I haven’t old and grouchy mused for some time now. Lord knows there’s been plenty to grouse about, but I just haven’t felt like putting fingers to keyboard. Being old I can’t remember what I last blogged about so I’m going to vent what’s on my mind, and if it’s a repeat well, welcome to old age.
Back in December I was offered a temp job for a well known O&G company in Conroe, which is north of Houston. The pay was really low so I didn’t think the job would be that difficult. Boy was I wrong. The first thing that I learned was that they’re in the middle of a software conversion. Well that’s no big deal, I’ve been through them before. But unlike most companies, who have IT departments working with the new software vendor to provide training and technical expertise, these guys have zip. “Here’s your new system. Figure it out.” Needless to say, that isn’t going well and they are still trying to pay invoices from September and October. Vendors are not amused.
And it isn’t just accounting that’s having difficulty with the system. It has the same flaw as my last employer had – it relies on people to complete a string of steps, each of which must execute perfectly, in order for the final step in the process to take place. Accounting is always the final step in the process so naturally we get tasked with clearing the backlog. So accounting clerks have to sort out problems in procurement and receiving. In addition to being unfair, it’s also damn near impossible. There’s no accountability in those departments so there’s no incentive for them to lift a finger to help. Figuring out who dropped the ball, and who they report to in order to properly motivate them to correct it, is a time consuming process. And hundreds more invoices roll in every day. The worst part, is the pay rate is that of an entry level clerk. What we do is sure as hell not entry level, and they’re having a heck of a time finding competent people. They’re trying to recruit major league players with minor league salaries.
To make things more interesting, the decline in oil prices is causing layoffs all over the city. In order to properly motivate us, a big wig came from corporate to meet with us. This woman had the unmitigated gall to brag that by underpaying people in boom times, they were able to retain more in lean times. So in order to not lose our jobs, we need to learn to do more with less. As a temp, I just laughed. The full time employees were miffed. Upper management clearly performs their own colon exams, by sticking their heads up their own…yeah. Seems to be a requirement of management.
Another criteria of management seems to be utter cluelessness. In my last job, the Director called us in to inform us that they’d hired a new Supervisor for us. “She doesn’t know anything about the job or the industry, but she’s real nice. We think you’ll like her.” This describes my current supervisor as well. She has no idea how to do the job so if you have questions there’s absolutely no one to turn to. You’re expected to get the job done, but not given any direction as to how.
All of this is frustrating, but not impossible. But again, this is not an entry level clerk job. So this past week another company came calling, willing to pay significantly more and I took it. I start in a week. My current company is not thrilled that I’m leaving, but they just don’t pay enough to keep me. In addition, this new company is better positioned to weather the current economic storm.
So that’s the story on the job front. Other than that, this has been a suck cold and flu season for me. I was sick over Christmas and again this past week. How one human body can produce so much snot is completely beyond me. My lungs are the worst though. Every time I breathe out, it sounds like I have pop-rocks in my chest. I’ve coughed until my back hurts. I’m on the backside of this illness though so hopefully I’ll be back to full strength and well employed soon.