Saturday, June 26, 2010

No Kid Gloves Worn Here

So I started my new job 2 weeks ago. For those keeping score, this is my 2nd part time job - a.k.a., my afternoon job. I have another job that I work 4 mornings a week whereas this new job is 5 afternoons a week. It's basically what I was considering my "summer job" - a job to have/more income to have while I wait for my morning job to offer me more hours.

The thing is, now that I've been working it a couple weeks, I see how much I actually like it there. And I also have a glimpse into more duties they want me to take on in the nearish future - basically doing writing/advertising for them. Cool! Definitely a job to love for as long as I can keep it!

Funny/ironic thing, though, is that this business is a company that makes anti-chafing powders for runners/hikers/etc. You know - pretty much the heavy-duty, killer pro runners out there are our major customers. And here I am, a physically disabled woman who needs help from leg braces and a walking stick to get around, working for them and potentially writing for them. Go figure.

Part of my job there is to package and ship orders. Many of which are pretty small orders to individuals. Not huge packages, not too heavy or difficult for me to manage at all. But other orders, for distributors, stores, etc., are very large and heavy.

Now, I'm absolutely not saying that I can't handle it. As I said in my interview, I can definitely manage what they need done - I just may have to go about it in a different way to accommodate my needs. But, basically, no problem. And, in actuality, that has been the case. I can do whatever they need me to do - I just may be a bit slower or accomplish the task in a different way then someone more physically able would. And it's all just fine.

But what has kind of taken me aback - just because I'm not used to it - is how my boss and co-workers treat me. And how do they treat me? Just like anyone else.

Shocking! Isn't it?!

As I've said here before on more than one occasion, I'm kind of used to being taken care of. I'm used to people offering to do things for me - not because I can't do whatever, but because they know they can do it quicker/easier/or they're just nicely offering to do something so I don't have to do it. Which, you know, is all fine and good. And, in fact, I probably more often than not take people up on their offers of assistance because - yeah - it would be a lot easier of someone else just did whatever.

But at my new job - nope. I have my jobs to do and people expect me to do them.

Hmmmm.... this is not coming out they way I mean for it. I don't mean to be saying that, "Man! I can't believe what these people are making me do! They're so cold and uncaring and just telling me to 'do this now and do it right, or else!'" That's not it at all. I work with some really great people and I am treated so well there. How I mean this to sound is - "Wow. These people aren't questioning my abilities at all. I said I can do X and they know I'll get X done, however it is I need to do it. They're not concerned that they've asked too much of me. They're not offering their help because A) it's my job, not theirs, to get X done, and B) that's just it - I'll get it done one way or another. The end."

They also probably realize that if I do need help, I'd certainly ask for it myself. And I would - and have, actually! At which point they are more than happy to assist. But they don't offer it on their own.

Wow! How refreshing!

An example: Yesterday my boss and I (BTW - my boss is about 7 months pregnant with twins, so she's obviously not in all that better condition to do physical tasks than I am) were packing up many orders, a few of which were quite large. But instead of her telling me to take care of the little orders while she handles the larger/heavier/crazier orders, she had me do the big stuff. Since she already knew I knew my way around the smaller orders, she wanted to give me practice on the larger, not-as-typical orders. Which, of course, all made a lot of good sense and I was happy to work this way. But I have to say, I'm just more used to someone offering to do the bigger/heavier stuff for me while I take care of the lighter things.

I had to gather heavy things, box them all in a large box, cut the box down to size, and tape up the box. Which I did. Yeah, it wasn't the easiest thing in the world to do. And I probably didn't do it in the easiest way that I could have - or someone else would have done it. But I got it done on my own. Correctly. And now I know what it takes to handle a larger order. Cool!

It also kinda surprised me at one or two points during this time yesterday that when I kind of stumbled or fell back on my butt - (note: no Amy was harmed in the packing of these items. I am just clumsy. No problem) - that my boss didn't make any remark whatsoever to me. Didn't ask me if I was okay. Didn't say boo. Which, you know what, was totally FINE, and actually COOL! Like I said, she knows my physical limitations and must realize I'm gonna trip up or whatever along the way and there's no need to comment on it. Like I said - if I need help, she knows I'll ask for it. If I fall and actually do hurt myself, I'll let someone know. Obviously. Otherwise? It's s'all good.

Anyway - someone reading this may think that I'm writing this all as a complaint about the cold, heartless, expect-way-too-much people I now work for. But actually, it's honestly like a breath of fresh air.

No one's treating me with kid gloves in my new job. I'm thinking, likewise, that maybe - just maybe - I'll start to look at myself with a fresh set of eyes and will feel more like a can-do adult as well!

This "summer job" just might be one of the best things I'll ever do for myself!

No comments: