Four years ago, the day after the election, I was offered my first full-time job post-college in the purchasing department at a resort property in the Hudson Valley.
I had already been temping there for a year – a situation that I had originally intended to be just that: temporary. It was supposed to be a six-week gig to bridge the gap between two administrative assistants. Two weeks shadowing the outgoing admin learning all of her daily tasks, two weeks holding down the fort by myself, and two weeks training the incoming admin. Then after that they extended me for a few months; there was an FF&E project, a 21-room renovation, and I was given the responsibility of going through the spec book, separating and sorting furniture, lighting, fabric, bedding and window treatment specs by vendor, issuing requests for quotes, and ultimately managing all of the ordering and tracking of orders and coordinating shipment for the rooms. At the same time, the hotel was undertaking the implementation of an electronic purchasing and inventory management software system – for the first time. (It’s an old historic property that had been doing things via 5-part carbon copy purchase order forms till then.) I ended up playing a fairly significant role in that project as well – tinkering around with the system in the test environment, learning all of its quirks and particulars, and after the program went live, helping train employees in how to use the system. I’m of the generation that grew up using computers in school, and was very comfortable learning and navigating this new technology – which made me helpful in coaxing cooperation from well-meaning but terribly technophobic colleagues.
So in that year, I guess I proved myself invaluable.
The day after the 2008 election my boss came and found me while I was chatting with some folks outside during a brief coffee break and said that he was finally able to hire me on as a permanent employee. “Do you want the job?”
“Yes, of course!” I said.
“Good,” he said. “Because I kind of already went ahead and told HR that you’re taking it.”
Easiest interview ever.
And that’s how it all began. I worked there for another three years before moving on to a different purchasing job in Manhattan in 2011.
Now here I am, the day after the 2012 election, and remembering all this feels kind of bittersweet because right now I am unemployed – inadvertently, not by choice (is anyone unemployed by choice these days?). I was laid off in January and got extremely lucky and found a six-month contract position almost immediately. But that position wrapped up in October. So I’m back to being job-less.
It’s frustrating and disappointing to be in this situation, and the usual unemployment funk has been augmented in the past week by additional stress and sadness over the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York. It’s been a hard month, and I’m doing my best to stay active and keep my head up, but I won’t lie: this is not fun. The holidays are coming up and hiring is never really that great around this time of year, so I’m trying hard to keep my job search going while mentally trying to accept the fact that it may be a while before I’m able to find something else.
You know. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
So I’m giving this blogging thing a try. I figure at the very least it’ll keep me thinking. Thinking is always good.