Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Job Update

I started my new job Sunday. My counterpart, whose normal schedule is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, is working overtime to train me. It's a daunting task for her.

My biggest challenge is the phone. Having only had my own extension to worry about on all my previous jobs (plus being able to transfer people who called me by mistake), I wasn't ready for four phone lines, the intercom, and whole-building paging. With my counterpart sitting by me, ready to answer my questions, I'm starting to get the hang of it.

The other challenge is knowing who to call for what. Marketing is for prospective residents or their families. Housekeeping is for clean-up. Assisted Living is for personal care of the residents. The Med Tech (part of the Assisted Living department) is for medications. The Kitchen is easy to figure out. And there are other people to call as well. Not to mention the random things that come up that don't quite fit into one tidy category.

It was starting to feel as though I'd never get the hang of it, but by yesterday (Day 3) I was kinda-sorta catching on.

The area where I added the most value was with the computer work. My friend's friend (who hired me) is also my boss's boss. She came in briefly Sunday, because she needed a report by Monday morning, and as she described what she needed (my counterpart was going to work on that while I started reading the important manuals), I said it really needed to be a spreadsheet.

My counterpart avoids the computer like the plague, and my boss's boss doesn't have much of a working relationship with Excel, so they were trying to build a report manually on a notepad. After a while spent beating her head against the wall, my counterpart said something, and that got me to volunteer to see what I could do in Excel. They had a spreadsheet started, so I worked from that, sorted it by resident name so it would match the order of the physical files, added a few columns that helped me get the calculations they needed, then finished by re-sorting it all by room number after I got everybody's information entered.

The two of them were thrilled, and my counterpart asked our Big Boss if she could keep me. She can. But the project took up most of Sunday, so my training really didn't start until Monday. And Tuesday I handled the phones on my own as much as I could. I called for help less and less, which was a big relief, because the plan is that the two of us will work together again Friday, and then I'll be on my own starting Sunday, though my counterpart says I can call her at home 20 times a day if I need to.

As for the residents, I'm enjoying most of the ones who come to the lobby to hang out. There are a couple cranky ones who like to be around people so they can spread their dissatisfaction with the way things are. I'm supposed to ignore them as much as possible while still being polite, because the workload will suffer if I allow myself to become too wrapped up in conversation with them. Actually, the same goes for the friendly ones too. If the phones are quiet, though, I enoy talking to the residents.

On Tuesday I received two gifts. One was a drawing with markers of a farm scene as a welcome to me. The other was a yellow and purple yarn trivet/hot pad that's very nice. But the maker of it let it slip that she had given all the other ones away and still had one left, and that's why I got it. I don't feel slighted, though.

The other employees are really nice and love the residents. I can see it in the way they interact.

In spite of the long workdays, I think I'm going to like it there.


Bekah said...

Oh that sounds so great!! And way to go on the spreadsheet initiative! :)

I feel your pain on the talking thing. We are in our busy season, and while the rest of the year, I don't mind if people come and hang out in my office to shoot the breeze, I can't afford for them to do that right now because I HAVE to work!

Maybe you could send me a resident to keep them occupied...and we can both focus on work.

janice said...

Oh Skye, this is great!
It sounds like you'll be very happy in your new position.

Christina said...

Glad to hear that things are going well. I'm guessing that in approximately 2 weeks from now, you'll be an old pro at the phone and great friends with at least 3 residents.

You're just that kind of person.

Malott said...

I think you deserve a rise in pay.

Tsofah said...

Skye, don't get tooo comfortable in that position. Something tells me you may be being kicked upstairs in about three months!

It's so good you have the job! The people sound really great.