October is the major fundraising month on the job, so it is characterized by long hours and arduous tasks. I often joke that my job is cushy, except when it's not, and the entire month falls into the "not" category. To compound matters, my department is understaffed- we lost one-third of the department in last January's "realignment".
The head of the department, my immediate superordinate, told me last week that the organization hired a new employee. I indicated that I would be willing to make his training a high priority, even if it meant coming in on a day off. I was told that his paperwork had to be finalized.
To put things into context, my hiring seven years ago was pretty crazy- in June, I submitted my resume to a guy named Pete and I didn't hear a thing for two months, then I got a call from a guy named Doug who asked me, "Can you start tomorrow?" I love surprises on Christmas and my birthday, but work-related surprises are not so great. I was working as a contractor, though, so my hours were totally flexible, so I was able to answer yes to Doug's question. Doug told me to meet a guy named Ken at the worksite, so my training could begin. Confused? I was.
Anyway, that puts the coming story into perspective. I was awaiting information from the department head regarding the new hire, but had heard nothing. Last night, when I was guzzling beer, I got a call (which bounced into voicemail) from one of the guys in my department, indicating that the new hire showed up, and that he was training him. After my beer-bash, I checked my voicemail and I spoke with the guy who had conducted the training. I have to say that neither of us was too cool with the unexpected arrival of the new guy, even though we were both relieved that some of the heat would be taken off of us by the addition of a team member.
I arrived at work at midnight today and discussed the new hire in the course of the regular shift-change briefing. In the course of the briefing, my co-worker told me that the new guy didn't like the dark (we spend a lot of time outdoors and there is a 24-hour presence, so dark is the element in which we work) and he didn't like rats (while I haven't often seen rats, remember that we do have mousers on the payroll). Also, he apparently spent an inordinate amount of time on his phone during his training shift, which is not a good sign.
At any rate, the guy contacted the department head and told him "the job is just not for me". Yeah, there's really nothing here for someone who doesn't like the dark or run-ins with critters (one look at an opossum would probably send a guy who's skeeved out by rats into a tizzy). This isn't the first time a guy didn't last a single shift. There was one new hire who called up the aforementioned Doug, who was the supervisor who preceded me, and told him, "I can't work here anymore, I just saw a ghost." Doug tried to assuage his concerns over the phone and got to work early so he could talk some sense into the guy. The guy handed Doug the site cell phone and the keys and told him, "I saw a ghost, I can't work here." He left in such haste, he ran the red light out of the parking lot.
So, now there's a second guy who wasn't able to last a night on the job. It's not work for someone who's easily rattled, even though someone with steady nerves (watching a lot of the original Scooby Doo series is also helpful, because it tells you that the monsters aren't real) will usually come to enjoy it. Anybody fearless out there who's looking for a nighttime gig?