Monday, March 19, 2012

Funny Twist

I mentioned before that my new employer, Mark, is a regular customer of my brother's (and previous employer's) shop.  Part of my duties include picking up and delivering products occasionally.  Well, the other day, I was asked to make a stop at my brother's shop.  I'm a professional, so I went.  But I really do not quite trust myself to come face to face with my sister-in-law (who fired me) yet.  I soothed myself by reasoning that she probably wouldn't be there anyway, since she never kept a tight schedule.  When I arrived, there were no employees to be seen, but three customers were waiting in the entrance.  All customer eyes seemed fixed on me with puzzled glances.  I thought the uneasiness was very odd, and so was the fact that three customers were abandoned.  I had worked there for a year and generally 2 or 3 staff members would huddle over each customer offering suggestions throughout the interaction.  Perhaps there was only one employee on staff just then, and they could've been retrieving something from the warehouse for one of the customers.  Perhaps they had gone through with some lay-offs they'd been entertaining.  Then I heard my sister-in-law's voice come from a nearby office.  She told the caller that my brother was present.  I stood there for a minute or two.  No one ever came to wait on anyone.  Then I noticed that the order for which I had been sent, was staged beside the door with an invoice attached.  I took it and left without ever having laid eyes on a single employee.  When I was there, I was the only employee who ever created invoices before the customer arrived.  I considered it good customer service, but no one ever agreed with me.  So, either someone finally acknowleged the wisdom of my method, or it was readied so that I would have no excuse to linger on their doorstep.  On the drive back, I figured that the reaction of the other customers suggested that my sister-in-law had cowardly exited the room to purposely avoid me.  In any case, I did not want to linger either so I was glad that it happened the way it did.

Just as I had returned to my new jobsite, the boss received a call from my sister-in-law.  He looked a little alarmed at me, but said only "ok then, we'll take care of that, no problem."  It was obvious that the conversation was about me and complaintive, so I said, "Did I forget something?  The shop was full of customers so I just picked up the items left for us.  The invoice is here too." 

Mark said, "No, no.  It was something else entirely."  I knew he was lying, but since his purpose was simply to keep peace, I didn't push the issue. 

Sadly, it is believably in character for her to avoid me, and then make waves by claiming I had avoided her.  Despite having my own hard feelings, I walked right through the front door of that shop, stood around for several minutes, so it can hardly be said that I avoided her.  It is also within character for her to fire me and then interfere with my relationship with my new boss.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Denied an Interview

I mentioned before, that I am keeping my second job (one morning per week) for the time being.  Several positions have opened up there.  Before Mark hired me, I had applied for a positon that I had held with that company before.  More correctly, I would often substitute into that position to cover vacations and such.  I should have been a natural choice, the best imaginable candidate, and I felt rather snubbed to have not even been selected for the interview process.  Especially was this so when I discovered that the position had been filled by a new employee who was ill-suited to the sales job for which she had been hired.  I was pleased to learn today that she had given notice that she would be leaving the company.  Someone suggested that I apply for the position again, or one of the other two openings.  I almost laughed.  At this point, since I am gainfully employed, they would have to approach me, and make a gooooood offer before I would even consider them.  As it is, when I find full-time employment, they will have a very difficult time replacing me on the day of the event, because I do a job that takes about a year to learn and is critical to the flow of the entire weekly event.  But, then it is a corporation with deep pockets, who can afford to fly someone in from the main office to cover and train a new matter how skilled you are, you're just a number to them.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Challenges of the New Job

So, a little about my new job....  They have a great crew of salesmen and installers, but no one to manage inventory.  The methods they have in place just don't work.  There is a lot of redundance in the paperwork, and different departments track customer orders differently, so there is no cohesion.  One department is tracking orders by a PO number, another department is tracking orders by customer name, and another is tracking by invoice number.  This is really gumming up the works and wasting massive amounts of time--and everyone is overworked as it is.  In fact, they had lost an installer to fatigue just days before I was hired.  He has been replaced by a young kid named Jerry who has an excellent aptitude for the trade, but lacks experience.  I'm up to the challenge, and have already suggested some promising solutions.

I'm starting out as a part-time employee, but the boss, Mark, has already suggested that using me to my full potential will quickly require a full-time schedule.  (For, he intends me to redesign his website, and start experimenting with some internet sales, eventually.)  This part-time schedule has allowed me to keep my other job (one morning per week) for now. 

The work itself is very physically demanding, because I have to reorganize shelves of product, as well as receive incoming shipments.  Then there is the pecking order that has to be established--some quiet posturing and manuevering between coworkers (and it is a company who has never employed a woman before, in a manly sort of industry).  The worst part of a new job is the best part of a new job:  the EXCITEMENT!  I love having control of a project!  I love eating, breathing, and sleeping it!  But I'm exhausted physically and mentally.  I work all night in my sleep, only to rise and go to work!  Good thing Mark started me off part-time! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Out of Thin Air

The job hunt has been a little slow.  I hadn't quite gotten anxious about it yet, when the phone range one evening.  A regular patron of my brother's shop asked me to meet him the following morning to discuss a position with his company.  We arranged a time and place, and I hung up the phone.  My husband asked who the caller was.  I told him.  He asked, "what did he want?"  I said, "To offer me a job."  Then he asked, "Oh, really?  When did you apply?"  I was deeply satsified to answer, "I didn't!"  My husband couldn't completely help being impressed, though he tried. 

Apparently, I had made quite an impression on the man.  Upon discovering that I had lost my job, he immediately wanted me to work for him.  In the course of my interview, he revealed that he had asked my former employers for my home phone number.  A new position is actually being created for me. 

Come to think of it, my previous job came to me out of thin air too!  That doesn't exactly bode well.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Grandma's Reaction

My sister arranged for all of the womenfolk to spend the day at Grandma's house.  Since most of us are currently unemployed, we appreciated the diversion.  We all took some crafting supplies and fiddled around with that for the better part of a day.

I arrived at Grandma's house before the rest and the first thing she said was, "So, how did you get the day off of work?"  She said it rather accusingly, so I assumed that mom had told her that I no longer worked for my brother and his wife.  So, I admitted it.  No one had told her, so she stared with her mouth open for a full minute.  I did not wish to upset her further, so I just said that no reason was given.  Then I suggested that the economy made down-sizing a goood option.  She kept reasoning out questions like:  well, no one else knows how to do your job, do they?  did they get rid of anyone else?  etc.  I just said, I don't know to all of them.  She served me a beverage and then concluded, "I've always thought that she [my sister-in-law] didn't want anything to do with our family.  She has just about got him [my brother] separated from us completely now." 

Funny that Grandma's reaction was similar to mine.