waitingman: (Orang-Utan)
mmmmfff... Good Morning

In an event that's surely rarer than a blue moon these days, I have 2 days off in a row. What's more, my weekend actually lines up with the 'real' weekend. In the world of Sales, this never happens...

The last 4-6 weeks have been 6 day marathons, including one week that went for 10 days. We've been moving premises, with all the usual angst that goes with it - breakdown of relationships & communication with former colleagues, trying to schedule electrical work with floor preparation, painters, organising new signage, dealing with the local council & their regulations & required certificates, designers, consultants, building managers, property managers, project managers... it seems anyone can call themselves a 'manager' these days, if they have a small office & a big attitude

In the middle of all that, we managed to back our removal truck into a protruding fire sprinkler, causing flooding of 3 levels of car park - but that was mostly because the building 'manager' didn't know where the shut-off valve was, so the water continued gushing for 45 minutes... after its initial burst that covered me in less-than-pristine cold water. The incident is in dispute, as there was no height warning, no labelling or protection around the sprinkler & no adequate drainage for the resulting river

Despite all that, we've managed to set up, open the doors & even start making money... with no desk or counter, incomplete lighting, dust everywhere & electrical wiring still sticking out of places where power points should be. Sshh - don't tell the Council !!

Long-Suffering Partner & I are undecided about our weekend. There are so many things we could go out & do together - people to go, places to see. Or we could enjoy a couple of quiet, lazy days together

waitingman: (Orang-Utan)
Top
Over Fitzroy Falls

Fitzroy Fallen
Bottom

A good week at work, on the whole, though I'm feeling strangely uneasy... No real reason why, after all, I brought in over $30,000 worth of sales this week, but feel kind of joyless about it. Perhaps it's that we're in the 'limbo' stage of the proposed move to new, bigger, brighter premises - where we have to wait for other people to do their bits, after the frenetic rush we had to find the location, plan its acquisition, then plot the layout & look of the place, now we wait for solicitors, designers, builders, installers... strata title committees. All the mundane stuff that has to be done. Meanwhile at our original location, the relationship with the soon-to-be-former business partner continues to spiral generally downwards, but with some eccentric twists. A very strange man...

A quiet week on the home front - some catch-up dinners with family & friends, but life hasn't changed dramatically in the first week of Decade VI. Nor do I expect it to... That's usually when something happens

Change...

May. 28th, 2017 09:53 pm
waitingman: (Orang-Utan)
A new computer, a new Windows operating system... a lot of head-scratching & a little swearing about where all the buttons & icons I'm used to have gone & whatthehell are all these new ones?!

Still, at least it's safer than learning to drive a new car...

Changes are afoot at work, with a wedge having been driven between my Boss & his longtime 'friend' & partner, we need to be in new premises by the end of June. Eeep!!

We're inspecting a couple of locations tomorrow, neither of which tick every box for us, but do tick a couple of the important ones. Especially the one that's marked 'Better than using your car as an office'
waitingman: (Default)
Here's a thing...

A couple of weeks ago, I had an e-mail notification from LinkedIn - yes, some of us are actually on that thing, but that's another story... telling me that a former employer of mine had taken a look at my profile. For reasons which will become clearer, I was curious, so clicked on his page, which mentioned prominently that his company was looking for new staff

Some background: In early 2013, recently returned from an overseas holiday & unemployed, I landed a job with the flooring company headed by this guy & his brother. It was a family company - Dad still worked in one of the branches, having started the whole thing in the late 70s/early 80s, Mum still did whatever it was she did... mostly keeping Dad & the boys in line, I suspect, with a fair amount of book-keeping thrown in. Anyway, they had both a residential & commercial division & seemed to be doing well. I'd never sold flooring before, but was a quick learner & was soon doing okay... I thought. 18 months later, they closed my branch &, despite having previously been assured of another role within the company, I was out on my ear. Not happy, but at least I was soon snapped up by another flooring company & so on & tedious etcetera

Last year, while road-tripping in the USA desert, we got word that the company was "under administration", a polite way of saying they were circling the drain. Long-suffering Partner & I made some suitably pithy remarks about karma, then continued on our sandy way, not giving it much more thought

And that was that. I'd noticed, driving past their original Showroom in Sydney's affluent eastern suburbs, that a differently-named flooring concern now occupied the site, but still didn't think much about it. I also knew, via LinkedIn again, that their long-time main salesman had left them for a job in real estate. Care factor - not very much...

Until this past fortnight, when not only was my old boss cyber-stalking me, but then he called, wondering if I'd "like to have a chat". I was at work at the time, still somewhat surprised by all this, so agreed to meet in a few days - today. Given the way things turned out last time I worked with him I told my current Employer about the call & embellished it with a potted history similar to that above, albeit with some more colourful language. I stressed that I was perfectly happy where I am & had no intention of going back there, unless/even if they made the offer of the century

After today's meeting, I still feel pretty much the same way. He quickly explained away the financial difficulties of last year, blaming over-extension & some partner companies going under, leaving him holding a hot potato he couldn't trade his way out of. The family lost the commercial business, but managed to keep the residential side &, radically downsized, are concentrating on that. But his tone & pitch were still that of an ambitious man, looking to grow the business again as soon as possible, using words like "hungry", "driven", "focussed"... all of which are code words for 'Forget about your wife, your social life & evening meals - you will work for us now... all the time!!' & are, usually, my cue to thank someone for their time & GTFO of there. Combined with the monthly sales target figure he nominated... & the fact that, for the 90 minutes I was there, the phone only rang once & nobody came into the Showroom, it all adds up to a big, stressful pie in the sky, that would dance frustratingly out of reach every time I got close enough to even think about getting a slice of it

So, on the whole... No, I don't think so

I'm not sure I've really forgiven them for reneging on their promise to keep me on board after they shut down my showroom - even though, if they had, it would only have been a leap into another frying pan, relatively shortly before the whole thing tipped into the fire anyway... but it's the principle dammit!! That, & the fact that the years since then have been filled with a roller-coaster of unsatisfactory short-term roles... Even though that's not necessarily their fault, they precipitated the ensuing avalanche I still bear a lot of bruises from

As I said to my current employer, when telling him of all this - What kind of stupid rat swims towards a sinking ship??
waitingman: (Default)
Friday night... for me, anyway

Not a productive week at work, monetarily at least, but a busy one for me - site inspections, measures, estimations, plan drawing, follow-ups on older jobs, visiting potential new premises, ghost-writing e-mails & quotes for the Boss & other staff... but most of the walk-in clientele I spoke with were a complete WOFTAM

I did talk with a lady this afternoon about her newly-purchased terrace house in the eastern suburbs, that she wanted to put timber flooring in & it became apparent that she knew quite a lot about flooring & installation. Only after I'd worked out a quote for her & taken her details to e-mail a proper document, did I twig that she's the Urban Planning & Architecture writer for the Sydney Morning Herald, sits on numerous planning committees & is a consulting architect for a few others... I thought her name was familiar!!

So, no pressure

The only disheartening thing about our meeting, was discovering that she'd dropped my business card on the floor on the way out of the Showroom. I'd like to hope it wasn't on purpose... but time (& hopefully, her credit card payment) will tell...

Something fishy...

Head To Tail
waitingman: (Mother's Milk)
End of the first week in the new job. I've already been out to a few site inspections & measures & feel a lot better about it - sure beats standing around in a showroom all day - even the one I turned up to in the rain, only to find the client had cancelled 3 days earlier... or so she said - she was a few sausages short of a barbecue, I thought

So my weekend begins & it looks like being another damp one. My plan for the next two days then? Just hang around...

Flying Fox II
waitingman: (DrunkAsA)
As promised... here's one of our Butcher Birds singin' in the rain

Singin' In The Rain

We've had a couple of dry days - especially over everyone else's weekend the other day(s), but the state is in for another week of soak, wash, rinse, repeat. And I'm still quite okay with that, even if the back yard lawn could be hiding a lost pigmy tribe somewhere in there. I suppose I'll find them when I eventually get out there with the mower

I accepted the new job offer in an old industry. Long-Suffering Partner & I crunched the numbers the other night &, even with a slight dip in expected salary, the move closer to home will save somewhere around $5000 annually in motorway tolls & petrol. A no-brainer? Just my kind of decision...

Now to write my resignation e-mail. The Boss is currently overseas, so I'm not sure what time of day he'll read it. Hopefully after a few vodkas...
waitingman: (Still Waiting)
... before we can claim rains of biblical proportions

Yes, pretty much from the day Summer ended, Autumn seems determined to wash away any memories of unbearable heat & humidity with a week's worth of rinse cycles. Am I complaining?? Not at all!!! Autumn is my favourite season of the year down here - the heat backs off, but it's not too cold, I feel more comfortable in my preferred attire (jeans, boots, long-sleeved shirt), both cars have had a decent wash, courtesy of Mother Nature, who has also been taking care of garden-watering duties with enthusiasm & the clouds provide great sunset photos:-

Apocalypse

The only things that aren't enjoying the long bath are our two resident Butcherbirds. Doesn't stop them appearing regularly at the clothesline whenever they decide it's feeding time, but they're looking a little bedraggled. No photo of wet birds, sorry. But here's what they look like dry:-

Two Birds

No news or progress on the change-of-employment front. Things have been quiet on both sides. WaitingMan will wait & see... as usual

Still going through the photos from the USA trip last year, even though the Travel Diary is complete, plenty more shots are on my Flickr page & I have edited a few more into older entries of the Diary too. Like...:-

Through The Arches

And

Coming Home II

More news when there is some...
waitingman: (Still Waiting)
I've spent a fair portion of today, my Saturday, at what looks increasingly like my next/new job

A few hours getting to know the Boss, getting to know the product range, getting to hear about plans for a new showroom significantly closer to my home... though any talk of business expansion fills me with, at best, disbelief, at worst, cynicism & a desire to look at employment websites

Haven't resigned from my current job yet, but should probably do that sometime this week. Haven't signed a contract or anything for the new job yet, but will probably do that this week too

And yet...

Can't help feeling a little disquiet & uncertainty about this. It's a small business operation that I'd never heard of before during my years in the industry. This can be a good thing - meaning that they have an effectively managed & budgeted niche in the market & are happy to more or less stay there - give or take the occasional foray into a new area. This can be a bad thing - they're pretty much piggy-backing on a successful venture & location run by an associate in a related industry, using a section of the showroom for limited display of the product range & if they have a bad month, quarter... year, they are subsidised by the associate's income from the same location - so who knows how they're really faring financially?

Strange how, as I get older & understand more about economics & its pitfalls & how that can affect both a business & my Resumé, I have become more inclined to take these sorts of risks than I was 20-30 years ago, when I really had much less to worry about than I do now. I stayed in jobs I shouldn't have, for the security. I didn't take opportunities I should have, because of uncertainty... & security. Youth is, occasionally, wasted on the young
waitingman: (Mother's Milk)
Sometimes life just lines you up with things & does its best to knock you over

Actually, today wasn't that dramatic... just filled with too much stuff. First - to the optometrist, where I had my eyes tested thoroughly & now need to go upgrade my glasses. It's a slippery slope once you start wearing the darn things & subtly rely on them more & more

Then to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned & a second opinion on my wisdom teeth. Last year's dentist told me I should have the 2 bottom wisdom teeth taken out as soon as possible & was slightly miffed that I hadn't felt any discomfort from them & was therefore reluctant to book myself in for a couple of thousand dollars worth of surgery immediately... This year's model affirmed that the 2 teeth would be a problem - just not quite yet. Basically, when I start to feel any pressure or pain (it's a fine line between them), then it'll be time to book surgery. I have a friend who knows some people who know some people who can help with all that at the time without completely bankrupting us. But for now - wisdom remains within

I had forgotten about the squealing, screeching noise the hygienist's tools make against your teeth...

Afterwards, off to an informal chat with the owner of a flooring company, who had contacted me last week. I'd been recommended by a former employer - one who'd made me redundant, so I was a bit curious about it all. Did he recommend me because he thought I was good? In which case, why make me redundant in the first place?? Or was he recommending me because he doesn't think much of this other company??? How little does he think of me, or how much does he dislike me????

Am I overthinking this...

Anyway, I met with the owner & his off-sider & their offer is attractive. The location is closer to home than my current job - which was only ever meant to be a means to an end anyway. But with 2 people at my workplace taking holidays in March, I'm reluctant to leave them in the lurch by abandoning ship. I wonder/hope my prospective new employer might understand & maybe even appreciate both my predicament & professionalism. We shall see

A quiet evening at home then, nursing tender teeth, a slight headache & too much to think...
waitingman: (Mother's Milk)
Good Morning Reader...

The spirit is willing to update more often than once a week, but the flesh (& the clock... & the calendar) seem to have different ideas

During my working week of Thursday to Monday, I'm out of the house from 7.30am to around 6.30pm. As previously mentioned, this doesn't even leave a lot of quality time for Long-Suffering Partner & I, let alone time to keep you, dear Reader, up to date. And if we have friends/family to catch up with on Friday, Saturday or Sunday evenings, as is often the case - given the rest of the world's 'normal' schedule, then that makes for a looong day indeed

Work has been okay... albeit not as busy as my colleagues say it should be during January Sale month. I've proven to them that I mostly know what I'm talking about when extolling the virtues of hardwood timber furniture & modular lounge suites. I've proven I can sell the things & now would like the opportunity to show that I can sell a lot of these things when prices & store traffic allows. Which, so far this month, they haven't. Worrying - especially for someone who's been little more than an itinerant worker these last few years & wants to stop looking over my shoulder for some management figure brandishing a severance cheque

Here at WaitingManor, we are halfway through our 6 month pet quarantine period - suggested by our Vet after the deaths of our 2 kittens last year. Apparently nasty things like FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) can linger for a while, in all the places young cats like to go... where vacuum cleaners & cleaning cloths struggle to reach. So, another 3 months to starve the horrible little microbes out, then we'll try again. Maybe. If our hearts & minds are up to it

Not an inspiring year with the camera so far... but it's only week 3. Here's another from last week's family excursion to the Hunter Valley Gardens...

Night Lights II
Thanks to Julia, who suggested the shot... & needs to update her own Flickr page...

And one from the seaside town of The Entrance, where the local pelicans are fed daily at 3.30pm. It's become the town's main claim to fame & tourist dollars, but the birds seem quite happy about it too...

Air Pelican II

For the reader of the Tour Diary, the next instalment sees us leaving Las Vegas. I know one reader will be glad to see the back of the place...
waitingman: (Still Waiting)
Hello LJ... one tired unit reporting in

Working in Sales, dealing with the post-Christmas/New Year onslaught of cashed-up bargain hunters all wanting to buy furniture at what they think are reduced prices. Long days, a long drive to & from work that gets longer as my week goes on. Today was my Wednesday & I'm on the downhill slope to a weekend sometime during next week... Follow all that? Good

Went on a small road trip on my weekend earlier this week... wound up at the Hunter Valley Gardens, a few hours north & a bit west of Sydney. Took my first photos for the year. Here are two of them...

In Bloom

Trouble In Paradise

Seems we stumbled into Jurassic Park at some point

Bed now. More travel diary when I can get to it
waitingman: (Default)
Sorry LJ, been a bit busy this last fortnight... for the reader of the travel diary, I'll get back to it, I promise, it's just taking time to get the photos ready, edit the entries, add new stuff, then discover the new stuff needs more photos...

And in the meantime, I've rejoined the workforce. A new job in an old career - furniture... which I haven't sold seriously for a few years, but it all comes back to you. The money's good, the co-workers are okay so far & the boss seems laid back & supportive. There must be something wrong, right??!!

So far, the only thing wrong is that the Showroom is in Castle Hill. For those not from 'round here, that's quite a distance from where we live on the Northern Beaches area of Sydney. Monday morning peak-hour travel time is around 75 minutes & the trip home takes about an hour. But that's okay, really - my last job was based in the Eastern & South-eastern suburbs & it took about the same times, mostly because I was dealing with city-bound traffic in the morning, & outbound in the evening, which is probably the same in any city anywhere... completely f@#ked up. At least now I'm moving most of the time & my neglected Ford V8 is getting its exercise up & down the M2 motorway five times a week. This all requires me leaving home at 7.30am & returning around 6.30pm, which means that, by the time we've eaten, been domestic & caught up with each other, it's pretty much time for bed. Plus, my workday is Friday - Tuesday, but everybody else's isn't, so still lots of weekend socialising in the middle of my working week. Blargh...

I know... First World problems - starving kids in Africa, refugees everywhere, war, famine disease, dying coral reefs, Amazon deforestation, Trump, Brexit & the rise of xenophobia & nationalism. Perspective... I get it



Unstuffed! T Rex

Smile...

Sep. 7th, 2016 03:40 pm
waitingman: (Orang Utan)
... & the world wonders what you're up to

Had a lot of time for reflection, contemplation, navel-gazing, recrimination & other thoughts in a general downward trajectory (dejectory?) lately & today was thinking about my 2 immediate managers in my last position & how they smiled... a lot... all the time. Always quick with the "G'day Justin, how ya goin'" greeting, but not really listening to your reply. Always smiling though

Even when handing you a redundancy notice. Smile - you're out of here. Right now. Shake hands, a quick inane pleasantry, now get out

I don't think I trust people who smile a lot, then. If you're prepared to fake being cheerful that much, what else are you faking? I'd heard one of them talking about a former employee whose jokes they just didn't 'get', but they smiled & laughed along anyway... then sacked him. They used to laugh at my jokes too

It's true - once you learn to fake sincerity, you can fake anything...
waitingman: (Orang Utan)
... Remember me?

Been thinking about posting again - like a lot of erstwhile LJ people do, I'm sure, but have finally put fingers to keyboard today, mostly because of this article which probably had loftier aims than simply getting people to 'blog again, but you have to start somewhere, before you leap off the grid entirely to devote yourself to... music, photography, world domination... whatever your 99% project is

Another reason it can be hard to sit down & write:

Breakfast Time?

Layla... my most common view of her. Since becoming an only cat, following the death of her sister, she's... well, not exactly clingy, but very fond of climbing onto me, finding a comfortable spot & going to sleep. Which usually renders one or both of my arms inoperable for anything much beyond stroking her. Especially when I'm sitting at the computer. All part of her masterplan - cutting me off from the outside world so that I remain under her 4 thumbs, only to adore her... & feed her

She's also loving the fact that, yet again, I've been made redundant, so have a lot of free time to be sat on... regardless of whether I'm trying to write an application letter or not. How she'll feel when the money finally runs out, followed by the food, is pretty clear - there'll be one last WaitingMan-sized banquet, then she'll find her way out the door into the world

Redundant - surplus to requirements, un-needed, unnecessary, unsuitable. Having this happen 3 times in almost as many years makes you wonder about reasons - beyond the glib excuse of an unstable industry. After all, the common factor in all of these 'redundancies' has been me. On more than one accasion I've been told that, as a Salesperson, I'm not "aggressive enough", or in other words, I don't railroad people into buying what I want to sell them, I try to find out what they want or need. And that can sometimes take time. More time than the modern sales environment will allow. Apparently. The truth seems to be that, despite many companies claiming to be all about customer service, the reality is that we... 'they' want to fast-track you into a prepackaged box & have you pay for it within 5 minutes of walking through the door. Salespeople just don't have the time to sell any more... it seems

I've been called an 'Old School' Salesperson. I used to think it was a compliment, before 3 redundancies made me realise it's a criticism. Funny... my clients always seemed to be happy. Problem being that I had fewer of them than was desired, regardless of how satisfied they are

So, I've been looking at other things I can do (apart from taking photos & playing music) with all the peripheral skills one picks up over the years. Unfortunately, most of them seem to point in a direction I've been reluctant to go since arriving at the University of Sydney in 1985... Teaching. I've never had the desire, nor believed I have the temperament, to stand in front of a bunch of people & try to inspire & impart knowledge, facts & processes to them. Especially to children, with whom I've never had any empathy - even when I was one

Even so... why is it, when you're out of work & wanting to re-train & try a new track, that courses are so damned expensive??!! I visited the website of a reputable business training institution & was knocked dollar-&-centsless by the cost of a certificate course in corporate training. My severance package wasn't even going to cover the fees, let alone the time required to complete the course whilst not working

If you ever think that nobody cares if you live or die... try missing a couple of payments

We're okay though... Layla won't be having that Grande Bouffe any time soon. Long-suffering Partner is still gainfully employed at the coalface, occasionally thinking about how her pickaxe could be better used hacking at softer tissues than materials that only profit others

Oh to be free as a bird...

The Return Of Bruce?
waitingman: (Still Waiting)
Yesterday was my last day at my now 'old' job, which I'd only been at for 8 months, so not exactly 'old' in that sense... This time though, I actually resigned, instead of being "made redundant" or being "let go". I'd forgotten what choosing to leave a company is like & had to think for a while about how to write a resignation letter & whether you should be completely honest & unedited about your reason(s) for leaving, or politely & professionally vague - in case you need a good reference some day

This is all because I was kindasorta head-hunted for a new role with a company in the same field, doing much the same work, but with two major bonus points - about 1/3 more salary & I get my weekends back - mostly. So it's goodbye to the 7 Day Trading at basic retail award wage & hello (again) to being paid what my skills are worth & a relatively normal social schedule, which Long-Suffering Partner has already started filling up with overdue lunches, dinners, catch-ups etc... We call it 'spinning the plates' - getting around to as many friendships as we can, to keep them spinning on their poles & not come crashing to earth. We do think of you all as fine china plates, not plastic disposables or Corel unbreakables. Royal Doulton at the very least... Look out for a call or text soon, once I know what I'll be doing & when

And to my former colleagues - some more than others...

waitingman: (Debtor's Prison)
Before & Behind

First photo with the new phone - the Sony Xperia 3, after my old phone gave up its ghost... & SIM card

I've decided I'm not really in love with the new job. It reminds me of the last time I worked for a large, national corporation - too many chiefs, not enough indians, the indians are badly paid &, as a result, are all eager to climb over each other to become a chief. So I've started looking at the job e-mails & sites again - got a rejection e-mail from a recruiter today for a postion with an international audio company... damn... but maybe I've been out of that particular field for a bit too long & am out of date. There have been a lot of developments in the audio-visual world in the last eight years or so

"But if you ask for a rise, it's no surprise they're giving none away... away... away"
waitingman: (Still Waiting)
Must stop myself falling out of the habit of posting frequently...

Settling into the new company, though the weekly salary goes up & down at a rate that would be amusing if we weren't in such dire need of a steady (& preferably substantial) income at the moment. We're being billed to death & sundry little expenses are getting their kicks in as well. So belts are being tightened, little luxuries are backburnered & home-cooking skills are dusted off & developed

And today, my mobile phone finally coughed its last & dies, taking the SIM card with it apparently, as I've been unable to transfer any of my contacts information over to the new phone this evening. So an e-mail has gone out to those for whom I have an e-mail address, to call, SMS, or write back with their telephone details... I wonder which of them will take the opportunity to break orbit & drift away??

No new music yet, but the camera still clicks:-

Bull II
waitingman: (Debtor's Prison)
Wow... I haven't worked on a Thursday night since... about 2002 I think

And this one was just as pointless as they were back in the day. For 4 hours after 5pm, I did nothing but get sore feet & a sore back standing around the showroom (I don't have a desk yet), waiting for someone or something to happen. People shop for food or clothes on Thursday nights, they don't shop for the kind of products I sell. In fact, you could just about shut down during December, as it's not the kind of thing that one finds under the Christmas Tree on the big day

Unless it's literally under the tree - I do sell flooring after all. But still, it just doesn't happen

In the meantime, I know de agony of de feet
waitingman: (Mother's Milk)
First day at the new job

First days are never much to write about - indoctrination I mean 'training', paperwork, introductions to people it'll take me weeks to remember... oh, & a couple of actual clients to see

But mostly it was shifting heavy & unwieldy stock... with more of it to do tomorrow. Sweaty work!

And now, my sore back & I are going to bed...

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