Thursday, April 04, 2013

Just Another Lazy Walk....

That would be me tonight -taking yet another walk, a very lazy one too, down good old Memory Lane.

The funny thing for me and memories is that the further back I go in time, it seems the clearer I remember things!

Much of the time I don't remember diddly squat of what I did yesterday or last week, much less last year. But think about things I did 40, 50 years ago, and wow -things do come there clear as a bell much of the time.

I spent a little over eight years of my life working in Washington, D.C. and most of that time was in the employ of a certain non-profit association, the name of which I won't go into now (although over the years of my blog I have mentioned it by name) but said organization is very much in a high publicity issue now and I don't want to get things confused with that issue.

I will say that I learned a lot while I worked at that place -from just being a clerk-typist when I started there, moved on to learn data entry when they converted their membership department over to an IBM system. After that, I spent time as a "programmer trainee" where I learned a good bit about COBOL programs but even more about how much more one could learn if you had a "sponsor" within a company's walls too. The trainee program for me didn't work out that well because I was too naive then and the prospects that could be gained by "sucking up" wasn't something I understood.

So, I transferred then to the Administrative Services part of the company and the man who was my supervisor there was one great boss, taught me a lot about not just the company but put me in charge of an area that had been faltering and under his tutelage, I learned about putting a program that was very similar to running a Green Stamp type program, finding ways to set  up a catalog that participants in our awards program could use to redeem their awards from various tournaments and such for items that were varied but very attractive and useful.

I knew nothing whatsoever about setting something like this up when my boss told me he wanted to put me in charge of this program. Absolutely nothing!

He started me off by telling me to start looking for general merchandisers as well as specific manufacturers and making arrangements, if possible, then with those I could get to work with us to order items from these various companies and have them "Drop ship" the item(s) requested to the individual at their home addresses.

That part really wasn't too difficult and in a short time, I had made arrangements with over 60 different companies to have selected items of theirs displayed in the catalog I was going to be putting together.

It was in that part of the job that I really had to learn a whole lot of different things -working with layouts, choosing a format and things like that all to get this thing set up and ready for the catalog printing then to take place.

It took me about six months from start to finish -finish being when everything was in order and the catalogs would be printed and back to us for release to those holding awards they wanted to redeem from our now new and improved catalog program.

And by the end of the first year after I started working on this program, for the first time since the program's inception, it showed number in the black instead of the red numbers that had come up in the prior two years!

I was really proud of myself for that achievement as was my boss. He had entrusted me with full responsibility over getting this catalog set up from start to finish and after that, it was up to me to keep those people who placed orders from it happy by processing their orders, handling any complaints or issues with any of the dealers we were working with and also, to continue finding other companies who would work with us in the future when we then revamped the catalog, making it bigger and better about 2 years later

The man who was my boss there in that section was my mentor for sure and to be totally honest, I have never worked for anyone since then who allowed me to pretty much expand my young wings and fly!

To this day, even though it's been over 40 years now since I left that place and moved back here, I still regard him as "my boss!"

Everyone should be so fortunate as to have someone like him to work with and for!,


Smalltown RN said... so important. I remember when I just graduated from high school, I was suppose to go to vocational school and become a legal secretary, but at the last minute I decided I wanted to work for awhile. So I went to our job employment centre(thing of the past now) and looked that job posting wrote down jobs I thought I might be able to do and then met with a counsellor. In a couple of days I had an interview for a casual position as a clerk with the Department of Agriculture. I went to the interview, it's a bit of a blur for me, but that manager told a few years later that when I spoke of my handicapped brother in my interview that she saw potential in me. She guided me and encouraged me to push my envelope...I'll never forget her!

I'm glad you had that experience, I wish there were more people out there willing and eager to mentor the "newbies".

I think due to the positive experience I had in my young years that now when a nursing student comes to me with questions or guidance I freely and openly help them however I can. It's a win win situation I think!

Travis Cody said...

Lazy walks are good. I like a nice lazy walk in the early evening.