Saturday, September 08, 2007

The McJob

The job. It's sort of in the McJob category of employment, although it's a Federal McJob. Meaning I'd likely make more $$ working at a real McDonald's. However, it's a position where I'm supposed to be trained in all of the different sections of the business and then slotted into a place that best fits my goals and abilities and their needs. And then given a substantial raise.

I say supposed to be since this is a new hiring program and no one at work is willing to give out details of how exactly this new program works. I could look it all up online, but I've limited free time that I need to spend driving or cooking or cleaning or reading the newspaper or hiking with the kids or pretending I know 7th grade algebra. You get the picture. I plan to look it all up very soon- like tomorrow- since my situation at work changed this afternoon.

Anyhow. I'd been out of the workplace very nearly four years before I was hired. I knew that whatever job I got would be an entry level, a very basic 'yes i'm conscious and breathing' type job. I was ok with that as long as there was potential for advancement. Which, as it turns out, there is. And sooner than I expected. I think I've moved one rung up. Not a big rung, and no more $$, but it appears my boss thinks I can mutlitask and I'm not easily ruffled by the public or my coworkers. Which may or may not be true. We shall see.

Starting Monday I shall be learning to oversee the inmates of rung #1, facilitate their duties, make sure they have breaks and meals as appropriate. At the same time I will assist other employees and customers with all manner of transactions and issues. The most limiting factor being: in order to help the inmates of rung #1 I must remain in their immediate vicintiy. I cannot leave my station. However, issues arise that would be best and fastest resolved by going to the source, ie: leaving my post. Which I can't do. So I'm going to have to learn to work around this problem. Without appearing unhelpful or frustrated or hampered or unprofessional in any way.

I've already been warned that coworkers who've been there longer will mutter and be resentful and that I may be directly confronted with "What makes you so special?!" My manager has told me in no uncertain terms to be firm and unapologetic and to hold my head up and reply in a straightforward manner. She is older than I am, and a woman of color, so I'm sure has heard plenty of crap like that herself, but I was still surprised that she would tell me straight out. She was straight on though- my instinct is to play off negative comments with humor or by changing the subject or by putting myself down a bit. Anything other than a direct reply like, "I don't plan to stay on rung #1 forever. Deal with it." Which is exactly what my boss said to say.

My lovely and bright Sister, who was once my boss long long ago (and a good one too), has plenty of supervisory experience. I plan to ask her for advice if I run into any problems. Hopefully I'll live up to my boss' (and my own) expectations and I can make a go of this whole new working world. Next post about work we can talk about the really fun stuff- the commute, traffic, juggling of schedules, the scenery.


Dev said...

Congratulations on the new job, Amanda! I'm sure you'll do great.

annie kelleher said...

congrats and thanks for the book recommendations...dont allow work to interfere with reading!!

CindyS said...

Wow! Great job! And in Canada, government jobs are considered very well paid. It's a joke up here. If only I could get a government job. Course, you would have to be with the government, not one of those who gets grants because those aren't fun at all.

I did want to say that you obviously earned your bump up and I would hate to hear that you would put yourself down. So joking or changing the subject are all good but don't you let them eat you alive! You could say, 'Well for starters I'm not at your work station asking you a stupid question' - yeah, you can tell I don't play well with others ;)



Bookwormom said...

Thank you very much for the kind words, ladies! I appreciate the positive feedback.

Suisan said...

You'll do great. Just remember that you're in that position because someone thought you had the skills to be there. It helps keep you honest when the whiners and backbiters show up.

Jenster said...

I have no doubt you're going to be great at the new position. And all the positions as you work your way up.

Because you're good enough, you're smart enough, and, doggonit, people like you! (Courtesy Stuart Smalley)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like things are getting more complicated. I am sure you will be able to get promotions that will pay you more.
the weather is finally cooler. today was beautiful today (Wed 12) I believe in you

Bookwormom said...

Suisan- I will try to keep that in mind. The backbiters are already making themselves known.

Jenster- Thanks for the funny quote! It made me smile.

Maman- Merci beaucoups, j'ai besoin d'apaisement.