like going to the park. You could spend all day here.”
Carolyn hopes that one day she will be able to review books and see her name in print like some of her favorite books
But for now, she’s continuing to do the work she feels she wanted to do.
“I will be that. Eason treats me, so I go here, I’m a kid. I get all my stationery every summer. I don’t know any different.
“I’ve been here, I’ve been extremely angry, upset, happy – every emotion I’ve felt. It’s my second home, it’s my comfort blanket and I couldn’t go anywhere else.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/irelands-best-employers/im-10-years-at-eason-its-like-a-second-home-41670551.html I’ve been with Eason for 10 years – it’s like a home away from home