I was first introduced to Maplin in the summer of 1988. My uncle got me a Maplin catalogue (£4.99 from WH Smiths) and it had a huge multitude of gadgets and gizmos that no woman would ever understand, and no bloke could ever be without.
Over the years I've dealt with Maplin a lot. When I went to college I had to use Maplin to buy the components needed for each project. When I completed my course, I went for a job with them along with most of the others that completed my course. When I got my first proper job with Dinah, we would regularly buy components when they were urgently needed. The arrival of a store in Swansea about 6 years ago has meant I've been a regular customer there since it's opening.
Maplin itself has changed beyond recognition. It no longers has many of the kits that made it so appealing to me as a teenager. It has a huge PC section, whereas they might have had a motherboard or two before but that was it. It has radio controlled toys by the bucketload, but the large array of components has been reduced to just essentials.
Whilst my expertise is greatly valued, and the challenge of solving each and every customer's requirements is great, the hours on my feet are the only negative. Also, buying boots that don't fit properly is also not a good thing. But I can honestly say that I can see me staying there for a long time. There are no politics. If a job needs doing, you just get on with it. Everyone works well with everyone else, and whilst it still seems a little chilly with some of the younger staff, it is a welcoming atmosphere.
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