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Friday, March 7, 2014

Good tidings, kind of, a little.

I work in the distribution biz.  We distribute, mostly, designer driven, fashionable, somewhat useful home decor items.  In this business there is a wide margin of speculation, and no small amount of guesswork.  Sometimes too many things are ordered, and this can lead to some uncomfortable space considerations.  These become my problem, I am the "distribution center manager," a title that rests painfully on the brow.  You see, as a manager, I make a very good blogger, as a blogger, maybe not so much.

It was an accident, like most things in my life, that led to this job.  And, when I got here my first thought was "wow, these people are crazy, working all sorts of insane hours," and lifting and moving and carrying the weight of an entire industry in a small 4 story building.  But, I needed to stay a while, if my wife missed another vacation because I changed jobs it would have been war.  Eventually, they promoted me to manager, maybe because I was the tallest, that makes as much sense as anything.

For a long time the biggest problem was trying to use existing space to store increasing amounts of new stuff.  But, eventually, demand started creeping up on supply (see, that is a distribution reference, cool, huh?), it hasn't quite caught up, but supply is starting to sweat, and spends a lot of time looking over it's shoulder.

This means, in non distribution professional terms, that business is beginning to improve.  I have empirical evidence of this, too.  Check out the redundancy we have recently installed in our "Vitally Important Warehouse Dog Department!"  Never again will we be dogless while slaving and toiling to decorate the world. 
Our dog staff, here to serve you.

Anyway, here is where strong managerial skills are requisite.  Things coming in, going out, and being altered in between, taking big ones (full boxes of stuff) and making them into little ones (smaller boxes with a lot of different stuff).  A steady hand, a gentle voice, and a firm but fair demeanor is vital.

They have me instead.  I fall apart so quickly there are shrapnel injuries, and first aid is way beyond my abilities.  Band aid?  They are over there, employee disciplinary forms, please grab one of each.  After all, blood is filled with pathogens, and who knows where these people have been.  Please schedule your injuries during my lunch break, and it would be better if they could happen at home, I will be on vacation in July, can you wait?

An associate called in and said she couldn't work for a couple of days, she was sick.

"Dammit, I mean, are you sure?"  I asked sympathetically, as sympathetically as possible when thinking, "now, I am stuck doing her stuff."

"I went to the doctor, he said I have an acute, viral infection, and needed to take a couple of days off."  She said, a little angry, she has always been kind of a baby.

"What's your doctor's number, I will see if I can get you a reprieve."  Always the helper.

"You're not calling my doctor, Tim.  I will see you when I feel better."  Some people just don't want to be helped.

"OK, I hope you get to feeling better, by tomorrow." The power of persuasion, that is management 101 right there, my friend.  I am kind of getting the hang of this.