Survival Skills: Working as the New Admin at a Dumpster Rental Company
New Admin at the Dumpster Rental Company? Here's how to survive this job (or not).
Well, you just got hired to work as an administrative assistant at the local Dumpster Rental Company. You've never hired one of these monstrosities before, but they are seen around town and you assume that the company is viable, therefore you take the job to be the office manager. You really need the money, and you are pretty sure it will work out, as in: how hard can it be?
The office is in a barracks warehouse, and by the looks of it, you suspect that there is seed or gasoline drums stored next door (for anyone who does not know, these chemicals should NEVER be stored together, but whateve's). Just go in with an open mind, and hope for the best each day, staying positive is never a bad idea, right?
You are going to realize that you are over dressed for the interview, by putting on a blouse and a pair of dress slacks. Don't mind the inches of dust on the fixtures, you are getting paid a decent wage to show up here. If you can find a path through the Christmas decorations, fake ivy plants, skis and snow removal paraphernalia, you are ahead of the game.
Once inside the unpainted but lovingly patched sheet rock den, it looks okay, well, yeah, it is okay. Tip to the wise, if there is no trash bag in the dust bin, don't look in there, seriously, don't be tempted to look in there. And on that topic, at the interview wait for a sufficient answer to the question, "So, who keeps the office/bathrooms/stairwells/carpet in the office clean? It looks so fresh...." If you are told it is you who will be cleaning up after other people at that office, please believe them!
Open the door to the cramped office and notice any off putting smells. If it passes this basic test, go on and sit down, mind as you go. Gracious, you do have a new computer, decent desk, small window, and have already negotiated the rickety stairs in the warehouse where the office/storage/file room/landscaping shed are located. You are well on your way to a new career working at the local dumpster rental company. Assuming you have made it through the non-stringent interview, "Can you type?" "Can you read okay?" "Showing up is really important, does your car work okay?" That's it, you just got hired, woo hoo! Now, what do you need to know to keep this cushy job?
The owner of the company is the truck driver for the dumpster rentals. You can count on his name being something simple with one syllable, preferably Frank. He has a high school education, which is nothing against every other man who has made millions with a caring, Six Sigma understanding of how the economy does work without a college degree. But not Frank, poor thing. He is just simple Frank, you can put your money on that one. He rules by swift force, and it is his bleeping company at the end of the day, isn't it?
He has gotten into the dumpster rental business literally by accident, to hear him tell it. He used to or still does landscaping, and had to help a customer once with a dumpster, and voila, the idea to buy a bunch more dumpsters and give it a go was born. His computer skills will be non-existent to mid-decent, so count on learning whatever new computer cloud platform system he has bought a seat on to do your job yourself (or calling the company on a slow day to sit in on a webinar tutorial). This is because although Frank will yell at you for not using the system properly, he barely knows how to turn on the computer himself.
In the office, there will always be a couple of nice guys who help drive trucks or do the landscaping on off/on season days. These guys will be nice, respectful and generally no problem at all (except they will keep the bathroom door downstairs a bit muddy on the tiles, but no matter). There will be an in-office fixture (read: Old Bat) as well, that will be someone who is a former girlfriend, motorcycle gang buddy, ex-lover/wife or ex-neighbor of Frank's who does the accounting and state truck compliance forms, and will sit at a desk nearby to you, a little too close to you.
She will have a one syllable name as well, such as Sue, Nance, Liz or Anne. Sue will be a chain smoker, will wear flip flops in all weather (hence the dirty feet in all seasons), and will have a mobile phone that goes ping, ping, ping, ping, ping all the livelong day long, on high. Sue has no hearing, what with her years on the motorcycle, ATV and monster truck rallies, and she naturally yells (and spits) when she talks. But Frank adores her, and she will either be your ally or worst case scenario as to why and how she will get you fired (and you will get let go in front of her and she will be smiling, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here).
You can count on the days being busy. Organize your day as best as possible if you can. Frank will call in to get the orders where to drop the dumpsters, and customers will also call in or email that they want to order dumpster service. Things will go super smoothly, that is until Frank's wife calls in, which will be at least twice to thrice a week.
Frank's wife, or "She-Who-Thinks-She-Must-Be-Obeyed" will call in to curtly holler that one of her co-worker wants the last dumpster available in the yard for her friend, and will bark the order to you and hang up before you can get all of the details or retrieve her return telephone number. You will be forced to call Frank, who will also bark more orders and force you to call his wife back AT WORK for the pertinent details. Well, you can imagine how this is morning is going to go.
Be ready to talk to customers who want to rent various tonnage on the dumpsters. Of course, Frank has an ingenious system, where he only has 3 sizes of dumpsters but advertises that he has 5-6 sizes. You will just bump the customer up to the next biggest size dumpster, tell them you are all out of their size, and give them the lower price for the next biggest dumpster in the yard. See how that works? Excellent customer service at its best, and you will do this over and over again.
And at least once a day, Frank will call in for directions, details on where to leave the dumpster (near the barn, don't block the basketball court), phone number verification of customers, or for just someone to yell at as he is bored driving to the next job alone in his truck. His trucks break down frequently, and he has to come back to the yard to service them, but he is good with a wrench/spanner, and that works out too. You won't have to tell him to wash his hands once he comes in, as it is "his company, *&%$ it," and he can put his grease monkey hands anywhere he darn well pleases, thank you for not asking.
The day goes by quickly and you will barely have time to take a break, therefore plan to bring in your lunch. Preferably something that you can eat with a fork and not your hands. Also, try to hold it, as the bathroom downstairs by the end of the day/week is impassable, and a truck stop toilet would be 1,000 times more accommodating and have lower levels of Escherichia coli., Staphylococcus and Clostridium difficile. You don't need to bother looking these up, because they will be explained in detail for you on your hospital release forms when you leave the Emergency Department of your local hospital, because this is your by the time the holidays comes bonus, bonus virus, as it were!
In summary, you are going to do just fine. Just try to get along, try to do your job to the best of your ability, and try to please the customers. Remember, you are providing an important service for the community, act accordingly to rise to the occasion of this important responsibility. If you can keep all this in mind, you CAN be successful at your job as the new admin at the dumpster rental company.
Except, that Sue never really liked you. She never liked that you ratted her out to Frank when she went on a day off to take her niece to see that Irish woman who places wicked violin on stage, yeah, that one. Well, when Sue was gone you impersonated Sue, called the CRM company and got a live webinar tutorial to learn how to use the customer center computer platform, which was deceptively EASY to use, not at all difficult the way Sue made it out to be. In your glee, you intimated to Frank that YES, you finally figured out how to use the computer system to do all of the customer service tasks that he requires, the backout button does in fact work, and it easily retrieves lost customer orders or misprints of invoice tickets, you could go on.
Well, the next morning in the rain, as you come in on time for work, Frank and Sue are waiting for you, and not with your favorite coffee either. Frank tells you that he will have to let you go, as Sue gloats, and you gather your things and leave, but for the last time.
Can't say that you didn't try, but you were a bit too eager to do your job right, too willing to learn a simple computer system, and too hungry to help someone make his business a raving success. Poor you, you leave the tumbledown warehouse as the UPS guy is trucking up the 2,000 postcards you created for the dumpster rental marketing campaign, but alas, they will have to manage it themselves, won't they? The way they always have, prefer to do, and will continue to do in the future.
Moral of the Story: There are some people that you should never work with, and they are the Franks and the Sue's of this world. Make peace with it and keep looking, your better job opportunity is just around the corner!