Tuesday, June 10, 2008

the girl who got cozy

I haven't really blogged about it, being uber cautious about mixing work and blogs, but I did finally break out of the unemployment rut about a month ago and landed a really good position. I'm HR Manager for a "Vacation Resort" (i.e. timeshare) and I am enjoying the daily challenges of my new position immensely.

During my job hunt, I was asked one of the standard "Why do you think you'd be a good fit for this position" questions. And I actually formulated an answer I think is perfect.

You see, deep down at heart, I am a nerd. I love spreadsheets and paperwork and filling in forms *just so.* I get a kick out of writing and reviewing policies and training manuals. I adore the minutiae of a finely crafted Excel Spreadsheet. Give me a place to make my mark and it will be alphabetized, indexed, labeled (with computer generated labels--not handwritten), and entered into a spreadsheet for easy reference. So an administrative office-type position totally fits that aspect of my personality.

On the other hand, I am also a "people person." I like interacting with people, I enjoy solving problems for them, and I love the chance to stand up in front of a group of people and give a presentation--even if it's merely to explain the open enrollment in benefits process.

Stick me behind a desk and I'm a happy camper, but if I don't have the chance to actually interact with the people behind the paper, I'll go a little insane and start organizing my paperclips in terms of size, condition, and general shininess.

So HR is a good fit for me I think.

So this new position is organizational nirvana for me. This company was without HR for about three months and prior to that had gone through three HR Managers in the space of a year. It's a little discombobulated and I'm up to my eyebrows in my element. Add to that the fact that this company (and all of its employees) is generally VERY HAPPY to have me there, and, well, we'll just say that being appreciated for the work that HR is can be quite intoxicating. Especially given the dichotomy in attitude about HR between my prior employer and my present.

The only downside to being appreciated and included is the meetings. I've never really had to use the calendar function of Outlook before as any meetings that came up were usually so few and far between that simply writing them on my page a day was sufficient. Now I pull it up every day. My whole day is blocked out in little segments of allotted time. One organizational tool that is starting to intimidate rather than thrill me.

Take tomorrow for instance: I go to work at 8:30 and my office is off property (although a mere 2 min away by car). I have a 10 o'clock meeting on property and then have allotted from 10:45 to 12 to set up in my site office to receive employees to take care of a paperwork compliance issue. From 12 to 12:30 I walk the property for my daily meet n' greet with the employees to remind them that they have HR again. Now, normally, I would think that my compliance meeting would be sufficient, but there is another meeting on site at 12:30. When that is over, I'll grab lunch and go back to my office (off property) to check email and phone messages. At 3, it's the weekly Staff meeting, which should end about 4. Then I can go back to my office and figure out something to do with the next hour and a half and leave around 5:30.

So a ton of metings, but not much work getting done.

Luckily, tomorrow is an extreme example, but the past two weeks it's seemed like I didn't start "work" until about 2 in the afternoon.

So today was a nice change. I actually was in my office for the majority of the day. It felt good. I can see my desk again and I made a dent in the piles. Barring the time to actually fulfill my compulsive need to organize everything, I've resorted to piles with sticky notes on top, file drawers with sticky notes for future organization, and stapled packets with sticky reminders of salient points and tasks buried within.

Post-it threw up in my office.

Oh! And I have a PaperMonkey! So she has been given the task of alphabetizing and labeling and sorting. Some of the piles are her assignments. Slowly but surely, I am restoring order to this little cubicle that is all mine.

So, knowing that tomorrow will be a royal pain in the patootie, my last task of the day was to set up new assignments for my PaperMonkey tomorrow. The clock was inching inexorably towards five, and I thought I'd cut out at the actual closing time. But, I just wanted to finish one more thing. At 4:54 the controller (who is always there well past me) packed up and announced he was leaving as the sky was getting ready to unleash the SPCA. I thought I'd be ok as I only had about ten minutes left on my little project. At 5:06, I shut everything down and heard the thunder. Between 5:06 and 5:10, the threatened thunderstorm reached its full potential. I looked out the door, realized that the wavy green blob thirty feet away HAD to be my van, even tough I couldn't make it out through the sideways rain. At that point I called home, turned my computer back on and worked for another hour until it stopped raining--or at least let up enough that I could drive instead of row.

I was warned about the tendency for the street in front of the building to flood, but the term "flood" seems rather mundane a term for the ravaging river sweeping tree limbs, construction cones and the occasional Ark along in its wake. I took the prescribed alternate route which only required a small outboard motor as opposed to a Coast Guard escort and eventually made it home.

I was late, I was damp, I was chilly from having to run the defogger (while being damp), and I was TIRED. So I decided it was a night to get cozy and, ignoring the lovely lady lumps of chicken in the fridge, I went to my go-to meal for damp weather.

Yep, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.

Of course, what I thought would be a simple meal, ended up with me being tethered to the stove for about 45 minutes endlessly slathering white bread with margarine and adding slices of processed cheese food as the kiddos snarfed them down and demanded more.

Even Eli got a sandwich all to himself and a sippy cup full of warm Campbell's Mmm-mmm Goodness.

Each kid (except Eli) had two sandwiches each (lovingly cut into dinosaur shapes with my special sandwich cutter--cool, huh?) and a cup of soup for dunking. Aramis had another two sandwiches, Eli and I had one each. Of course, I could have eaten more, but by the time everyone else had placed their order, i had gone through an entire loaf of bread and most of a package of cheese (a big one at that!). So I was left making a sandwich out of heels.

Yep, nothing better than a heel sandwich on a rainy day.


island girl said...

the sad part is...you are not joking about being in excel nirvana...there is something seriously wrong with you...

p.s. i'm gonna need that dinoasuar cutter!

jenscaleshr said...

that's why you get paid the big bucks! ;)

You sound like you're having FUN!