Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New job

I have been in my new position as Training Coordinator (Personnel) for about three weeks (full time) now.  My training has been rather sketchy as our store scrambles to take on a couple hundred new employees to work in our new super center that is due to open in late October.

My main role right now is leading the new hire orientations... a task I really enjoy.  It's very much like being in the classroom again.. only I'm not a substitute... it's my class.  :)  I have a lengthy guide (lesson plan) to follow, and I am slowly making it my own as I get more comfortable and familiar with the material contained within.  Though I am still learning how to process all the paperwork that goes along with these orientations, I very much enjoy working and interacting with our new hires.. each group brings something new to the table.

I've also been helping schedule interviews as well as inputting data into our antiquated computer systems.  Sadly, my numerous other job functions and training have taken a back seat to our mass hiring project.. but this is teaching me at least one aspect of my job in great detail.

Unfortunately, with mass hiring comes mass chaos.  Paperwork is every where.. people just plopping things on my desk... asking random questions as if personnel knows everything about everything all the time... and of course, we always end up with too many cooks in the kitchen as they say.  Everyone wants to be the boss, but not many want to roll up their sleeves and get the job done.  I have been impressed and inspired by a core group of co-workers who have been diligently working to make this process work and are ALWAYS there to lend me a hand and help answer my questions.

It's now beginning to sink in that this is my new job (rather than just a temporary thing) - especially as I begin to forge a new routine to follow.  For me routine is very important as I'm a creature of habit. 

Despite still working in a retail setting, I no longer feel like a store employee.. I feel more like an office worker, and it's a very positive transition.  Though it certainly has it's share of stresses.. especially now.. I find the work more rewarding and have a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.  Not dealing with the customers is also a great blessing and a welcomed change.. though I am quickly learning that working closely with management is not always an "easier" alternative. hahaha!

Though this is not my dream job, I am thankful for a positive step forward (especially now being full time permanently) and for the chance to use my skills as a teacher on a regular basis.  The skills I am now learning from this experience will also transfer very well into the classroom should I ever be fortunate enough to land that ever illusive full time teaching position. 

Even baby steps forward are steps in the right direction.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to crash from utter paperwork exhaustion.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Catching Up

It's been quite a while since my last posting.  I wish I could say I've been off on wonderful adventures or on an amazing vacation, but that's sooooo not the truth.  Dare to dream though!

I recently transferred from my job in the Photo Center at my store to a position as Training Coordinator in personnel.  It was a very slight pay increase, but it promised me full time hours.  I would love to tell you what my new job functions are, but to be honest, after a little over two weeks of working in the office (though some of that time I was covering in my old department) I don't feel much closer to knowing my position.

Our store is in the process of moving as well as taking on over 200 new employees over the next two months.  Naturally, personnel is right in the middle of all this.  Talk about trial by fire!  Some times I get so overwhelmed by people walking into the office and telling me what they need done that I feel like my head is going to explode.  Not exactly the best time to learn whole new job functions - computer systems (which are archaic... one program is DOS based.. DOS BASED!! Who uses DOS anymore???) - and routine.  My "training" has consisted of learning on the go and trying to take massive amounts of notes to try and get me by.

So far, I've been helping input information into the computer for new hires, calling applicants and setting up appointments for interviews.  That's what my day to day job has consisted of - that and being a personal secretary to a new manager with the company who seems to think I work only for them.  So basically when our personnel director (who is AMAZING) goes out of town soon for a week and I go to take over for her.. I'll know how to make phone calls.

It tickles me when managers ask me a question about how to do something and I have to tell them "I don't know".  They look at me like I'm nuts.. like when my job code changed, I magically absorbed all the knowledge of a person doing this job for years.  Granted, I'm learning from asking my NUMEROUS questions and attempting to learn the tasks asked of me... but it's not a practical or comfortable learning process.

I'm extremely thankful for many of my knowledgeable co-workers who have been helping me out, and taking time from their chaotic work loads to help show me the ropes and answer my questions.  It's so un-nerving not to know my routine and have all the answers.  I went from a job I could do in my sleep to finding myself asking for help every five minutes.  Thank God I have friends there!!  They've been wonderful and supportive!

Another job duty that I HAVE actually done is conducting new hire orientations.  These typically last about 7 hours per orientation.  It's set up very similar to following a classroom lesson plan.. something my teaching background has helped prepare me for - and is a job function that I'm hoping will look much better on my resume.

While doing the same lesson over and over again can get tedious, I do look forward to meeting and working with our new hires.  I know how intimidating it can be starting a new job (and I'm getting a dose of that again with this position) in a new place.. so I want to make their first day on the job as pleasant as possible.  What happens to them after orientation... that I'm a little concerned about.  I'm nervous they are going to get lost in the craziness of the move and hiring focus.

I've also been trying to keep in touch with my friend Anne who is suffering from brain cancer.  I went to see her for a brief visit last week and she looked horrible.  I can't believe all the weight she's lost... and her energy is all but gone.  It's so hard for me to watch her fade away like this - and know how much it hurts her to not be able to keep going.  She's a person who has always needed to be busy.. needed to be "doing", and now that's all gone.

As we were talking, she told me how worried she is about leaving her husband (who suffers from Alzheimer's) behind.  Through the 14 years I've known Anne.. and all the tragedy we've been through, I've never seen/heard her cry until now.  Her wish is not to miraculously get better and live forever, but to simply be able to care for her husband so he won't have to be alone - and live in a nursing home.  Even now, her main concern is the well being of those she loves.

Anne has always been a person who had such an enormous light inside her.. an incredible force of good in the world.  While she never went to college or had a profession as we know it today, she made a remarkable impact on the lives of everyone she has come into contact with.  There are often times I have wished I could give the energy and years I have left to people like that.. people who make a difference and have a light to share with others.  It almost seems wasted on me.