The Big Top is Up And Open For Business – All Three Rings of It

Published May 9, 2015 by mindfulofchatter


Those of you who have been following along know I have been unemployed for a little while. Being unemployed at 56 is rather daunting. You have loads of experience to offer, but are considered ‘too old’ to be hired. I sat across from many interviewers who were not very savvy about hiding what they were thinking. Guess what? I am very capable of answering your telephone, directing calls and waiting on your clients. And I am probably better at it than the 20 something you think you need to hire. Now, I am not knocking all you 20 somethings out there. It’s just that I have done that type of job for more years than many of you have been alive. That gives me an edge you may not have quite yet.

But at long last I was offered a job. Huzzah!! I took myself to a job fair and spent two hours of my life doing all the little tests, filling out paperwork and doing mini interviews. I even had to wait for a telephone interview. Then an offer was made. I accepted.

I am now employed.

My first inkling of ‘oh no’ came in orientation. About halfway through the day it was mentioned, off to the side, that this is seasonal position. No mention was made of this the entire two hours I spent at the job fair doing all the hoop leaping. And even sitting in the orientation, they sort of refused to face that little issue head on.

I can feel the tents being unloaded.

We dragged our way through orientation, because orientations are just that way. Long. Slow. Dull. Since there were no handouts about pay days, dress code and cell phones, I have no idea what those policies are. Oh yes, we read an online employee handbook. But who is going to remember all that? A handout on the high points would have been nice. The next day we leapt into training. Only we didn’t really train on anything. We spent the day talking about something that did not need 8 hours to cover it. We did not learn one single product. We did look at one single work screen.

The tents are now laid out and the ropes are being attached.

The next day at training was not much of an improvement. We watched videos about one of the products. We went back over the previous ‘training’. Because 8 hours of stuff we didn’t need 8 hours on just wasn’t enough. I saw eyes beginning to roll at the mere mention of that subject. Mine included. It was tough to do that on the sly. We did some role playing. We worked a wee bit on the computer with the screens we would be using. Not nearly enough to know where things were and how to use the different sections.

Tents are up. The ropes are tightened. Bring in the rings!

We had two days of ‘training’. Product info was shoved at us, but not enough to really know how handle any questions about them. We were told time and time again all the information we needed was on the computer screen. Two extremely important topics were not covered at all. And they threw us out onto the floor. To serve real customers.

Let the calliope play and the dog and pony show begin!

It was nightmare. Sure, we had supervisors to help us if we got stuck, but mostly we just did our best. No one expected us to be perfect, that is true, but we really should have had more training. I mean training on the screens we are to use, with the products offered. Less videos, more hands on training and we would have rocked that first day. But we didn’t have that, and that first day on was rocky and frustrating. I had to ask a supervisor about a scenario. His listening skills were poor and he gave me an answer that didn’t fit. Then got kind of pissy when I told him his answer wasn’t right.

I have completed two days on the floor. I like the job okay, but dislike the employer (immensely at this point). At this point I can see how sloppy the training was. I often am not listened to when I ask a question. I often have to repeat questions before I get an answer that works. The supervisors were all puzzled that we didn’t know how access our e-mail. Well, gee. You never showed us how. Some people didn’t know how to find their schedule for the same reason (I found my schedule and I want to know who the heck has lunch at 10:30 in the morning??). I have found three things that are not in our information finding area (you know, the all knowing information area). I dislike being yelled at get on the floor when I have just arrived (on time). I also dislike being yelled at to get off the floor at the end of my shift. I am new. I shouldn’t be rushed so hard. Other are feeling it too. At this point, there are a lot of unhappy campers.

So I am debating on staying at this job. I believe I fit the job, but perhaps I don’t fit the employer. For now I will keep going and see if it gets better this next week. This, after all, could just be me being stubborn and opinionated (who, me?? Naw.).

Wish me luck. I think I am going to need it.


4 comments on “The Big Top is Up And Open For Business – All Three Rings of It

  • I do hope the situation improves. Job frustration is particularly difficult at this age. Hang in there and make the best of it, for as long as you feel is practical. If you have to move on to find a better employee-employer match, then I wish the very best for you.

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