Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bangor-bound and ill-prepared

I’m off to Bangor at an ungodly hour to set up for a job fair. This is part of my semi-regular part time gig to help pay some bills and aid me in getting my independent publishing venture off the ground. I’m not in a great frame of mind, primarily because of the lack of support that I’m receiving from my so-called boss.

Granted, I’m a contract employee. While this company pays a decent hourly wage, covers my driving expenses and provides other incidentals, my new 20-something overseer is not impressing me at all. With her London design school pedigree, you would think she’d understand that our trade show materials sucks! Our table top display was ragged at best when I did our last trade event. Apparently, little miss prissy must have broken it during her previous set up, as she was the last person who had the materials. When I met her last evening, in order to receive her handoff, she was late, rude and provided me with little or no directive as to why I had so few materials for today’s event. I don’t understand what it is about recent college graduates? Are our colleges so dumbed-down that they aren’t preparing graduates for the real world? Does my boss not understand at trade fairs, more is always better?

Personally, based on my previous track record, I can see that a clash of cultures looms on the horizon. I may be a contract employee, but I believe in doing an honest day’s work. I also would appreciate having some type of support, particularly if this person is being paid to provide it. I never was a believer in generation gaps, but now that I’m 40-something, I can really appreciate the reservations that the older set usually has about young people.

I could go on about my situation, but I’ll end by saying that if I was doing the event as RiverVision Press, I would have made sure that I had a display that smacked of professionalism. The employer I’m representing is considered a leader in its field. Yet, with the materials I was given and the trade booth I’ve had to piece together, it will tell all in attendance that this company is not a real player, but a poseur.


Anonymous said...

If I were you I would go above Miss Prissy's head. Let her boss know what kind of job she is doing. They won't know unless you tell them. This is just my two cents worth.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dottie. If Miss Prissy isn't doing her job you need to let her boss know.

Don't let this 20-something get away with a poor work ethic as well as an unprofessional manner. I'm sick of dealing with the 20-somethings of this world.

Jim said...

I understand your reasoning on this, however, here's my dilemna.

The entire marketing dept. is a "romper room", staffed by a crew of 20-something "skaters".

I could go to the big Kahuna at the top, but being that he is ten years older than me and has a penchant for hiring nubile young girls for his marketing positions tells me that he's more interested in "eye candy" than real marketing.

Am I reading this wrong? Based on some of my past experiences in similar situations, I don't know how effective going over their heads might be.

We'll have to see. In the interim, I'll continue to work my magic at these events.

weasel said...

Jim- trust your gut. Sometimes work places don't want to be reformed or effective; other factors are more important to the layabouts/incompetents etc. And its not just a thing that "the youth of today' carries around: my 75 year old deli owning pal in Bar Harbor is more interested in not becoming his martinet dad than in running a business that makes money.

I suggest taking a deep breath, changing what you can on your own initative, looking at your paycheck while looking for a different job, and renting the BBC's "The Office' to see how bad things could be.

I imagine if things were different you would give me the same advice.

Jim said...


Wise advice. I also didn't mean to paint with so wide a brush; not every young person is cursed with a slacker ethic, any more than the more seasoned among us have the corner on hard work and ambition.

Since this is a p/t gig, I'm not going to let it get me worked up any longer. I'll treat it for what it is--some supplementary income and focus my energies on marketing WTHT and getting the next book on the track for release.