Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Aiming high

I used to be a let's say small to medium shot. More on the smallish side. But I had my act together. I was very, very good at what I did. I designed and ran projects (customer and product data preparation for an SAP conversion -- are you yawning yet?) involving 70 factories (box factories! BOXES! but I thought it was cool -- it was, really), three operating systems, 210 customer service reps, 5,000 customers (at the ship-to level, I think -- it's been four years), and 100,000 item numbers.

I convinced the CSRs to work on my projects and get them done by the deadlines even though I had no authority over them at all. I did it with chocolate, clear expectations and recognition.

I can match my socks to my purse to my cape when necessary, so I do have some clothing skills.

I rocked.

And then I was laid off in what was the sixth or seventh round of layoffs at my company, this time the round where 1,000 salaried employees lost their jobs, moi included, and I decided not to take the interview with the other division after all (even though my boss and the VP of IT were recommending me for the job) because I found out that other divisions were starting to give only one week of severance for every year worked instead of two weeks, which seemed like a Bad Sign and I thought, Hmmm, what if I get this other position and then a year from now, I get laid off but I get only half the severance I'm being offered now and no health insurance instead of the six months they are offering? And has anyone noticed that my company's stock price continues to tank?* Take the money and run is what I am thinking. So I did.

But that's another story. The story I am going with here is that I used to be an incredibly together, organized person, if lacking in foresight. (I wish I could go back and say, Take the interview and take the other job, you idiot! A year's salary is better than half a year's severance! Why didn't you do the math! Did you really think you'd find a new job in two months, especially when you didn't even start looking right away and went with SH for Spain and Morocco trip #1? Did you really think that working at Macy's over Christmas the next year would be better than an extra year at IP and then being laid off? IDIOT! Sure, I had time to date SH, but he works from home and was visiting me most of the time anyhow. I could have quit when we were ready to get married and maybe it would have sped certain things** up a bit.)

Back to being superorganized. I was. Really.

But now, where I am in charge of not much more than feeding myself and two cats and occasionally SH, I seem to have lost my groove.


I made it all the way to the gym. Where I was going to swim and as long as I am already wet, I might as well use their expensive hot water and take my shower there and then get dressed.

Which was when I realized I had forgotten to pack underwear.

Which is why I will never find a job again.

Because who wants to hire somebody that incompetent?

* And is even lower now than it was when I left four years ago. My mother asked me once why I would exercise my stock options when I could buy my company's stock cheaper on the open market and I just sighed.

** Divorce, alimony, replacing the electric stove that I hate with a gas one, cough cough.

Photo and cape courtesy of The Big Facotum


LPC said...

I have always bribed software engineers with chocolate. I am happy not to be working now, except for the money part. You sound as though you might have a few good years left in you.

Anonymous said...

That building looks very familiar--is it an apartment building in Marshfield? White-Chocolate

Jan said...

OMG - SAP conversions? Just another reason to admire the sh!t out of you.

class-factotum said...

LPC, chocolate has amazing power. I am mostly happy to be not working, although I like working. I just don't like having to work. I wouldn't mind a part-time (very part) job for a lot of money. I miss the money more than I miss working, although there's nothing I want to buy right now. I just like knowing I have money.

WC, yes, that is the apt in Marshfield where we lived when my dad was in Vietnam.

Jan, SAP is so odious that I was livid when I got an interview with ROCKWELL yes ROCKWELL for a project and they did not use the words SAP conversion in the job description. I felt as if I had been tricked. I would never have applied if I had known. I think I subconsciously sabotaged the interview because I didn't want to be involved.

It didn't help that they asked questions like, "How do you feel about long hours and tight deadlines?" My silent answer? "It means someone has really screwed up the planning." They also said that they worked at least one weekend a month and that meant all night. Huh. Why were they having a hard time filling that position, I wondered?

Anonymous said...

I rode my bike to work today, brought regular clothes with me. Turns out I forgot my belt. Underwear, you can leave off and no one but you knows. A belt, well, it's more obvious. Just looking the part of a slob with my shirt untucked...


Laura(southernxyl) said...

It didn't help that they asked questions like, "How do you feel about long hours and tight deadlines?" My silent answer? "It means someone has really screwed up the planning." They also said that they worked at least one weekend a month and that meant all night.

I know that game. It's called either "Let's jerk the employees around because we can" or else "Kill yourself to show the company how dedicated you are, not that that will help you when we downsize". Or maybe it's called "Totally clueless management letting control freaks run wild". Nobody with any sense falls for that stuff, which is why, as you say, they had trouble filling the position.

I read once about a psychologist who was contracted with to help a company with the hiring process. He was asked to identify people who were at risk for burning out so that they would not be hired. His response was that the people who burn out are the people who care. Hire those people, and then arrange their jobs so that they do not burn out. (Duh.)

(How come the link to my blog in your sidebar says I haven't updated in four weeks?)

class-factotum said...

Gary, SH informs me that all the cool kids leave their shirts untucked.

Laura, I had a boss who was the first one in and the last one out. Came in on Sat. Played golf with the big boys. Came in when he was on vacation. Still got fired because the VP (who was an idiot and understood nothing about marketing) didn't like him.

I don't know blogger isn't updating on the sidebar. I have had to tweak manually and it's a pain.