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Human Resource Issues

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Our production manager is one of the most amazing ladies I have had the joy to work with and inspires me every day. I will be happy to see her find something that is true to her heart but also incredibly sad when she leaves as she has made BW what it is today. She has been here for almost 2 years. Over the same span of time I have gone through so many people it has given me a serious complex.

LIAR My last employee who was supposed to go through a retail store list of 3000 stores and call to make sure they wanted us to send us a catalog in the mail turned out to not have called or emailed a single store. This was while I was out of town. When I got back she presented me with a completed list and told me she had contacted almost the entire list. I found this hard to believe but...we sent out 300 mailers with 10% of them coming back as businesses that no longer existed. Got the phone bill back and I don't think she even made one call except to her friends.
She also turned out to be one of the most negative persons I have ever met although she is a queen on myspace and managed to get us over 200 friends in a matter of 3 days albeit they are all teen moms...

ABANDONED The employee before that broke up with her boyfriend and moved back home after one month. We loved her though. She was so great. We miss you still Alison.

ANGER MANAGEMENT ISSUES The employee before that was awesome, great, rad, fun and consistently told me this was the best job she had ever had until we started working together on those damn coloring books (which were supposed to be a fun aside for me but for her they were the ticket to increasing her street cred which apparently is everything if you are an aspiring graffiti artist) and she turned into a psycho bitch accusing me of things like being abusive, controlling etc. Made me feel really good. Just ONE example of my wussiness (and I think I was such a L because I really did care about her): e.g. Our production mgr went on vacation and she was to take up the load but didn't train enough to do the job correctly because she was so involved in the coloring books project. She accused me of being verbally abusive when I made corrections and walked out on me but yeah, I was a pussy and hired her back. But, because she couldn't fulfill the orders I felt like I had to cancel our group trip together to a zine conference we were going to attend FOR FUN. That didn't go over well with her as she wanted to take her boyfriend down there while he was visiting. She spent most of her first day back at BW trying to find a way to get to SF. I felt bad having flaked so agreed to pay for the conference if they still wanted to go as her boyfriend was planning on showing some of his work at it. They asked me to rent the car in my name and they would pay me back upon their return. Sure! They asked me to get up early and drive them down to pick up the car for them. Sure! They only ended up showing for half the conference and failed debrief me after dumping all my shit at the front of my house and taking off as they had come to the conclusion (after driving an insane amount, sitting at a table that no one checked out, meeting no one of import, attending an art show that wasn't that cool, driving an insane amount back;) decided that I was the evil person who had somehow tricked them into driving down to SF and working the conference for me (a zine conference?!). I felt bad for them cause they had no $ and I agreed to cover half of their expenses plus the full coverage of the zine conference they attended. It just got worse. I never did get even half of that back. I could go on and on but I will stop now. It still eats at me, what a wuss I was. I got to stop feeling bad about telling people to get the hell away from me when they suck and I shouldn't be so afraid of claiming the right to BE angry when I am.

DESIGNER The employee before that was a fashion designer and drank a lot of rock star. She wasn't into the start up office stuff but wasn't there with pattern making or designing either so I didn't really know what to do with her.

JUST A JOB The employee before that went to Magic with me but we just didn't click. I felt awkward asking her to help me with things.

I SUCK The employee before that I really screwed up with. She made some mistakes one day and I was gun shy from previous experiences and let her go through EMAIL (i want to shoot myself). I will always regret doing that. She eventually forgave me (thanks Angela.)

ROMANTIZED THE POSITION The employee before that thought that she was going to be doing upper level stuff and didn't understand when I said office mgr I actually meant managing an office and doing bookkeeping with some minor marketing thrown in.

STOLEN The employee before that was groovy and we loved him but Adidas stole him from us and then he went and opened his own bar.

DISAPPEARED The employee before that got tired of pressing shirts and opened her own store on Mississippi but never actually quit. She just disappeared on us.

So, naturally I have a complex and haven't really hired anyone to replace the second person because I just don't seem to know how to make it work. So I talked to a small business counselor and she came up with some excellent suggestions. She told me that I needed to 1) BE A LEADER and explain to people why what they are doing is important 2) LEARN HOW TO INTERVIEW and gave me a list of the 10 questions you must ask 3) LOOK FOR WARNING SIGNS (e.g. all my previous bosses were whack) 4)ORIENTATION IS CRITICAL and should not be skipped and 5) NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR ASKING SOMEONE TO DO SOMETHING FOR YOU. She also reassured me that every single business owner deals with these issues and that my experience is not abnormal. In fact, very classic. So, I am going to give it another shot and ask the right questions and orient someone and really give it my best shot one more time. If you know of anyone who needs a job please have them email me their resume.

  1. Blogger growing up in neverland said:

    just wanted to let you know that i dig your blog... and i dig your business even more! great stuff!

    i REALLY appreciate all the positive ways that your running your business. that's a REAL breath of fresh air!!! i definitely want to support the good things that you are doing.

    anyway, i had a thought: take it for what it's worth. i think your website could use some work. it's not bad - however, it's not exactly really awesome either. since i assume a majority of your business (if not all) is done online, i thought i could refer you to a great web designer. his name is curtis anderson, and he's based out here in chicago. he has a TON of experience, and is a great guy to go with if you are interested... you can visit him at www.khyrtous.com.

    let me know what you think. and, again, thanks for what you do!

  1. Blogger Baby WIt Mama said:

    Hi! Thanks for your comment as I know it is right on and I have been working on just that for the last two quarters trying to get a new cart for my site and a site redesign (this part is easier) but finding the backend has been a nightmare. Slowly working towards it. We are getting new designs in from a cool webdesign company on the 18th. But, I do need someone who knows ajax and mysql so if your dude knows that stuff let me know and I will be all over him.

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