Sunday, July 3, 2011

Where the heck ya been, and meeting pro poker players in odd places

Its been awhile again since I blogged, with online poker going by the wayside (meaning the demise of any planned BBT6 even t that may have been) kinda puts a damper on the whole blogging thing. Add in that I have been walking the fine of depression over my employment and wa-la, going into hibernation.

Well "the times they are a changing...."

I won't rehash all my gripes about my job, the whole past winter has been played out pretty descriptively over the last few blog posts, however a new chapter or loathing started in the beginning of June. As I'm probably sure most of you are aware that Minot, ND has been under threat of flood since the end of May. Initially there was a mandatory evacuation and in typical Minotian culture, there was a swift overreaction. Before any water started lapping over levees the executive management in the site decided to give employees effected by the evacuations 5 paid days off, which I absolutely 100% agree with, however, the next paragraph of the email announcement also said that even those who were not affected but could made it in to the office would also be given 5 days off because "they are shouldering the extra burden of those who could not make it into the office". I have a problem with that. Why? I have a team of 12 direct reports located in Windsor, CT who are the ONLY BCP (business continuity plan) for the call center. Meaning, the call volume they service on a daily basis would (and did) increase dramatically. So my people see this announcement (because as a part of the same department, even though we are remote, we are included on site emails) and think they are getting 5 days off for "helping to shoulder the burden". Not 24 hours later a follow-up email from HR is sent out and it states that the 5 days are for only on-site staff. This pisses me off for the obvious reason, but also because that phrase was placed intentionally. There are only 2 teams that are affiliated with Minot that were now excluded by that one simple phrase, my 12 people in Windsor, CT, and another 24 in Minneapolis, MN that are backup to our New Biz call center. So 900 people (of which less than half were affected by the evac order) were given 5 paid days but 36 employees remote, were not. The other dynamic is now I have to answer questions from my team on why they are not considered to be shouldering the burden like their co-workers even though my team is now the center of Life Call Center Operations. As you can possibly imagine, this damages their already very low morale and in a few select cases makes them flippant about doing more than their normal share of calls on a daily basis.
So that first evac order turns out to be a false alarm, river doesn't spill over the levees, and yet the days that were given to the Minotians were not rescinded.

Two weeks later, evac order issued again and this time it was for real. Flood of historic proportions, loss of homes and the whole tragic & terrible loss of homes and flooding they envisioned the first go round. My direct boss lost her home. Donate to the Red Cross if you can, I have.

In-between the floods I applied for a job. I have applied to this job 4 times before (most recent being February) and only made it to interview twice (one no reply, and one HR reply saying they were rejecting my application because i didn't have a specific system knowledge). In Feb. I made it to a second interview, focusing on my customer service experience, since i was told 80% of the job is customer service and 20% was system knowledge. Well I got called back and told I was a top 3 candidate but they went with someone with system knowledge.
This time I got to the second interview, but I felt I nailed both. I hadn't felt this confident in....ever? Sure enough I got called back the day after my second interview and got offered the job. I accepted. I may have surprised my new boss at how quick I accepted... so starting August 1st, I am the new TPA Plan Manager. This past week, has been one of the happiest I have had in recent memory. A few people even commented that they had never seen me smile before but I was beaming this whole week. And why shouldn't I after the hell that was the past 9 months?

I think I've talked on here before after my love a card game called "Magic: The Gathering", played paper Magic since 1994 (June 14th, 1994 to be exact, yes its sick I still remember the first day I bought cards) and was one of the original players on MTG:Online. My success mirrors my poker success, mostly mediocre. I didn't learn till 2004 when David Williams went heads up against Raymer (who is from Minot, ND coincidentally) and the coverage talked about how David was on the Magic Pro Tour. After that, it got out that more than just a few poker players had started their careers off playing Magic.
The only reason I bring this up is because I was playing one of the many sealed deck tourneys and i notice someone named "DutchBoyd". I hadn't heard he ever played, and like someone i played last night named "AngelPagan" it could have been someone who was a fan? Turns out it was really him, and I ending up shooting him a message wishing him well at the WSOP. Responded back almost immediately saying "thanks bud! :)" Kinda neat for someone who doesnt see many celebs often.


Anonymous said...

I really like your blog and would like to get in contact with you concerning an opportunity.
If you are interested please feel free to contact me via email.