This week feels, up to this point, like I’ve been run over by a truck.
As you all know by now, we’ve hired a new ATR Coordinator, and she started last month. Huzzah.
See, the primary trainer for that person ended up being me. And that meant I would have my slithering slowed quite a bit while I answer questions I can, bounce her to other sources when I can’t answer them, and generally get interrupted every five minutes with another matter which seems obvious to me, but probably doesn’t (I keep telling myself) to someone who hasn’t worked in our business group before.
The jargon and lingo have to be picked up. The fact no two requests ever look alike has to be considered. The pressures of providing our own internal manufacturing divisions all the jumps through their hoops needs to be factored in. And coming from a different business group plays a role too. All told, it means she’s doing her best, still has no regrets (as far as she’ll tell us, anyway), but leans heavily on everyone around her for help.
Nothing wrong with that, I fully understand. I kept running into my boss’s office whenever I had a question as a newbie too. He only lost patience when the questions got repetitive.
So, why am I whining today?
Well, on Monday, I found out the new ATR Coordinator – who hasn’t been on board for a full month yet (today would be that 4-week mark) – had a vacation scheduled this week.
She left on Tuesday. Won’t be back until NEXT Tuesday. And guess who has to cover the ATRs while she’s out?
You guessed it.
Now, this normally wasn’t an issue. Our former ATR Coordinator, something of a homebody and for many reasons someone who “likes being here [at work]”, hardly ever missed work. She rarely took a week off, unless it was a few days to complete the Thanksgiving week or between Christmas and New Year sort of thing. During those traditionally slow periods, our boss permitted closing the ATR desk while both she and I took vacations.
No such luck here. We’re busy. The ATR desk is active. There’s a lot happening. And because my boss knows this is a full-time job, it can’t be ignored for an entire week.
Yes, the vacation was scheduled previously. I get it. I do. But shouldn’t that have come out when we offered her the job? Shouldn’t she have been upfront about that, and perhaps we could have either made different arrangements or even waited to bring her on board until she got back? (Not likely, but it’s an option if we know upfront.)
Even worse, now there will be (natural, normal) regression as she forgets some of what she learned because she’s no longer immersed in it.
So we expect some loss of productivity. On top of that, though, we’ve found mistakes which seem to be sort of a consistent problem for her. She’s not attaching documentation to the ATR requests, which means someone has to backtrack through all the communications and find those documents, save them and attach them.
Here’s a news flash – it ain’t gonna be me. Not this time. I am of the opinion that correcting her mistakes will reinforce the importance of that step for her going forward. I don’t want to be mean to a new person, but I’m not thrilled to find this out either.
That being said, this is what I’d call a “rookie mistake”, like when an NFL rookie forgets he can get up and run after he falls down in the pros. So he makes a circus catch, hits the ground, gets up and spikes the ball in elation, thinking he’s down at that point (like he was in college). (Yes, I saw that happen once years ago.)
So, she’s making mistakes, and I can only speculate on the why. My speculation is she got so tied up in trying to complete the day’s requests in the day, she rushed through them. She missed this all-important step because she got into a flow of clicking, typing, copying and pasting. And then she moved on.
The problem is, we may not have any way of knowing which ATR requests are flawed and missing attachments. I’d have to go back through every one she’s created since her start date and see if there’s an attachment for all of them. (There must be at LEAST one for each.)
Worse still, we don’t know which attachments were left off during the process. Was it the initial request? the division’s response? a customer response to one of the notifications?
I told my boss about it, and he gave me some insight on how to casually, without being threatening, present this to her and set her on the path toward correcting the issue, at least on the front end. Behind the scenes, it may still have to fall on me to correct the documents going back. Or at the very least coming up with the list of requests missing documentation.
I shouldn’t worry about what might be, though. I have enough to worry about with what is.
So I’m covering the ATR desk, which isn’t leaving me much time to do my job. (And by “much,” I mean “any.”) Then in a team meeting yesterday, I discovered I have certain tasks I need to perform, on a deadline, for a major change in how our organization works. We found out this was coming, but not everything involved with it, some weeks ago. Now it’s got a project timeline spreadsheet created, and there are dates and deadlines and requirements, above and beyond what I’m supposed to be doing.
Coming soon will be reintegration with the OLD order system we used to use, maintaining the data integration with our NEW system, and getting data from an entirely new location to fold in with our current data…but ONLY the stuff relevant to US, not the ENTIRE data set.
I have to get the data. Then figure out how to weed out what’s not ours. Then integrate it with our current data. Then produce things like open order reports, daily shipment reports, new and changed order reports, and others.
This probably doesn’t sound as hectic as it feels. On top of all this, though, I still have all my ordinary daily activities to accomplish, and any others my boss sees fit to give (read: “dump on”) me.
So, I’ve sort of hit a wall with tolerance, and I can’t tell if I’m just lazy, or if this is a lot to carry. And I can’t stop getting home exhausted, yawning, and stressed. By the time dinner rolls around, I’m usually okay again, but I feel like I start the day tired and it just goes downhill from there.
Ah, well. I guess this what comes along with having one’s first “big person” job. The expectations rise. The pay, not so much.
Have a good one, y’all, and God bless.