Today was kind of a big day at work. Following up from yesterdays statement that the company I work for had been sold (For the second time in a year no less) the new joint owners, the former owner, the financial director and the operations director had every department in their boardroom today separately for a little discussion on what things had gone wrong and what could be done.
Meanwhile I was in no mood for any shit today, considering I woke up to a text message from my best friend at work Michelle only to say that she’s leaving at the end of the month because she can’t concentrate on passing her exams for her degree while she’s working here.
She had already cut her hours back by eliminating working Friday (which I have to do, meaning this week I’ll be working a total of 59.5 hours). Needless to say my heart was in my throat reading that. I couldn’t be more gutted, we were so close in school and for us to be reunited at a new job was almost like a dream come true.
Because she was there, fitting into a new company had never been so easy. I had her watching my back the whole time and when she leaves I’ll be… well, I can’t even describe how bad the feeling is.
So I walked into work on a war path, she knew why I was angry but I couldn’t say because she hadn’t told anyone else yet. I sat down, took a call, some angry person down the phone. The tone of my voice quickly made them reevaluate how they spoke to me.
Two hours later, I get called into the boardroom with my manager, the lead programmer, the rest of my team; sat across from the new owners, gave them a firm grip on the handshakes passed.
The old owner said he bought the company because he wanted to save it from the edge of bankruptcy, it’s one of the oldest companies in Britian and certainly the oldest where I live. He wanted to prove that it could be successful and he did just that. He’s saved the company from going under but because he lives on the other side of England he couldn’t oversee everything like he wanted to do. It just wasn’t practical enough for him to be here, considering the company was such a small portion of his portfolio, so he sold it to two guys who he has worked with previously, one of them founding a sports brand shop with over 600 stores worldwide.
They wanted to know what process we went through and where we were failing, the manger had his say then I had mine. And boy did I go on a rant. I think the old owner was surprised at my displeasure. But for the first time since being there I felt heard.
I was asked what my background was in customer service/sales, I told them how I was one of the top outbound sellers for E.ON gas and electric in the country and I said I knew how to run a sales floor and what we were doing at the moment just wasn’t good enough.
The old owner tried to counter my points and I defeated him at every turn, at one point saying, “As you said, you’re not here. So forgive me for saying this but you have no clue really what’s been going on here. I’ve been here two months and I knew after the first day things needed to change.”
I said we shouldn’t be selling products that we don’t have in our warehouse, told them how ordering items back from a store can sometimes result in a refund because either the store hasn’t done their job or the people in the warehouse haven’t done theirs. We are on the front line every hour of every day and it’s easy for someone else to make a mistake because they don’t have to explain it to an angry frustrated unsatisfied customer and then it’s people like me and the rest of the people in my team coming off looking like a bunch of incompetent twats.
After saying my piece they started to discuss how they can remedy these situations, trying to come up with quick fixes until they can come up with a permanent long term fix. Too be honest I got a good feeling about them, they seemed like they knew what they were doing. Plus they’re local so I can already tell big change is coming and I think I may have been instrumental in that.
Then once everyone had gone home and I was doing the late shift with my trusty Swedish companion, one of the owners walked in and had a chat with me, asked me things like what sort of calls we got after 5pm, I told him how we don’t get many after 5pm and certainly after 7pm we barely get any. I said at this current moment in time we’re not doing much of anything as while it’s good at night we have time to do some admin work but once that’s done we’re sat waiting for the phone to ring, maybe during the summer we’d benefit the longer hours but at the moment we’re not.
Then asked about working weekends, he seemed taken a back when he asked if we got any additional pay for working at weekends and I said no. He acted as though we should be getting overtime payment for working those days.
Then he was asking the ops director about what sort of sales we were getting on a daily basis, he told him how I alone have made them all these big sales, opened an account with the local council and have another £5k worth of orders pending.
It’s probably the first time an owner of a business actually valued having someone like me working for them. It was a good feeling, so yes, a high note to end the day on, but of course, tomorrow is another 12, 13 hour shift or whatever and I will most likely continue being the angry, stressed man beast that I am.