odd jobs

… I don’t want no dead end job … don’t wanna be no number …

I spotted this on LinkedIn this morning in someone’s signature:
“Experienced, Professional Virtual Assistant, Certified Professional Resume Writer, and LION”

There are certified professional resume writers? Seriously? How (and probably as importantly, why) does one get certified to write resumes? And what the hell is a professional virtual assistant? How do you pay a tamagotchi?

Now, I live in L.A. where “slashed” job titles are all the rage. You know what I mean, “actress/real estate”, “actress/life coach/motivational speaker”, “actor/construction”, “model/insurance sales” and so on. The “sexy” job is always the first one mentioned, the one that the person really wants to be able to do full-time, but just isn’t good enough at to do.

In a town that has people paid to be “fluffers”, “grips” and “gaffers”, and where casting agents refer to themselves as “artists”, odd job titles are everywhere.

Now all I need to do is find my next one.

damn the man

… working in the coalmine … going down down down down …

I just started in a new job — same group, different section, new title, new responsibilities, very different work.

I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to feel like an idiot. I don’t like not knowing what’s going on. I’m also prone to getting down on my job in the first month or so of beginning a new one. This time is no different.

This week has been terrible. I feel like I’m making a mess of everything I touch. My projects are running down. I can’t contact the people I need to speak with. Systems that I needed to be available were down for maintenance. We had an all-hands meeting today and three of my new projects came up in discussion. I couldn’t give any positive news at all. I was planning on calling a guy in another group who has been doing some work for us that he was supposed to finish today, so that I could sit down with him on Monday for a walk-through — that would also let me start doing documentation of the new system he has built. At this point, the project is a couple of weeks behind already due to system upgrades that were given the all-clear by the powers that be. When I got out of our meeting, I called him and he told me he wouldn’t be in on Monday or Tuesday, and that he’d just spoken to my boss to tell him that. Argh!! Now I look like more of a doofus. The first time I hear about it is today. Argh!! And what pisses me off even more is that I’m planning on doing a bunch of work this weekend to try and catch up on things — and now I feel like crap because of this. It’s hard to get motivated to do it now — hopefully I wake up tomorrow and the sun is shining, the birds are singing and I feel better about life. Who knows?

Funny thing is, I’m actually kind of excited about the opportunity of this job. It snuck up on me. Apparently my boss had me earmarked for the spot when he hired me for another position late last year. Of course, we never discussed that, so it was a bit of a surprise. I just need to get past the hard bit and into the part where stuff is happening, and I’m leaving work at night with my head in the right place. I don’t like to take my work life home with me.

Some hard yards ahead, but just keep the legs moving and keep pushing forward. Right coach?

no mañana

… You’ll live like there’s no tomorrow … ain’t gonna waste this life …

I came back to work today after one of the hardest days I’ve had. Yesterday, I arrived at work and the company had about 130 employees. When I left, we were down around the 80 mark.

With the economy the way it is the whole world over, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a layoff might happen at your company. I wasn’t surprised because I knew that it was going to happen, and that, as a manager of a group of about 20 people, I had to participate.

Speaking to the people that remained was extremely difficult. I’m supposed to be their leader. I’m supposed to be strong. I’m supposed to be their support. Yesterday, I tried to be all of those things, but I don’t think I was successful. Someone whispered to me later in the evening, when we were all (some that were laid off and some that weren’t) at a friend’s birthday bash at a nearby pub, “you seem to be taking this harder than anyone else here.”

It’s hard telling people that their friends are being asked to leave. It’s hard asking people to go home so that those being laid off can pack on their own. It’s hard being asked to walk around while they are packing and offer whatever support you can, while keeping an eye on them also. I didn’t know what to say to people, but to offer them whatever help I could.

Our CFO said to remember that “it wasn’t personal”. People just lost their jobs. People’s lives were just thrown into disarray. And not everyone, just some of them. To me, that’s personal.

I haven’t been a manager for very long, but I feel that to help people achieve their best you have to invest a lot of time in them on a personal level. My team is strong. They work together. They go out together. They look after each other. I am responsible to them and for them. They give me their support and I give them everything I can. Yes, it was personal.

I don’t know if the people from my team will want to talk to me. I think that they will probably blame me. I have to let them blame me. I can’t tell them that it wasn’t me that made the decision, as I am their manager — the buck stops with me, and while I didn’t make the decisions, this is not about me making myself feel good. I did know it was coming, but I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. So in that way, I am responsible.

Tomorrow will never be today as yesterday once was.