Monday, September 25, 2006

At the Office

Though I have plenty of experiences to share in great detail, I think that it is time to post on what we as interns are actually doing at The Vision Forum, and what I have learned so far.

To start with, the arrival of this past Monday initiated a new rotation of job assignments. Christopher left the quiet department of accounting to the fast paced atmosphere in the warehouse. Tait then filled Christopher’s void as I took over Tait’s chair in customer service. Jason, well, Jason remains in his little unchanging “IT world”, as he calls it.

Jason has done well in his department. Monday brought about some changes for him as well as the IT chief left for three weeks of vacation. The real test, however, came a few days ago when three of Mr. Phillips hard drives crashed in the same day. As Jason calmly tried test after test, made several phone calls to different manufacturers, and gulped down a Venti black which I delivered earlier that evening, he was finally able to give Mr. Phillips a promising report at around 8:30 PM. Failure in this department is not acceptable and can be very damaging. Thankfully, Jason has responded very well and is very much appreciated by the VF staff and Mr. Phillips.

Christopher thoroughly enjoyed assisting Mr. Short in the accounting department for the past few weeks. As his father is a CPA, some of those number crunching genes must have given him a great aptitude for this particular atmosphere. He made deposits, recorded payments, reconciled statements, and suggested Excel ideas whenever he saw a way to improve productivity.

Tait had to be practically shoved out of the customer service department. The interaction with the department head, Mr. Gobart, combined with the many different opportunities offered in the department, proved to offer an experience which he enjoyed and did not want to depart from.
I must say that the warehouse probably has the widest array of physical jobs to perform. An extensive account of a day in the warehouse would be as follows. The morning starts off with Mr. Coughlin giving me a multi page list of items to “pick” for the day. Isle numbers, shelve category, and the precise spot of every item ordered that day guide me to the right spot as I push a large shopping cart up and down each section. Once the items from one isle are placed in the cart, I then place them on a table which lies at the end of the row. Isle A has a table, isle B has a table, and so forth.

The next stage is to grab one of the hundreds of freshly printed packing invoices for the day, walk to the appropriate table (A,B,C…) grab the item(s), put them in a box or trey, and place them on the inspection table.

After inspection takes place, the items are then placed on a moving packing line. These items are then place in boxes deems appropriate size by the packer. After countless air packets are strategically secured around the purchase, the sealed box is then placed on the shipping line. The boxes are then scanned, a UPS label applied, stacked on a pallet, and then shipped out at the end of each day.

This is only the most basic daily activity of the day but I’ll leave the aspects of the warehouse for either Tait or Christopher to explain.

Things learned while working in the warehouse would include the importance of paying attention to detail (saves a lot of time and effort, just like anything else), and being diligent in what I may consider menial tasks (packing right saves lots of VF resources). Also, I have learned that everything I do in the warehouse becomes much more significant when I take the time to think about how many different family’s lives will be touched, maybe even turned around, by the materials they would soon receive…if I do my job right.

Now I have a new learning curve to develop in the Customer Service Department. New insights from this new perspective of business will soon be shared. Stay tuned.


__wings__ said...

So, you think I'm on 3 weeks vacation hugh!

Very interesting...

Daniel B said...

Well, last I heard you were tipping over sailboats and having grand adventures. Was I misinformed?