Once again we all flew out on Sunday evening to arrive in Toronto for Week Two of what they are calling "Operational Fine Tuning" sessions which pretty much refers to long daily workshops with counterparts across each of the regions in order to identify duplicate, unnecessary processes and the stream-lining of the remaining ones.
My God, after this much time cooped up with these characterless people, I am already beginning to sound like some of the faceless, non-descript facilitators running these workshops. BORING!
My first thoughts after day one, which obviously went unsaid, was to perhaps eliminate these damn workshops to begin with, they can really be tedious & must be costing a fortune just in labour costs alone, as I looked around the meeting room.
To our credit however, we have already identified and eliminated eight full time positions and a branch office in Winnipeg which surprisingly none of us even knew existed in the first place.
I must admit that not knowing that eight jobs exist within a branch office we didn't know was open, was a very easy thing for our group to eliminate.
So much for the saying that "The tallest blade is the first one cut". Quite the opposite here. If we never knew you existed to begin with, we will never miss you, is far more accurate - so Adios, Winnipeg!
Not all of our meetings have been so "cut and dried", so to speak. (okay bad pun, I admit it)
Each region is losing their administrative support groups and we will be expected to incorporate the work ourselves. This affects about only 4 jobs in our region and we have been extremely lucky that out of the 60 plus nationwide positions which have been eliminated so far, these have been the only ones to date.
Our tasks next week is to, you guessed it, continue on the same lines of consolidation and cost reductions. Oh, lucky me!
This workshop along with the insane continual references to teamwork, is killing me a little bit more each day.
One thing I should point out is that instead of flying back and forth each Friday, I have opted (quite publicly) to stay in Toronto through the next couple of weekends in order to save the company a few bucks.
Now on the surface this selfless gesture may appear to be "in the better interests of the company's bottom line". (that is certainly how I cunningly presented it anyway!) But before you start calling me a 'corporate boot lick', let me assure you that this action is completely and entirely self-serving.
I first wanted to come across to everyone as the individual who is willing to make "a personal sacrifice for the company" which by the way, it most certainly did. My name was mentioned specifically in the same sentence as the phrase 'role model' by the new CEO in one of his extremely boring and forgettable daily morning scrums.
In reality, I am merely hoping to catch some basketball and hockey games, do some sightseeing, hit a few bars and all that other tourist garbage we have no time to do during the week.
So sure I will take the credit for being a 'company man' because now that the CEO knows who I am and, being that he still doesn't know me all too well, he probably still holds a very good opinion of me now. This can only help my cause when the layoff talks get to my position. Yet another brilliant plan by yours truly!
The other reason why I have so quickly opted not to return to Calgary for the next couple weeks is that a few of the older apartments in my building are being renovated, and apparently mine is one of them.
There will be carpets ripped out and painting going on, etc. and I really don't have the patience nor tolerance for this kind of thing. If I am going to live in filth and disorganization, I prefer it be my own filth and disorganization, and not that of a bunch of strangers and contractors. They tell me that I won't even recognize the place when I get back, I am truly hoping that is the case!
Mom kindly advised me that I could stay at their place for a couple weeks during these renos, but I know from past experiences that it is far less stressful for me to live out of a suitcase in a hotel room thousands of miles away than back at the old house with her and Dad. Dad also looked extremely relieved when I politely declined.
On a closing note, I have just noticed today that quite a few hot looking women work here at our head office. It seems like an abnormally large number, which I am very pleased about. The ratio of hot women to repulsive ones is very good here, clearly much better than in our dreary offices back home in Calgary.
Perhaps I can possibly convince one or two of them ;-) to show me around town. That may make these 'personal sacrifices' seem all worth while. I'll let you know if that works out.
See you back here in a couple weeks when I return.