Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Tomorrow, I Fly Solo

Well, I've been on the job for about a week and a half now, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoy my job! I get to interact with customers on a daily basis and employ elements of the Associated Press Stylebook, and even teach the lady who's training me a few things. (For example, the difference between a hyphen and a dash and when to use plurals when dealing with a prepositional phrase.)

We get some of the most interesting people coming in to place announcements, too. The other day, an older couple came in to place an engagement announcement for themselves. They said they were going to Branson, Mo. for their honeymoon. Melody, the lady training me, asked them if they were going to see Dolly Parton, and the older lady said, "I'm not taking him to see her!" As if to say he didn't need to see her large chest. We all started laughing.

A young lady came in today, and said that she'd been putting off placing a wedding announcement for some time now, and wanted to know if there was a cut-off time for placing one. We told her that we usually like to have them placed no more than a year after the wedding, and she said that her first anniversary was November 1. Well, we didn't want to turn revenue away, and she didn't want to submit an anniversary form because she wanted to put in all kinds of information about the wedding, so we let her place a wedding announcement. She said, "Well, it won't look bad for you guys; I'll be the one who looks retarded." Then she laughed and left with the form.

I got a really cool comment from Melody today, too. She said that I really do a good job dealing with the customers. She said I have a great disposition and make people feel good about coming to us. That's just my personality, though. I like to make people feel good. It's like Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, used to say: "Imagine everyone you meet is wearing a sign around their necks that says 'Make me feel important.'"

Anyway, to get back to the topic of this post, I get to work by myself tomorrow. Melody's kids don't have school tomorrow, and she wants to be able to spend time with them. I've learned enough to take over a mostly-quiet Thursday, anyway. I get to take calls, help customers at our window, work with our page layouts and do some editing. We're going to print the pages to negatives Friday, and that'll be it. (Celebrations publishes in Sunday issues only.)

The only bad part of this job is that we have a really crappy computer. Even the company Emergency Technical Support people are stumped by it. Our computer will freeze up on us as many as ten times a day, even if we only have one program running. The tech guy said he doesn't think it's a virus, we just don't have enough memory to do much of anything. I asked what the possibilities were of getting a new computer, and he said that next summer, the company is going to be purchasing 25 new machines, so we should get some of the trickle-down machines maybe by the end of next year. I don't think we'll be able to make it to the end of this one without having our hard drive rebuilt.

Anyway, I'm enjoying working there. Now I know why I've been wanting to work there for so many years. I'm just thrilled that I've been given this opportunity! Thank God!


Devona said...

How was your first day on your own?

Sorry I was too busy yesterday to wish you luck... Babies... you know how it is.

Mrs. T. Swede said...

It went great! No mail to process, but I had several people come up to the window to place announcements. One lady placed one for $192! There were only three sales out of eight (as I recall) that were less than $100. Everyone was very pleasant and patient, not because I was slow but because my computer was slow.

I've still got a few things to learn before they'll let me work alone all the time, but I'm more confident now that I'll be able to handle just about everything.