Friday, July 29, 2005

work satisfaction

different work places can have strong effects on the type of job you 'feel' like you're doing.
i help deliver newspapers. i coordinate different set of people and numbers to make sure that everyone gets their globe and mail [my boss would kill me for not capitalizing, but i don't like using capitals]. this is not a highly important task in the grand scheme of things. people can do without their papers for a day. [except for maybe paul martin- he got very upset when we couldn't get one to him last summer]. yet, this job somehow makes me feel more satisfied than others. i sit at a desk and punch numbers. shuffle papers. take and make phone calls.
i think the key difference is feeling appreciated. my boss sends us gift baskets "just because", and organizes catered office lunches for birthdays and other events.

when i worked at the st. margaret's bay sailing club, despite my fancy title as "assistant manager", i felt useless. between al [his full name was allison, believe it or not] and i, we handled all day-to-day affairs at the club-house including paper work, bar/kitchen facilities, building/yard maintenence. we were indespensible for the club to stay open: the faces of the organization to passers-by, when everyone else was hidden behind the scenes.
yet, when large events were held, al and i had to take the back seat. after working all week with caterers, race organizers, and wedding planners- instead of coordinating the events, or working the bar.. we were shoved in the kitchen to wash dishes. half of the executive volunteers could not remember my name. i felt utterly unappreciated.

at tim horton's, the work was hard, long, dirty, and underpaid. employees quickly slipped into the sub-culture of the workplace.. talking trash about the employers. making fun of customers. we valued our worksmanship, not for what it gave back to the company- but because it made us feel elite over the "newbies" who flowed in and out on a monthly or weekly basis. we weren't even trusted. our uniforms had no pockets to reduce stealing. i came home tired, smelling like coffee, with burn wounds, and sore legs. i made friends there like you would make in prison. we talked about our plans to get out- to find something new. we shared news when we heard that someone was talking about escaping. we endoctrined the new ones on the rules of the game, and how not to get eaten alive.

i still don't think this is the job i want as a career, but i think i'm getting closer. this summer i have many more responsibilities, and can fairly efficiently handle much of the office tasks on my own. [2 staff are on vacation right now, and the 2 others are working exclusively on budgets, leaving me to handle the majority of the daily tasks and all incoming calls].
next time around i would like the chance to work more closely with others, or become more involved in event planing... though, i think i'll hold off on the career hunt while i'm in Oz, and just enjoy some easier work for a bit- bartending, waitressing.. maybe even fruit-picking.


Anonymous andy said...

Suzanne, keep up the good work. im sure the Oz will treat you fine, untill the sodomy happens... or am i thinking of a TV show...

anyways, much respect and misses headed your way. the summer isnt the same with out you

3:03 PM  
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