Learning The Job

Part 01 – My Second Job

Part 02 – Becoming an Accounts Clerk

Part 03 – Learning The Job

Part 04 – Moving Too Fast

Part 05 – Improving Processes

Part 06 – Making the Wrong Choice

And so, the following Monday I arrived at 8:30am and met everyone in the company. There were 6 others in my team plus the CFO who managed us all indirectly and about 200 engineers and admin and executives. This first day made me realise something I still hold true to to this day. Introducing new staff to everyone on their first day is completely pointless. See, 200 people have to learn one name (the new person), whereas, 1 person has to learn 200 names. It’s a completely redundant practice. It was back then in 1998 and it still is today.

Today I manage a company with just 15 staff, and whenever we have new people come in, be they permanent or temporary, I very rarely bother to rattle off a list of names to them. I let them know the reason (You’re not going to remember anyone’s name anyways) and I introduce them to one person only. Their direct supervisor. I leave it up to them to work out how they are going to meet and learn everyones’ name from then on.

And so, I was introduced to hundreds of people, and remembered none of their names. I remembered the outgoing Accounts Clerk’s name because she was going to teach me what I was doing and that was about it.

The first day of my new office job was just filling out forms and meeting with people who explained their role to me. Again, none of which I remembered. And getting them to complete and sign of an “Induction Checklist” saying they had taught me about their department/role/whatever. I have no idea why, but sometime in the past, some human resources person came up with this idea to justify their department, and it’s continued throughout society today. But for my mind, it’s always been pointless.

Anyways, I digress again.

So, after the first day, I started to learn the duties of the Accounts Clerk. Boy oh boy were they boring. With a monthly payroll, half the month was entering time sheets in advance to “prepare for payroll”. What they were doing was entering into the database the estimated working hours of every employee over a week. Then at the end of the month, when the time sheets came in from all employees, they would cross check and make adjustments. I thought it was a bit weird, but I bit my tongue and learnt this way. The other half of the month was entering payments and receipts for the previous month. Because that was all there was time for. There was a huge amount of filing backedup, but this was what it was. I also thought it was a little weird that they were so far behind every time on entering payments, but again, I accepted it as standard practice.