the day that almost wasn't

I still don't feel right about telling you where I'm working, but I believe that day will come. For now, I'll remind you that it's a rather large organization that is part of the much larger ogranization known as Our Federal Government.

Before I relate what happened today, or more specifically, at the beginning of this day, I'd better say this... because of the heroic efforts of two people who I can't name, this sow's ear was actually made into a silk purse. All's well that ends well, and all that. To those two people, who probably won't ever see this, I salute you.

I'm still in orientation and will be for at least another week. Not only that, but there is a test I must pass at the end of that period in order to keep this nice new job. They didn't tell me that before this week, but hey... I'm not worried. Yet. By the way, a link to my resume is in my profile section.

So today, I had to go into this federal agency's Philadelphia office for a specific training module. For those of you not familiar with Phila, PA and environs, Pottstown is about 30 miles from the city. Access to the city by car is not a problem (except for traffic that will make a 40 minute trip into a 3 hour one) but parking for a full day will set you back at least $20. So my orientation buddies and I were encouraged to take the train.

We had to be at the training site at 7 am. So I got up at 4:45, was in my car at 5, pulled into the Paoli station on the Main Line at 5:30. I picked the Paoli station because there is a Starbucks adjacent to the parking lot, and it opens at 5:30am. Sweet.

I was on the platform waiting for the train at 5:37am. The train arrived right on schedule at 5:51 and I got off at the appropriate downtown Philadelphia station in time to make it to the training center by the appointed 7 am time. I ran into another guy from orientation on my way into the building. We rode the evlevator together, found the room we were supposed to locate, walked inside and the person there said...

"There is no training scheduled for today."

Us: "..."

Her: "Where are you supposed to be?"

Us: "We were told to come to room xxx at 7am."

Her: "For training?"

Us: "Yes."

Her: "There is no training scheduled for today."

After saying this she went into another room to check with what must have been her superior. She then called us into the room saying, "Come in here so you can talk to Mrs. Alpha (not the real name of course) and you will see that I am giving you accurate information." (Yes, those were her exact words)

Mrs. Alpha: "There is no training scheduled for today."

Me (a little curtly): "Please call Mr. Beta at such and such a facililty, he's been handling our orientation so far."

Mrs. Alpha (leaving a message on Mr. Beta's line): "Hi Mr. Beta, this is Mrs. Alpha. There is no training scheduled for today..."

Mrs. Alpha, despite her early reluctance, did manage of her own initiative (befor Mr. Beta even returned her call) to pull it together so our training module did occur today. She is one of the two people who deserve credit. The other is our instructor, who despite being called away from a busy schedule, spent his entire day with us without complaining. He was capable and good natured all the while and we learned a lot.

Posted to:

No comments: