What did you do?

Oh my goodness this is tougher than I thought it would be.
I spent the last 3 plus months of my life doing my dream job, but I am having difficulty articulating the value add. That makes updating the old resume more challenging.

Let’s start:
The end of July I was at wits’ end trying to find something before my unemployment benefits ran out.
Low and behold, I was asked to interview for a job at a company I knew nothing about, except that they had gotten a lot of my money over the years.
It was the hottest day of the year!
I had to drive over 50 miles round trip!
I really had to convince myself to go on this adventure!
Man! I am so glad that I did!
In the end, I decided to go to the interview, if for no other reason than to answer the question about whether or not I opted out of a job possibility. I decided it would be a nice stop on my job search journey and it never hurts to tune your interview and interpersonal skills.
I was excited! I feel I went into this interview with the right mindset, so I am hoping to draw on this experience as I embark down the path of total rejection, again.

This was exciting. Here was a small company growing up fast! Who wouldn’t want to be part of that excitement? Lots of changes. Lots of growing pains. Lots of vision. Oh watch out for the fiefdoms! Somehow, that word seems more pertinent here than anywhere else I have ever used it!

They liked me. I liked them. I took the job!
The first ten minutes of my very, first day, I encounter drama between the QA Lead and the Lead ERP Dev.
It’s hard to operate in a vacuum and even worse to be in the eye of a power struggle.
This team knows how to get their stuff down, what they don’t know is what matters and to whom. This is what I spent the next couple of months solving.
When I left we were on the crux of a fully-agreed-upon cadence negotiated with the business stakeholders and mapped to the projected trajectory for continued maturity.
I am gonna miss this place!

“Raindrops on Roses…”

Yep, lyrics again. These are very poignant for today. You see, this song reminds me of my mother, for many reasons. My mother passed this morning and I am sad. I am beyond sad, but I don’t have the vocabulary to more accurately express how I feel.
“My Favorite Things” was one of my mother’s favorite songs. She taught me to sing it when I was wee little and she took great joy sitting down to the piano and accompanying me while I sang it.
I remember practicing this song day and night as my audition song for a musicals in our local theater. She was precious taking her time to record the music on the great, big, old reel-to-reel for me to use as I practiced.
She worked with me on timing, breathing, choreography, the whole bit. It was special time we shared together. When I didn’t get the lead, I felt like I had let her down somehow, but she never would tell you that, she was always in my corner.
My mother was an artist at heart. She took great pleasure in making the world happy. She had this desire to perform and was disappointed when I didn’t share this talent.

I anticipate there will be more rambling entries like this as the next few days pass and I get a grip on the whole situation.

“Wake me up when September ends…”

Thank you Green Day for some of my favorite lyrics and expressing such emotion in your work!
DISCLAIMER – what follows is a random stream of thought the provides a deeper into me.
For the first time in my entire life, I am allowed – er, encouraged – to learn about pop culture. That is kind of awesome.
Just a quick catch up, as I got busy doing life again, rather than pondering about it, the following things happened:
– Started the new job. Like it? Love it? Opportunity? How am I handling it?
– Driving a lot. Long way to work. How am I doing on the interstate?
– Daughter is getting married soon. How’s that going? Wow!
– My beautiful grandbabies are back in school. They are growing up way too fast!
To sum it up: there’s a boatload of things happening in my day-to-day life. In my mind’s eye, I see my mother repeating her mantra about how to handle life, “That’s life, it is so daily.”
To be fair, she probably said it with a great deal of enthusiasm.
I heard this my whole life. I interpreted it when I was about 17.
I have reassessed the meaning, recently.
My mother? Well she isn’t really capable of communicating long distance anymore. This saddens me. What I wouldn’t give to hear, “Honey, that is life, it is so daily.” just one more time.

I started the job!

Kind of knew I would. Not being arrogant, it is one of those things. You get it when you ‘click’ with the situation. The hardest part is locating that situation. I got lucky.
This last week has been a whirlwind.
Onboarded officially last Thursday.
Went to Colorado for the weekend.
Started the new job on Monday.
That is a lot of activities in a very short period of time!.

I am figuring out my secret sauce.
Today – I truly became comfortable with the tools I need to do my job.
That is pretty good. I have only had the machine for two full days. I haven’t been provided a map to the environment, I have had to just do it on my own.

So technically, I work for 3 Directors.
Director of Digital Innovation. Don’t get it. How does it fit?
*Director of ERP – got it. We do a lot of ecommerce.
Director of Operations – this is the most overworked, under-valued member of this team. We are finally going to meet tomorrow. He has been that damn busy!

* The only one who has given me the time of day. He appreciates my value. Sometimes I feel like his assistant, but that isn’t all bad when he has only been here for about a month. We are building this together.

Thank you for closure

I have to admit, that interaction the other day was impactful. It forced me to not just ‘think’ about the job, but work through the emotions that were attached to the thing.
It was painful.
Not the work. The disrespect.
It wasn’t something that happened overnight, it took years. But the seeds were sown early on.
It was a good thing to run into my former team member.
It is nice to be moving forward with something new and exciting with an entirely clean slate.

Get over it!

So being laid off earlier this year was devastating. Much more devastating than I wanted to believe. To be honest, I thought I was completely over all of the emotional baggage that comes with such an adventure. That is until I ran into one of the people that I used to manage. Since I was laid off, the slimy little creature who had weaseled her way into being our manager has since converted this person to an FTE role.
I was upset. I am trying to understand why it upset me, but it did. It was nice to have her tell me how much they missed me. Apparently, they have realized how hard it truly was to do the things that I made look incredibly easy. (Duh, that was in the job description – ‘make this happen’. I guess I was really good at that. She went on and on and on about how hard it was to onboard new people and how much they miss my expertise. She said they brought on a few people the beginning of July and here we are 6 weeks later and those folks still aren’t fully productive.
This is one of the processes and procedures I had mastered. When the challenge was tossed my way to ‘solve it’, our onboarding was normally 90 days before someone was fully productive. Rising to the challenge tossed my way by our previous manager, I was able to create a process and a set of checkpoints that would have a new hire fully capable to be productive within their first 5 days on the time. Indoctrinating them into the environment and getting them to full productivity was entirely dependent upon the person, but overall, we reduced the time from 90 days to less than 2 weeks.
When I left, I was asked to make sure the process documentation was updated and in place. It was. What I couldn’t get the juvenile who had been promoted from graphic designer to be my manager to realize is that it isn’t always the steps in the process that matters, as much as it is how you execute those steps. The reason I could do it so quickly and effectively is that I had taken the time to build the relationships with the folks who actually execute the steps that our outside of my control. I did things in a specific order because there is time in back office processing that has to happen. I have a wee bit of knowledge about access management and networking, so I get what is happening and timed the required manual interventions accordingly so that when we were ready to do the next thing on the list, the systems would be ready too.
This morning, I am over the disappointment and any jealousy I might have had has passed. I am truly blessed to be out of that dysfunctional, unprofessional coffee clutch.

Wow!

That’s all I’ve got. The client really wants to hire me. I have been exchanging messages with the Director of IT. (In case I haven’t mentioned it, lately, I am a geek girl at heart. I LOVE IT, when it is done well.)
Start date hasn’t been finalized as we are doing all of those wonderful pre-onboarding things that must be done in this day and age. You know, the reference checks, the background checks, the hardware purchases and setup. Oh goody.
Whenever I get to this point in the process, I am always a bit annoyed. Why weren’t these things done sooner? I mean, really?
Don’t get me wrong, I really do understand why agencies don’t do background checks early, in most situations. That would cost them a lot of money, that could be expensed as cost of doing business, but I get it.
What I don’t get is how come this stuff wasn’t already done in this situation? I realize we went a bit out of process, but we definitely took enough time and exerted enough energy to get everything scheduled and rescheduled. At one point in this annoyingly long process I even tried to opt out. IMHO at the end of that discussion, the paperwork should have started.
Reality? I needed this week anyway. There is absolutely no way I could have started any sooner.
This week has been jam-packed with completing tasks that must be done before I go back to work full time. So far, I have scheduled and/or completed a lot of them. I won’t be able to sign off on my last couple of items until Sunday, regardless.
Stay tuned. This adventure is anything but mundane and it is kind of cool to think there might be one or two folks out there who are along for the ride.