Monday, June 16, 2008

A new job

I finally got hired on last week. Its a temp job, for two weeks, working towards permanent if they like what I'm doing. Its for a company that installs solar panels for hot water heaters in houses. Its a boom business, making over $26 million a year. Growing really fast. Look at me, being green. When I don't even believe in global warming.

My job is the assistant scheduling manager. Once a salesman gets a buy, we arrange for the roofers to do the installation of the panel(s), a plumber for that, scaffolding, electricians, etc. And provide basic customer service for service calls and minor problems. Not bad. Busy, which I like. A little hectic, at times, but nothing impossible.

The only problem I have right now is actually learning the job. Or putting it all together, actually. The girl I'm replacing is a little scatter-brained, and kind of lazy. She's all over the place, and keeps taking the phone away to talk to customers herself, or taking over the computer. I'm trying to be polite, and not say much, but that can't last. If I can't get the specifics down, they won't want to keep me on. And I really need the job. I'm going to have talk to the boss tomorrow. We're going to have to do something different.

The only other problem is the distance. Its not hear in town where I'm at. Its about 15 miles out, so that means 2 buses. Only problem is that only one runs from where I am at in time to get me to the 2nd one. And that only has a 5-minute leeway. I'm looking for a new route, but there really aren't. What I'm doing is walking about 30 minutes to get to the bus I need without relying on the first one. Which I don't mind, because its good exercise. But the problem is, again, when I get to where I'm going, its another 20 minute walk.

The office is in an industrial park at the edge of town, and no buses right there on the schedule. And the bus I need at night leaves at 5:50, and I get off of work at 5:30. So I'm hoofing it to get there. And spending almost 13 hours a day at work, or traveling. Looks like I'm buying a car a lot sooner than I had planned. Assuming I keep this job.

But its a start, and the agency I'm with said they can get me more work if that doesn't work out.
So, here's hoping. But its a start.


Craig Calcaterra said...

Ron -- I've been kind of AWOL so I'm just seeing this today, but congratulations on getting a job. There are obviously some challenges as you describe, but I hope it's working out OK. And really, even if it doesn't, having a UK job on the resume will probably make things easier for you looking for another one. Based on what some friends have told me -- Yanks who moved to London a few years ago -- the real barrier is just becoming an "official person" in that country, as it were.

As for transportation: have you considered a scooter? Not the manliest thing in the world (I'm reminded of a favoroite off color joke about scooters and large women, but we'll leave that for another time), but (a) it'll get you where you need to go; (b) it's relatively cheap; and (c) it's easy on the gas.

Hope things are going well.

Ron Rollins said...


Trust me, the ego thing went away a long time ago. I actually have been considering a scooter. The only problem is the distance (15 miles) and the roads. They don't really have shoulders on the roads like we do, except for the main motor ways. So with the rush hour traffic, and the constant rain, it probably isn't a good idea for a commute. Locally, to the store or just out and about is okay. But that's about it.

Things are defintely looking up.


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