“Yes, Tea?” my line manager, Landon, looks up from what he is doing. I come into his little boxed space that we call an office.
“I just wanted to give you an update on how the newbies are going,” I sit down on the chair in front of his desk without being asked.
“Ooh, yes, please,” he encourages me, anxious to hear about six new trainees that had started a couple of weeks ago.
“Okay. Adrian is great. You tell him how to do one thing, and that’s it. He’ll probably ask one more time, but he is great.”
“See? I told you so!” he smiles at me triumphantly. The week before, he had told me that Adrian was the strongest candidate that they had hired from November’s batch of interviewees. “He’s from H&X, too, you know, which is probably why he’s so good, right?” he had asked me, possibly wanting me to take pride in my ex-company H&X, a department store chain, but I shrugged it off and told him that working there had nothing to do with either of our work skills.
“What about Lisa and the other girls?” Landon asks me.
“Hmm. They’re okay. Average. I’m still trying to figure out how best to teach them, but you gotta give it time. It’s a lot to learn in two weeks,” I reply thoughtfully.
Landon nods. “Okay. However you think it best. As long as they are ready, before you leave.”
“Of course. That’s more than enough time for me.” I reply confidently, and after a few seconds I decide to tell him something.
“You know, I’ve finally figured out what I want to do.”
“Yeah,” I reply passionately. It would be the first time that I would have said this out loud to anyone, including myself.
“See, I’ve loved this. I’ve been training people for more than a month now, and I love it. I love every moment of it. If I could not worry about my targets and all the responsibilities, and just worry about how they’re going, I would just love, love, love it.
“I love training people up, and I think that’s where you’ll see me in the future.”
“Wow,” he looks at me, amazed. “It was only a few weeks ago that you told us that you didn’t know what you wanted to do. But it looks like you do know now.”
“Yes,” I look at him, my eyes shining, “I know now.”
Some people just know right from the start what they want to do and what they’re good at. It took me twenty four years, four jobs, and one huge and difficult resignation from a great multinational corporation. It took a few indecisions: law, professional photography, administration, clerical positions–things that I thought would be a good next job.
I have been training people casually for more than six months now, but after giving my almost-three-month notice of resignation (and this I did because my job had become slightly indispensable and I did not want my company to suffer after I leave), Management placed in my hands six new trainees. All to be trained almost exclusively by me, on the job, for the most part. All to be trained to collectively fill in my shoes. All knowing nothing about the industry and about the job.
It sounds stressful, yes, and for the first few weeks, it definitely was for me. I would have nightmares about it at night. But by the end of those first few weeks, I had an action plan ready. My mind had caught up to the changes, and I had a strategy set firm in my head for each individual trainee, policies to strictly implement, legal compliance measures to instill, and my newly reset processes and procedures to set into motion.
See, I love thinking up ways to make processes better. I love making things run smoothly and efficiently, without sacrificing quality of any sort. I love understanding the “whys” and making people understand them, too, because I know that people will stick to something if they believe for themselves why we do certain things a certain way. I love giving people a choice: to do things how they’ve always been done (and no one understands why it has always been so), with its loops and unnecessary fringes and flowers, or to use the new processes, straightforward and honest, which will get the job done with no fuss.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a thing called “compliance” in this business. We have to do some things a certain way for health and safety, security monitoring, and legality. I stick to those and respect those. There are some operational processes, however, that can be done with a little freedom…and creativity. I thrive in both keeping compliance and thinking outside the box. I thrive not in pressuring or forcing people, but in influencing and letting them walk forward at their own pace because they see for themselves that it’s the best way to go.
So there. I now know one of the greatest things that I love doing ( I think I’ve always loved it, I just never realized), and I am so happy that I have figured it out, finally.
But for now I am just going to pray about this, because I want to know if God would want me to do this, or something else entirely. I’ve found that everywhere I’ve been– everywhere I’ve worked– has always been a step towards something better and better from the Lord, and I praise Him for that. I don’t know where my next step is yet, but once, I read this quote, and it is truly so relevant. It says, “Until He opens the next door, praise Him in the hallway.”
Thank you for your prayers. You are wonderful blessings, truly.
In Christ, Tea M.