24 October 2015

I think I'm in Kindergarten

Ok, I have got to learn how to read situations better - lol

The job at the fly fishing place is different than I felt it was described. Did I misinterpret? Did they misrepresent? Did I only hear what I wanted to?

At first I was quite downhearted about how things are turning out, then I babbled to both of my sisters and S about it all and felt better. Might be a bipolar thing, might not, but I'm trying to look at the situation with amusement and doing better about going with the flow...while I look for another job.

One of the biggest challenges is that there are some new positions in the company. Mine - Packaging Coordinator - the Operations Manager, and the Controller are all positions that did not exist before. This means a shuffle of duties and a learning curve both for the person in the new position and for the people that created the positions. What's working, what's not, where to improve.

I asked during both interviews if I would be in charge of people as part of my job, making sure to be very clear that this is my weakest suit. No problem, I was assured that the people part of the job rests with the Warehouse Manager. It's been two weeks and it's abundantly clear that I am in charge of making sure the packagers are doing their job correctly. Um. That means I'm in charge of people in some way. S pointed out that my job title "Coordinator" is bottom level management. No authority but lots of responsibility. Dammit.

So far in my training I've learned that I like to take ownership of my duties early on. I want to prioritize my tasks and learn from the mistakes I will inevitably make. This is not how I'm being trained and when I try to take over my trainer then refuses to answer my questions. Ah, the land of Passive Aggressevia. So I have decided to stop making waves and just go with the flow. I ask my trainer what she would like me to do next, or I offer to make labels or something. Ultimately I do as she says with a smile and an internal reminder that I am being paid by the hour. 

At one point I was told by the WM and OM to take a firmer hand with my trainer and not allow any bad habits to flow into my training. My reaction to that comment was to say that if it was month six I would gladly accept the reprimand, but I was on day three and there is no way I could possibly know better. They backed off immediately saying it wasn't a reprimand just a reminder to do things differently. They also want me to do all the tasks and have my trainer follow me around and watch...this has not happened. My trainer refuses to just stand around and do nothing. They have told her a couple of times to let me do the work but she has still doesn't. OM and WM seem terrified at the idea of reprimanding her or informing her of how her insubordination is wrong. 

Oh my god it's like being in kindergarten - *OM gets overly bright smile and talks slowly so my little brain can keep up* "We want you to have fresh eyes on what we do here, so if you see a way of improvement please let us know, even if you don't fully understand why things are being done that way." A small funeral is held in my brain for the cells that had to die because my intelligence is not needed here. The kicker phrase that set that up: 'We want to make improvements not changes'...somehow indicating change is bad and scary but improvements are good and cheery. 

Ok, improvements. I participated...ok, watched my trainer...in the monthly inventory of bags, labels, and inserts. Trainer looked at the first item on the alpha-numeric list and looked in all the locations of where this item is, counted, wrote it down, moved to the next item on the list. This is inefficient and inaccurate, mostly because I don't know that there is an extra box of labels behind a box of inserts (stored there for lack of space) and you can easily miss a box. Instead, I think inventory should be done by standing in front of the racking and starting at the top left. What is in that box and how many? Find it on the list and write it down. Count the one next to it and so on and so on, left to right, top to bottom. The list is only three pages each for bags, labels, and inserts and every single bin is marked with the alpha-numeric code so it's not hard to find. I made the mistake of mentioning how I could make the inventory better to OM. She stopped me. Oh lordy give me strength. 

She said in her slow, talking-to-a-four-year-old voice, "Maybe you don't know or understand why we do things that way. You see, the position of Packaging Coordinator didn't exist before so WM and Trainer were just doing the very best they could. They are supposed to put the overstock box behind the open box but there just isn't room where the bags are kept. You are coming across as very blame-y in saying that they are doing it wrong. They really did their best so changing it comes across as too overpowering. But I understand that you just didn't know why we do things this way." I grabbed a few brain cells before their demise to remind myself to simply not mention anything in the future. Just do it differently and show them it's more efficient. Assuming, of course, that I'm still employed there next month.

I really am trying to be more lighthearted about this and see these people as characters in a book. How would I write them? What words describe their tone best? Another job might be the best solution for me, but at the moment I'm being paid so I will make the best of it and learn how to not let things bug me so much.


manchester fat acceptance said...

oh god, i can just hear the voices from the way you wrote it up. sickening.

p.s. in my last job we did inventory by finding the item on the list. worked for a whole big warehouse!

Chantelle said...

Wow your trainer sounds annoying. It sounds so frustrating to be talked down to... I know I'd have a hard time with that so I'm impressed that you're keeping your cool.

At some point your trainer will leave you alone and you'll be able to do things better. And then when questioned, you can say, "I know that you were doing your very best before and that I don't know everything, but this new way will save so much of our time and will make everything easier. Sometimes a pair of fresh eyes can see how things can be streamlined. Of course I'd never ask you to change; I only want to make things more efficient and I know you want me to do the best possible job I can."

Love you,