Part Two: I Used To________
So, by now I’ve been an office manager, a customer service rep, and accounting manager all in the span of about six years.
My next gig was as the call center manager for a very small computer manufacturing company. From there, I became the expediter – and if you don’t know what that is, in a manufacturing facility it’s the person who identifies bottlenecks in the process and works towards resolution of same. Later, they made me technical services manager. Basically, I supervised call center employees in the help desk area. It was an okay place, but the day the human resources manager went out to “get some aspirin” and didn’t come back I knew the writing was on the wall. The CEO literally fled town amidst speculation of embezzling; leaving all of us out of a job.
I guess, technically, I was not fired from that job. But still, I was jobless again.
About this time I decided I hated commuting and wanted to find a job close to home. My next job really seemed to fill the bill.
I was office/tech manager for an HVAC company. When I interviewed with the husband and wife who owned this small business not two minutes from my house I explained that the only time I ever got to see my parents was during the Christmas holidays, and I would be taking off every year to do so. This was non-negotiable and I made that clear.
First year I was there, no problem. Second year, not so much. I was told they were going to Cancun and I was staying at work to run things.
I said no, I’m not. They said, you are fired…..in March. It was the strangest firing, but they said I could stay until I found another job or they found a replacement. Those things coincided in March that year.
Thus began one of my shortest, strangest (okay Vickie/Victoria was the strangest) job experiences.
I began work as a customer service/warehouse manager for a large distributor of plumbing supplies. They were expanding in Texas and this facility was brand-new. It was also a fifteen minute drive from home, and I was excited at the prospect of creating something from the beginning. Our main office was in Florida, and during the interview process I was asked about travel. I stopped the interview, telling them I did not travel…ever…for a job. One reason was I had four kids at home, and a husband, but another reason is physical. I have a hole in one eardrum and flying makes me sick..very sick. No problem, they said, you won’t ever have to travel, they said. The job was okay, despite the regional manager’s wife’s habit of dropping in at all hours and if he wasn’t in the office she’d go around looking in the closets for him. No, really in the closets. I found out that is because she had “stolen” him from his first wife as she, as his secretary, and he would meet in closets for their trysts. Naturally, a relationship forged with such mutual respect would lead to closet-snooping.
Three months later I was called into the office of the regional VP (and total speed-freak I had recently learned) to be told either I traveled to Florida for a week or I would have to find a new job. I turned to my boss, who had been summoned as well, and said, “Welp…you got any boxes? I’ll need some for my stuff in my office.” The VP’s mouth dropped open, but I got up, packed up and never looked back.
The tally, so far – office manager, customer service rep, accounting manager, call center manager, expediter, tech manager, customer service and warehouse manager.
See why I have a story for just about every job situation?
But wait, there’s more!
From the plumbing supply company I went to work for the in-house counsel and VP of sales for a large retail chain at their corporate headquarters.
My first day on the job, one of the bosses was in the hospital. He’d taken ill over the weekend with kidney stones.
His wife came into the office to pick something up for him. However, in rummaging through his desk she got way more than she bargained for as she found nude pictures of his girlfriend, and him, in flagrante delicto.
She came out of his office, screaming like a banshee, and fell to floor. She continued to wail and pound the carpet..as employees walked past her.
Apparently, as I found out later, this was her response to everything from “it’s raining outside” to “your husband is schtupping some chick behind your back.”, so people tended to ignore her. This episode, though, finally got her banned from the office so subsequent days weren’t nearly so eventful.
Until the CEO got caught in the same compromising situation by wife #3, and was shown the door by her. She came into the office that day, loaded for bear, but he was not in. The actual break-up took place in their home, and call me crazy but I’m pretty sure that’s where that shit belongs.
Soon, he fell in love with a stripper. And she, him. Of course.
Never mind that he was 44, looked like a troll and had multiple health issues. He was a multi-millionaire and she was his “soulmate”. She was also 22, and I don’t think a single “part” of her was real. From her big hair to big tatas, she was a sight to behold. She always wore 5-inch heels and towered over him.
This mad love affair led to much spending of company money on said “love of my life” – including the hideous $20K painting he shipped from Italy when they were on a cruise. When the Board forced him out over his mishandling of company funds she stuck by his side, despite his rapidly dwindling income, for exactly two weeks.
A new CEO search was on and all the executives and their admins were shown the door. I was first, but it was like opening the floodgates as soon after the entire upper management staff was gone.
I contemplated taking the summer off after this job, but a call from a headhunter changed my mind. In June of 2002 I came to work for the company I’m at now. I’m technically called an “administrative coordinator”, but for the pay and benefits if they want to call me “Chief Bitch of This Location” I’m totally cool with it.
And, it seems, after all these years if I haven’t pissed them off to the point of firing me yet – and believe me there have been times when I wondered – then maybe I’ve found my (work) soulmate at last.
So, yeah, next time I pipe up with some anecdote about something/place I used to work at, I’m not bragging. I really have done just about every kind of office job, for every kind of whack-job, imaginable.