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.

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.

I got the job!!!

Holy cow! I got the job!
Yesterday was the hottest day of the year – so far! (Make it stop! Please make it stop! I am melting!!)
What did I get to do? Drag my fat, lazy butt 25 miles north for my first true in-person interview since becoming unemployed earlier this year.
Uncool – literally!
I was dreading it! First, I don’t drive much and this place is quite a way away from where I live. Our 9 year-old car doesn’t even have 50K miles and the ‘baby’ car just hit 3K. (Man am I blessed!!)
Second, it is HOT! I hate heat! My ideal vacation is a cruise that includes a small boat ride to the glaciers! My theory is it is better to be cold than hot; you can always put on a sweater or bundle in a blanket, but there is a limit to how much can be removed.
Aware of my personal disposition to the situation, I went forward with the scheduled, re-scheduled, scheduled again interview and chose to make it into an adventure. This is the first time in this wonderful ‘sorry, lady, you are unemployed now.’ adventure that I have been asked to interview in person, so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to practice my skills!
Well it truly is an opportunity and they want me! Yay!

A bit bummed

When this week kicked off, I had a job interview scheduled for this afternoon. This opportunity was a bit out of my comfort zone, but I truly was looking forward to it. I like challenges.
Monday, phone call with the recruiter to go over a couple of items to help improve my success when meeting with these folks. Fortunately, the recruiter forwarded me the profile information for the individuals I was scheduled to meet.
Tuesday, I was out and about taking care of things. The recruiter calls my home phone, not once, but twice in a four hour period. They were smart enough to email me as well, as I am not so good at answering the telephone unless we have scheduled something.
Bottom line, they want to re-schedule the interview for next week. Fine, sure, whatever. I really am interested in doing this interview. We have re-scheduled. I think I might like this job.
Now there’s a qualified statement for you. How am I supposed to know? I have not been forwarded an explicit job description from anyone – not the recruiter nor the client.
The reason I want to do this interview is to be ‘there’. This is not a basic, back-office job with a major corporation doing business-as-usual production. They are new. They produce tangible products. They deal with mundane issues. They are exceeding and their growth curve is phenomenal!
The bulk of my career has been in software-as-a-service products. I haven’t done serious erp in almost 20 years. Supply chain for me meant meeting QoS guidelines. It would be fun apply those principles to actual, physical products. To have the opportunity to participate in the creative process from beginning to end!
Maybe what I need to do is continue developing the definition of what a scrum master does or could do within this company and share it with this particular recruiter?

Completely, unrelated sidebar – WP could you fix this incredibly ridiculous scrollbar experience, please.
Wodpress_scrollbars

Upheaval 101

This will go down in history as my year of changes!
Lost my job. Laid off during a reorg. Kind of weird. The calls I keep getting are for another contract to do exactly the same job. I can’t because of the ‘wait’ time shenanigans.
Started looking for other meaningful employment around here – looking at FTE for a change. BAM – husband’s job changes. He will be relocating to a different state. Changes my job search strategy.
Need now is to focus on relocating. There is a lot to do!
We have been in our house for 11 years. That is a long time in one place!
Need to find where we will be landing.
Need to find a job for me there.
Wish me luck!

Capital One epic fail!

Change is inevitable. It is kind of like death and taxes. No matter how well planned and organized you might think something is, give it time, it will change. Today’s rant is brought to you by my latest disappointment in banking and life upheaval 101.

I am so disappointed in Capital One!
They bought my favorite banking institution a number of years ago, but it wasn’t until recently I actually started paying attention. [New goal in life: Be in a position where I can fire and forget a ‘stash’ account!]
This is a wee bit of a tale of woe. Years ago, I opened an account with ING Direct! This was ‘bleeding edge’ banking and I gave it a try, not to mention they were offering the highest rates of return for savings. I LOVED it. This was the BEST banking UI and experience I had ever encountered! It was better than my brick and mortar experiences, hands down! Mind you, this was all before the whole “Mobile First” approach and we back-office types were still trying to figure out how to plumb the system, not to mention how unsettling this completely virtual banking relationship seemed to many of us, BUT they offered a high-yield alternative to traditional banks.
The timing was opportune for ING Direct – they were already offering decent rates for minimal deposits. (Probably the incentive that got my attention…but we are talking about a decade ago…) I locked in a 5% rate on a traditional CD for as little as $1,000. Sure do wish I would have had more to risk!
The onboarding for ING Direct was old school. It was multi-factored authentication, but it required the end-user to jump through a few hoops. I actually liked it. I remember telling my fellow product designers about how ‘comfortable’ I felt every time I logged into that account.
Fast forward to today. A lot of time has passed. My cd matured. I rolled it over, but am not getting anywhere near as much interest! Capital One said they were going to make this new account the ‘best of both worlds‘ I am here to tell you they failed – epically! Dear heavens why did you have to make this so painful, to do the same things ING Direct was doing so successfully?