"Keep a Journal: How else are you going to get a good look at who you were?"

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Six Months?

SIX #$%^&*!!!??? MONTHS??

Am I kidding me?

To think that I once thought of this 'blog as a Quarterly.  What?  Have my publishing costs gone up so much that I have to switch to semi-annual publication??

Nah.  Just lazy.  Too wrapped up in...myself.

Seems like a good time to write, no?  I really ought to carry a notebook around so all those wacky ideas that come into me head when I'm working nights at HBC can be shared with the World...or whatever part of the World cares to show any interest in what I muse about when I'm working.

You know, I had a whole plan laid out for a new life:  I was going to be let go at HBC after 20 years service.  I was going to go to Cardston and stay with the folks for awhile.  I was going to get a new job, probably in Lethbridge, working in some kind of I.T. capacity.

All of which may still transpire...but not yet.  Step one: losing my job of 20 years with HBC didn't happen.

So, I'm staying put.  For now.

The last time HBC "re-allocated" our Logistics Center Workforce was way back in the beginning of 2003, when our present DC was completed and the staff from the Zeller's DC on Viking way in Richmond, and the Bay DC on Lake City Way in Burnaby, were both merged into our then-new building.  This required some...adjustment of shifts and pay scales and re-assignment of some staff to other departments because; quite frankly, not everyone could have the shift and department assignment they preferred.

The management team decided to have a "competition", based on seniority, to handle the transition.  This involved written requests and a couple of interviews and a WHOLE lot of nail-biting.  It was not unlike attempting to get hired on...for a job you were already being paid for.

Now, thanks to the Global Economic Downturn and the fact that we only service 2 of the 4 retail banners we used to supply from our DC, our present Management team is forced (reluctantly, I am sure) to "right-size" our workforce.  Our banners have been reduced in number because Zellers was sold to Target USA.  Also; Fields was closed as it was deemed too expensive to continue operations.  This is the new reality at HBC: We've retrenched a ways...and are slowly re-building.

It also means we've gone from a roster of 430 full and part time employees at our peak...to 43 full time employees, plus perhaps another 50-100 part time; called in as needed.  The roster is also slowly increasing...but we all know it will be some time before we are called on to work at the kind of capacity and pace we experienced before the Downturn.  I am convinced HBC will recover...but I've no idea how long it will take.

When the new "core" roster was announced, I felt certain that the time had finally come to move on from HBC to...another opportunity.  I was far enough down the Seniority List that there was no possible way of qualifying for one of the core roster positions; or so I believed.  Hence; the aforementioned plan for a new life in Southern Alberta.

I kept in mind the hoops I had to jump through the last time my Employers had to re-arrange their workforce.  I decided that if I wasn't going to make the full-time roster anyway; I wasn't going to bother jumping through the inevitable hoops required to try to make what income I could for what work there was.  If I was going to have to make such a change in my employment, it wasn't going to be all that much more trouble to find a new job.  I even imagined that I was looking forward to picking up and starting over.  The plan did have some...advantages.

Well, at least I was becoming accustomed to the idea.

So imagine my surprise when our Facility Manager came to me one Thursday evening and asked; "we have three more slots on the core roster, do you want one?", "doing what?" I asked in turn.  "Same as you are doing now: MHF Mondays to Fridays on the PM shift".


It was that easy.  Totally unexpected too.  My Father's advice to me in December before all this unfolded was: "Son, don't jump unless you are pushed!".  Sound advice that.

So...not the opportunity I had "braced" myself for...but an opportunity nonetheless.  Better make the most of it, no?

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