Posted by: Gregoryno6 | September 18, 2011

Kicked upstairs to a desk job.

And so it came to pass: on Friday the 2nd of September I gathered up my gear, deleted all my pictures of Gina from the computer (having copied them to a flash drive, of course), shook hands all round and walked out of the old job. It was a good last week. A few of the regular customers were in and I said my farewells to them; petty cash bought a gutbusting pizza lunch on Friday, and I reached into my pocket for carrot cake and coffee the day before. A couple of people even rang to congratulate me. And the girls at the coffee shop gave me a card.

Monday, September 5th, I reported for duty as the new Imports Officer at the group’s national headquarters.

The change is good for me for several reasons. At 50, I didn’t have much to look forward to in the old job except more of the same. I’ve been a storeman in some capacity or another for most of my working life; even when I worked at the bookstore waaaaay back in 81-82, I was unpacking, checking, pricing and shelving. As Imports Officer I’m removed from the handling of the goods. The containers arrive at our various sites around the country. The paperwork is forwarded to me and I receive the goods into the system. The tricky part is adding and distributing the various costs (mostly freight charges) so that the price to the end user fairly reflects what the company has spent to put it into the customer’s hot little hand. This also requires attention to exchange rates, so I’m watching the ups and downs of the AUD against the USD, the GBP, the NZD and a few others.

How am I doing so far? Good question. My previous experience is definitely a help. And since I’ve come from the retailing side of the company I have some familiarity with the product as well. That’s an advantage when product descriptions on the invoices read like Masonic code. Still, it’s a little tricky. Like a bus driver learning a new route I know where I’m starting from, and I know where I’m going to. It’s all the twists and turns in between that make me nervous.

I have a foundation to build on, but sometimes during the last couple of weeks I’ve reached a point in the procedure and realised that I have no idea what to do next. Back to the notes! There are people with some experience in my role,  but owing to a recent change in the company there aren’t as many people around as they really need. A large part of the enterprise was sold off earlier this year. Many people, including my predecessor, were taken by the new owners as part of the deal. The lady who’s been training me for the last fortnight has been in the job herself only two months. Even since I’ve started the higher ups have made some changes in the procedure in hope of eliminating a few bumps in the road.

The other problem I’ve had to deal with is the killer virus that resides in the airconditioning. The old place, with the warehouse just behind the office, wasn’t a closed environment. The roller door was open most of the time, except when the rain was belting down. The new location is completely enclosed and boy, when that bug spotted me it whooped for joy and piled on! I missed Monday and Tuesday of last week, and didn’t feel so great for the rest of the week either. But I wasn’t the hardest hit. One lady took a few days off, came back, and had to be taken home an hour later – she’d felt herself passing out and just managed to lower herself to the floor. Someone else passed out at their desk. The last I saw of them, they were being carted away in a wheelchair.

I can’t say I’m not apprehensive, but I know that I’ll become familiar with the system in time. The general atmosphere in the office is very relaxed, and very friendly. I knew a few people from phone calls in the accounts department, and another guy from the old branch manages a small section way down the back of the premises. Not easily accessible but I ought to catch up with him in the next couple of weeks. Because the new job is located out near Perth Airport, buying a car looked like a priority at first. As it happens, the buses can still do it for me. Best of all, I can commute without going into the CBD. Since I started the job at the University in 2005 Perth has been one unremittingly continuous construction site. They dug up William Street for the underground rail line, then they began constructing two new office towers directly across from each other. The city council has now begun a program of reverting streets which have been one-way travel for years (maybe decades) to two way. It’s going to be a painful process and if I can avoid making it a part of my daily routine I’ll be happy.

And, to answer the obvious question – yes. The money is better here. My feet are happy with the new arrangement too. No more steel caps from 9 to 5!


  1. Sounds like just the right job for you. Pretty soon you’ll own the job and it’ll he smooth sailing. I’m pleased it’s working out. 🙂

    • The job keeps me busy full time and that’s taking some getting used to. In the old job I had some daily documentation, a little shop maintenance, and stock counting in the warehouse but there were a few quiet spots in just about every day.
      Of course, in the new place I’m not exposed to customers and their shockingly stale jokes either. Gaining more than I’ve lost there, for sure.

  2. Hi,
    It won’t be long before you have it all down pat, and in your own routine. Anything new is always a bit of a learning curve at first, but it’s great that you have something new. Before you know it, your new job will become so easy. 🙂 A change is as good as a holiday they say, and sometimes it is true.

    • I just read over my notes again and a good part of them actually made sense.

  3. You good sir, will do excellence to any endeavor.

    • Alas, the only excellence I could offer was in declaring myself incapable.

  4. I don’t know if this will mean anything, but I’ve been a department manager for eleven years now and I’d been happy to have a guy with your attitude working for me.

    Good luck, fellow Ginaniac!

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence Bob, but it just didn’t work out.

  5. I’m of the mind that work is a curse that blights existence.

    • To sit beside a pool, be supplied with a steady flow of G&T, and do nothing more than count secretaries for eight hours a day: this is the job for which I yearn.

  6. Dude, WTF’s up with the air conditioning? Wheelchairs? Passing out? Missing work? HOLY CRAP. Is the new job still going well?

  7. […] For those who came in late… […]

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