Hi there, my name is Angus. If you’re a Vapourium Timaru customer, you probably know me as Gus, Dad, or “the skinny dude with a beard and bright coloured arms.” I don't mind what you call me, just don't call me late for dinner. I am the Store manager at Vapourium Timaru and I’m here to tell you a little bit about myself, my journey into vaping, and what eventually led me to working here at Vapourium.
I was once a very passionate tobacco enthusiast. I used to smoke 3-4 50 grams a fortnight, and had tried all methods to quit smoking - short of locking myself away in a secluded cabin in the middle of nowhere. My path to finding vaping as a successful tool to quitting cigarettes started out pretty rocky. I used to think that vaping was a fad, and that people only did it to be cool - how wrong I was! My first vape was a little “cig a like” that my hairdresser said was gonna be the magic bullet to my $300.00+ a fortnight habit. However, I got home and immediately regretted my purchase. The device had a little light that glowed when you inhaled on it, but rather than help with any cravings, it just gave me endless migraines. I gave up on the vape train and continued to devote my wage to the filthy cigarettes.
About a year later, my health had got to the point where my circulation (or lack off) had gotten so bad that playing with my kids on the floor was becoming an issue. Within 5 mins of being on the floor, my legs would go cold dead. Even in summer I was wearing socks to bed. I was sick of it. Sick of smelling gross. Sick of my lungs feeling heavy all the time. Sick of feeling like I had ran a marathon after walking around the block. Oh, and for years I had a doctor’s voice in my head from a stint in rehab saying “Angus, it appears you have hyper inflated lungs and should quit smoking immediately.” Well, doctor, it’s better late than never!
I reached out to an old staff member of mine who worked at the Vapourium, and asked him for advice. Cody knew I could eat a pouch of tobacco if I had the chance, and he made picking my first vape so easy. Most of all, he was incredibly supportive of the big life change I was about to make (even after the arrogant smoker in me hadn’t been so supportive of vaping).
Last week I became 2 years smoke-free. It is without a doubt the biggest life changing decision I ever made. I know there's a lot of people out there that say “just quit,” but the issue is greater than “just quitting.” If I could have just quitted something that was costing me sometimes $1000 on a rough month - I would have!
For me, quitting smoking gave me my health back. The first week of being smoke free I walked into my local supermarket that I visited weekly for the last 5 or so years, and smelt the bakery for the first time. I couldn't believe how amazing a bakery smelt . My circulation has also pretty much returned to normal, and I can run along with my kids and not have to stop. And that old morning cough that I used to call my ‘kick start’ has gone!
I am honoured to get to do what I do for a living. It wasn't as easy as just throwing away my old job though! I use to work for a tech company based in Timaru for nearly 10 years and making the switch to this job was full of anxiety and almost didn’t happen at all. When you've been at one place for so long it becomes part of you and changing roles was a challenge, but the day I showed up for my first day I knew I had came to right where I needed to be - Vapourium Timaru is my home and the wider Vapourium Crew is now extended family. We may be spread throughout the country but we are all in each others ear giving advice, cracking jokes, and all working together as a wider team as much as we are focussed on our own stores too - it's a very exciting atmosphere to be apart of.
I pride myself on making sure customer experience and customer service is of an incredibly high standard, and that's because you guys (our amazing customers) give me the freedom to be able to wake up everyday and do something I love and that's not something I take lightly.
Vapourium Timaru is doing some really awesome stuff in our community that I can't wait to share with you guys over the coming weeks!
Until next time - Angus/Dad