Posted by: jamesotis | August 20, 2008

…my old friend…

  Yes, darkness. The occasional mood swing brought on by poor sleep, stress and a probable genetic predisposition. The kind that leaves one euphorically happy on an otherwise bad day while what by all accounts should be a superb day to follow is full of unwarranted tension and riddled with anxieties.

  Yesterday was my first day training as a temp at my new employer, whom I shall referto as M.C. Hammered. It was led by a near-child who was inconfident, mistaken and didn’t have the appropriate clearance from her supervisor to access the training materials. But no matter, I have a daft grin plastered on my face and a song in my heart. Today her supervisor returned to complete the training. Much better. He is a veteran employee and supervisor of many years and hardly needed reference his notes. Except to point out that my temp manager had been given errant data re: national safety standards. *sigh* Combined with learning to drive a forklift, which is perhaps the most unconventional and well thought out machine I have ever encountered, I left for lunch with the need to actually visit a peaceful place, never mind envisioning one. Fortunately there’s a beautiful river nearby, with friendly people strolling it’s banks and a deck chair placed conveniently by some kind soul. There I met an albino preying mantis, both feisty and intelligent as an alley cat.  After lunch I returned to operate more machines sans accurate instructions (which was O.K. since I had such a gr8 instructor).

  But this raises something else (my old friend, my old enemy, how shall I call you?). Employers nearly without exception tend to complain that employees do things the wrong way. Employees protest that training materials are a bastard child of inaccuracy, nonexistence and unavailability having a menage au trois. Potential employers scan an applicant’s resume for correct grammar and spelling and even declare this in job postings which my 10 year old nephew Bart could easily correct for a fee I’m sure.

This is not the battle of the sexes folks. Both sides have compatible needs and desires. I’m glad that MCH supervisors are so patient, but it might also explain their heavy reliance on temps. The bottom line is this: I expect the same of an employer that an employer should expect of myself, a good employee. That is a mere baseline, a minimum standard, the make-or-break for good vs. bad. I have encountered only 1 such corporation, one who combines intelligence, shrewd business practice, cutting edge technology and empathy (the UCH, for anyone interested). And for perspective, as a perenial and addicted student I have a vast and varied employment history.

  Is this nothing more than a great game? Pirates and the East India Trading Company circling and feinting, crying “Take what you can and give nothing back?” I hope not. I want to work for good living wages, with benefits and without going massively into debt. Employers want loyal, honest and intelligent workers. So never mind meeting on the Field of Mars may the best man win Heil Cesar. Let’s be honest and truthful for a change. Otherwise I’ll simply return to the kindest that I can find, and take with me all of my ilk. *another sigh*

  (To my lovely Loir, and any other interested party: here am I, slightly edited. When I go all quiet and seem engrossed in thought this is what’s happening. My IRLs know what it’s like if they get close enough. )

(To the obsessively grammatical: buzz off. This post is not intended to fulfill your particular fetish.)



  1. My only advice would be to see in this the opportunity. They need you, they just don’t know it yet. Learn the job, learn it well, with or without the assistance of training. Then, put yourself in a position to be the trainer. It’s what I’ve done in every job I ever had. I’ve had to make up my own job description in many cases, then teach someone else how to do it. This could be an awesome opportunity. And I truly believe there is mobility for you in this company. They have been a reliable and solid employer for a long time. Just remember they need you.

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