Sunday, November 16, 2014

Top Ten Lessons I Learned Working At My Last Job

I worked at a wine store from Nov 2013 to Sep 2014. It was my first job after graduating at De Anza College. I remember the experience working with alcoholic beverages 40 hours a week for the rest of my life. I learned wine. I also learned more job lessons and life lessons.

Today's job market continues to be tough. It's hard to find a job. I never complained. There are some unemployed people who want my job. There is somebody out there who takes my job any day. I'm not complaining about my new job I started on Mon Nov 3.

Here are the top ten lessons I learned working at my last job:

10. Shipping and receiving are not common sense. There are skills and knowledge involved in shipping and receiving. For example, I learned some basics loading and unloading a dolly. The employee moves and stacks boxes. Simple? There are do's and don'ts when arranging boxes of wine. Some do's and don'ts aren't common sense.

9. 100% customer service is a myth. 100% customer service never existed in retail. The customer is not always right. Some customers take advantage of a store's 100% customer service policy. Stores are not breaking the bank for a 100% satisfaction rating. Everyone experience being screwed in customer service regardless of fault. Sometimes being screwed is beyond the customer and the retailer's control.

8. The wine business. The people are in the wine business for the love of the wine. The people aren't in the wine business for the money.

7. Supported from my co-workers. Good people are available in times of trouble. I realized most of my co-workers supported me. They backed me up when I needed help. I should have realized many co-workers backed me up when I worked at Colliers. I was never lonely.

6. Get out when there are signs of trouble. My company started going downhill in May 2014. However, the company hired a new employee with a broad knowledge in wine and beer. He submitted his two week resignation two weeks later. He spotted trouble and mismanagement quickly. I started looking for a new job in June 2014.

5. True workers. Retail workers are true to themselves for better or for worse. There is no reason to fake something about ourselves. They don't need to be somebody else. The retail workers are the lowest beyond the low in the career industry totem pole.

4. Seek first to understand. One of the managers became annoying. He shut himself out. He became weak. He was a coward. What happened? I asked other co-workers. They shared the same experiences. We concluded it was too much stress. I understood the situation. I acted accordingly. I behaved accordingly. I minimized contact with the irritated manager.

3. Stress can change a person. The manager became a different person because of stress. It was the first time I experience how stress changed a person. Frightening. I take better care of myself to avoid stress taking over my life.

2. Learn the back story. Acquire the history. The back story and the history are more examples of seeking first to understand. For example, I asked the assistant manager how the co-owners of the second store met. I also asked her the history how long the first store opened. I had a better understanding of the company and the people.

1. Egos and stubbornness. Some people have egos to protect. They never admit they're wrong. They never recognize a good idea. Avoid stubbornness. There are people who never listen to good ideas. Ownership and management egos and stubbornness can result in a company halting growth.


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