Feb 25, 2008

Not Too Bad

There is important business at Chedwick University, where I serve in the capacity of Dean of Students. We are selecting our school mascot. At the time of this posting, the Chedwick University Eyeballs is running away with the voting with 67% of the votes cast. Since Ched U. has a liberal admission policy, virtually anyone can enroll for virtually anything at our virtual campus. So hurry and vote now. I'm getting a real education in the workings of a small business through my job at the hardware store. My prior work experience involved working at a very big corporation and a school district. The financial concerns at the former were huge in comparison to those of the hardware store, and irrelevant at the school. For instance, one of the important measurements for our store is the gross sale per customer. Our current number is a bit over twelve bucks per customer visit, meaning the the average customer spends twelve dollars per visit. Our target for this year is about thirteen dollars, so every additional item that we can entice a customer to buy is a big deal. My buddy, the Seafood King, asked me yesterday if I could get 20 units of a specific item for him, for his restaurants. This item retails at about thirteen dollars per unit, so that is equivalent to twenty average customer visits. Not a bad sale and something my boss will appreciate. Working is kind of fun when you have the ability to see how your individual effort impacts the store results. Mrs, Sneed has asked me on several occasions why I left a high-paying job, only to take one where I earn a third of my former salary? Not a simple question to answer. I could have stayed home being retired full-time, but that doesn't strike me as the very best way to spend my life. In fact, had the always hunky Randall Bing, my former boss at Tedious Systems, possessed the sense to take me up on my offer to work part-time, I probably would not have quit that job. But fortunately for me, Randall cannot think outside of his box. At Tedious, my efforts simply didn't matter to the people in charge. In fact, any success that I had was despite the incompetence and meddling from headquarters. Tedious was chronically the mode of burning the furniture to heat the house. Costs were constantly being cut, headcount being reduced and workloads increased. No matter how hard I worked for my customers, it was all for naught if the next guy in line didn't do his job. And often the next guy had left the company and hadn't been replaced. Do more with less was a tired refrain. Some people have to buck up and put up with that shinola for financial or family reasons, but luckily I didn't. So, I left and have never looked back. The hardware gig on the other hand, is about as good a job as I have ever had. The employees seem happy and committed to making the store successful. I don't have to rely on someone else to do their job, the manager is supportive of me, she's competent and pleasant. Most importantly, I feel like what I do matters. I've heard more thank yous in the last two months, than I heard in thirty-eight years with Tedious. So, I make a little extra cash at a job that I like to do. Not too bad. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

9 comments:

Daughter Sneed said...

Steve is right. When it comes to porcelain, step away from the sandpaper. I seem to recall an unfortunate incident at my house involving Merle Sneed, sandpaper, and a black porcelain sink.

Merle Sneed said...

Oh sure, everyone knows you can't use it on BLACK porcelain.

Kurt said...

That reminds me of my old job. There were neither incentives nor rewards for excellence.

Steve said...

"Do more with less" -- boy does THAT sound familiar.

I can totally see how the hardware store would be more fulfilling in some ways. Jobs like that are almost like a hobby, as opposed to the soul-deadening grind of the corporate world.

Thanks, Daughter Sneed, for vindicating me on the sandpaper question! :)

d. chedwick bryant said...

I can totally see that dealing with people all day in a happy retail place being way better than sitting in a cubicle and having complex office politics, etc...

Making a customer happy is an achievement-- there isn't a surplus of happiness nowadays and to make a little happiness every hour--well that is something.

hey em, do I show up on your site meter? There seems to be a problem with me showing up-- (I do exist!)

taco fetishist said...

I have a sandpaper question. Since porcine pumice stones are pricey, can I use a sheet of sandpaper on my pet potbelly pig's hooves? He likes me to pumice them daily, and it is getting expensive. His name is Arthur. I would need to know what grade sandpaper to use on hooves.

Bob Dylan said...

Work is so much more pleasant when you have support, a good team to back you up, and a loyal following. You are probably very popular with your boss and co-workers.

Alan Smithee said...

Do you need a film teacher at Ched U.?

phd girl said...

You are fortunate to have left Tedious Systems, and to have missed out on a part-time gig there. Funny how things work out.