Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Morons--I don't need this job

Okay, most of this particular story comes second hand, from hearing my husband complain about a certain person he has had to work with recently.

My husband is a portrait photographer who has worked for at least half a dozen different companies. Usually, he quickly becomes the top something or other and gets a little certificate or a plaque or something. But usually he is also made to feel that his work really isn't valued that much. The sales people are more important. The sales people bring in the money. The fact that the sales people wouldn't have anything to sell without the photographers doesn't seem to matter. The photographers are valued less than the sales people, and it's a big company and if you don't like the way you are treated you can leave and the company will just get someone else.

Not that big companies value the sales people that much either. The valued people in the company are not the people who are out dealing with the public and doing the actual work of taking and selling pictures. The valued people work in offices and don't even have the same work hours as the photographers and sales people. Most of the people out dealing with the public have probably never even been to the office.

My husband's current employer doesn't quite make it seem like sales people are more important than photographers. Maybe this is because the two groups have to work together. Other places have a photographer come and take the photos, and then weeks later the sales people come back and sell the pictures, and the sales people and the photographers never even see each other.

So my husband usually works with a couple of salespeople, and then the next week he works with a different pair of salespeople. Some of the sales people are better at their jobs than others. My husband works on commission, so it's very important that he gets to work with the good salespeople. Sometimes he is greatly relieved when he sees who he will be working with. Other times he thinks that he might as well call in sick for the week, because the salespeople he's stuck with rarely make any money.

A lot of people have left the company recently, and my husband thinks that about half of the salespeople have left. Mostly, the good half of the salespeople left. So there have been a lot of new people he has worked with. And while the company may value salespeople more than photographers, there doesn't seem to be any way of figuring out who will be a good salesperson. You just have to hire someone and see if it works out. And while some people are hired from want ads and such, a lot of the new salespeople have just been hired because the sales supervisor met them somewhere (usually at a job site) and just hired them on the spot.

Most of the new people aren't very good salespeople.

Not that they aren't nice people, but for my husband to make enough money for us to pay our bills, both of the salespeople he works with have to sell above a certain amount of money each day. And most of the time, the new people don't sell that much. And that's not to mention that there are a few not new people who still don't seem to get the hang of it, but they still make more money selling portraits than working at McDonald's, so they don't quit.

So recently my husband has either had to work accounts where it is difficult to make any money anyway, or he has had to work with new people or not so new people who don't quit because they haven't got anything better to do. Last week my husband got to work with one of the old pros and one of the new people. The new person is so new that this was only her second week out of training.

This woman made a point of going to talk to my husband and telling him what a good job he is doing and how he's so much better than most of the other photographers. And how would she know that? Except for the training, this is only her second week on the job. She hasn't even met most of the other photographers. So that was odd.

This woman also said some other odd things on a day that we had snow . She made a big deal about saying how she used to live up north and was an expert on driving on the ice and such. Despite all of the winter storm warnings, most places didn't have it that bad. I didn't even see any snow at all, and my husband didn't see any either. But there may have been reports of ice between the place where they were working and the place this woman had to drive home to. After making such a big deal about being an expert driver, at the end of the day she decided that she couldn't risk driving on the road with Texas drivers who didn't know what they were doing, so she got a hotel room. They weren't working far enough away to warrant a hotel room, but she insisted that she needed one anyway. I would be curious to know if the company ends up paying for it. The hotel wasn't even in the price range that the company pays for.

But the really odd thing that this woman did was this little speech that she gave the first day that she and my husband worked together. She just wanted to say that she probably wasn't going to sell as much as the other sales people, and that didn't bother her and she really didn't need to hear any comments about it. She said that she really didn't need this job. Her husband had a franchise in a large fast food chain, and that paid their bills and made them quite a bit of money. So it didn't really matter to her if she didn't make much commission. She just wanted to be part of the company, etc....

So this is the last person my husband wants to have to work with. What is the point of having a salesperson who doesn't "need" the commission? And am I the only one who thinks there is something wrong with this picture? If you just want to be a team player and make a company look good, etc...why don't you go to the fast food company that is paying your bills and make that company look good? Why don't you stay home with your husband, and that way when someone calls in sick at the restaurant you can fill in? Why don't you want to be a team player on that team?

It seems like my husband has worked with a lot of people who decided to tell everyone they have to speak to that they really don't need this job. They even tell this to the customers. "I have my own studio, but I'm taking a break from it." "I'm just doing this for now. What I really do is take portraits of preschool kids." "My husband is a lawyer, so I really don't need this job." "I don't really need this job. I just wanted to do a little traveling that wouldn't cost me any money."

I don't know why people have to tell that stuff to other people. Most of that wasn't really even true. If you have your own studio and you have this job too, then the studio isn't making enough money or you wouldn't have taken this job. And this kind of travel is rarely interesting enough for long that a person would keep doing it if he didn't really need the money. And if you really didn't need the money but just wanted something to do, you'd probably go and find a charity to help and do something to feel really good about yourself.

I think that every once in a while people say that they don't need a certain job. Like when there's a new supervisor or some other unpleasant change at work, the employees often tell each other that they don't need the job, or at least they don't need that particular job enough to put up with whatever the change was. I have said that. Or I have told a boss that I'm only interested in working my current schedule, and I don't need the job enough to switch to the night shift. And I did once take a job that I knew didn't pay enough money to be worth my time, and I didn't need the job, but at the time I literally thought that getting out of the house would make me feel better, and it just did something for my ego that this person had called and asked if I could work.

So I have done that, but there is a time and a place for that sort of thing. If it isn't your boss trying to change your schedule to something that you refuse to work, you don't need to say stuff like that. Why would you repeatedly tell everyone around you (including the customers) that you don't need this job? It is very annoying. If you don't need the job, why are you here? Quit and make room for someone who does need a job.

1 comment:

Dame Honoria Glossop said...

I think her saying those things means that she has a very low opinion of the job.

The only reason for me to do a job I didn't need would be a) I loved doing it & enjoyed myself or b) to help someone out.

Hope your husband gets to work with someone good :)