Thursday, February 13, 2014

Days of Our Work Lives: An unvarnished look at work today: Part II: Susan's Saga. Episode 5: Chemistry

Part II: Susan's Saga 
Episode 5: Chemistry

In the previous episode, Susan joined Rotary in an attempt to find job leads. She found one and perhaps something more.

On Saturdays, not having to get Adam off to school, Susan enjoyed sleeping late and lolling with coffee and the newspaper but today, she had to get up early to get to her one-day trial as the clerk at Rory's Ag Supply. While she wanted--well she needed--to get a job, she hated having to give up the coffee and paper, especially for a $12-an-hour clerk job at a fertilizer store.

As she was driving to the store, she thought, "I can't believe I said yes. All that career counseling and identifying my skills, interests, values, and big goals and I end up saying yes to a $12-an-hour job selling fertilizer because he said I wouldn't have to do much on the computer and because he flirted with me? "David died less than three months ago. What the hell am I doing?!"

After just a bit of the flirty, smiling eye contact, which the lonely Susan couldn't help but reciprocate, Rory got down to business and explained each of the products. 

Susan thought, "My God, how many fertilizers: high-nitrogen for growth, low-nitrogen later in the season for fruits and flowers, organic, inorganic, fast-release, slow-release, multi-release, with trace elements, without them. And then there are the chemicals: the pesticides, the fungicides, the herbicides, the fumigants, the growth regulators, the adjuvants, in sprays, powders, drenches, gases. And those names: Imazapic, 2-4 D Amine, Atrazine 4L, Metsulfutorl Methyl DF, Oxadiazon 50WSB, Prodiamine 65WDG, Sethoxydim E-Pro, Azinphosmethyl 50W, Imidacloprid 75WSB, Chlorothalonil 720SFT, Propioconaloze E-Pro14.3 MEC. It's a miracle we don't all have cancer."

Rory reassured, "Don't worry. You'll get it. Baby steps, a little at a time. Besides, you can always ask me for help." 

She thought, "Yeah, right. I'll be so embarrassed--Every time a customer asks a question, I'll have to say, 'Wait a minute?' and run back to Rory? I'll look like an idiot. I'm going to do this? For $12 an hour?"

The clincher was when Rory said, "Oh and here's your computer. You'll mainly just be doing some basic spreadsheets on Excel."

"I thought you said I'd need to do very little on the computer?"

"Doing some basic spreadsheets on Excel is doing very little."

Embarrassed, Susan said, "Rory, I really appreciate your offering me the job but I'm glad we agreed it was a trial. This just isn't for me."

Rory turned on the flirtatious look, "You sure?"

"I'm sure."

After only two hours on the job, she was back in her car and thinking: "I'm not even good enough for a $12 an hour job. Damn, he's right. Excel--That's really basic. I'll need that for almost any job. I'll take a class. That's what I'll do. I'll take an Excel class."

The next episode is HERE.

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