Hello, friends. Let’s wrap up the best week of the year with some mail. Shockingly, no Masters questions or really any sports questions for that matter. What the hell is wrong with you people?
I work for a small company as a marketing representative, which pretty much translates to “paid intern.” But I’ve been more or less promised that I’m being groomed for a sales position (which starts at more than double the salary of what I make now, plus 2% commission and benefits). Because I’ve been promised the moon and the stars, this year I’ve been voluntold to attend a huge business expo in Vegas with my company. I probably sound like an asshole for complaining about going to Vegas on the company dime, but going with a group of people in their 50’s on business isn’t exactly what I dreamed of. Being from the East Coast, I haven’t been to Vegas since I was 3 and won’t go back again for the foreseeable future. My question is, should I be a responsible adult and keep it strictly business, or should I Lone Wolf it for a night? If I do venture out on my own, any suggestions on a plan of action? Keep in mind this trip has plenty of down time that will probably otherwise be spent in my hotel room watching Netflix.
Best Wishes, Unproductive Behavior
My God. Representative is a worse title than Coordinator. Your company trusts you so little that you are literally only authorized to represent them and not coordinate anything, but it’s good that you’re climbing the ladder. Gotta start somewhere.
On to Vegas. A lot of downtime and some per diem in Vegas sounds like every young professional’s wet dream. For me, it sounds a horrible fit of sleep paralysis. I’d try to turn that $50 daily allowance into next month’s car payment and then end up draining my savings account. It’s one of the reasons I’ve never been to Vegas. I don’t think I could handle it, but it sits in the back of my mind, tempting me. Work trips to Vegas, especially as someone who’s being groomed for a promotion, are for work. Yeah, you’ll have some downtime, but that doesn’t mean you need to be hitting the tables and Wet Republic from 5pm-3am every night. The last thing you want is showing up to breakfast with glitter in your hair and a bit of white residue on your face.
Go see some shows, hit up downtown, stay out of ultra lounges, go to happy hour with your bosses and only go to casinos before midnight. This is the most “dad” response to any question I’ve ever gotten, but it’s the hard truth.
Just moved to my second post grad city from south to across our great country. I crushed the first on a small budget and became a staple at all company outings and big inter office happy hour guy. Finding it a little tough to fit in at the new office and seem to be a fish out of water in the new city. Any advice on how to get back to the same status and feel more comfortable in the new city?
Making new friends is my nightmare. I was lucky enough moving to Austin from Kansas City to have a good network of former college friends. All I can tell you is the most stock response to this question: You gotta put yourself out there. Be (or at least pretend to be) interested in people. See if your alma mater has a young alumni association in the city. Most of the time they suck, but sometimes they’re an awesome way to meet like-minded young people who just want to get loaded and “network.”
For God’s sake, don’t be the guy who goes to bars alone by himself and try to make friends that way. Ease yourself into it. Don’t force it. Start by grabbing lunch with coworkers you like. Join kickball/softball/soccer/sand volleyball leagues. Do anything you can. It’s hard, but if you’re personable, you can pull it off.
Uncle Tony believes in you.
To get right into it, I need your advice. I am 24, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and have been working at a multinational pharma company manufacturing center in the Quality Control department. Like at most pharmaceutical industry jobs, I make very good money. I also generally like the work I do. It’s mostly basic lab work but it isn’t super difficult and I have a lot of independence on organization of my work day. At this point you are probably wondering what the hell I need help with. The issue is that I work 3rd shift, 10 pm – 8 am four days a week, and it sucks. I’ve been on the shift for a little over a year now and I’m starting to really hate it, as you would assume. The days I work really aren’t bad, its more the days off when I try to be a normal person and interact with friends and family. Tired, exhausted, and worn out, don’t begin to describe how I’m beginning to feel all the time now.
I have begun to passively look for other jobs but obviously none pay quite as well as my current position. This isn’t the end of the world but it does make it a little harder to switch. I have 6 months of savings so I wouldn’t be in huge trouble with less pay, for the short term at least. The positions I’m looking at are not at huge corporations because my current position has also soured me somewhat on the red tape and waste of large companies. The crux of the issue is whether or not I should leave this position, there is still the possibility that a position not on 3rd will open up at my current company. Unfortunately this feels like more and more of a pipe dream, since there has only been two such opportunities since I started at this position. I am dreading working and trying to look for a job at the same time though.
TL;DR – Should I switch from a high paying job with 3rd shift hours to a lower paying one that would be 9-5, or should I try and stick it out with the 3rd shift until a better position opens up at my current company?
This is my most desperate hour. Help me, Bri-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.
Ed, thanks for your email, but just a little tip for the future. This is the Friday Mail-It-In, not the Friday Med School Dissertation. Less is more, good buddy. Let’s tackle this beast anyway.
You’re young. I get that. You are FOMO’ing your brains out on the graveyard shift because while you’re at work, your friends are all at happy hour and they’re at work while you’re sleeping. At 24, “losing yourself” at work isn’t the worst thing in the world. You’re paying your dues and playing the long game. Stick it out, wait for that better shift to open up. If you ask for a better shift, you might look like a discontent employee. What happens to discontent employees? They get fired nine times out of 10. If you’re still working graveyards in a year, then start looking to move on. For now, the money’s good. When your sanity starts to go, that’s when you should make a change.
I hate my boss. Not the head of the company boss but my immediate manager at this small company. He is the definition of everything you are not supposed to be as a manager. It has impacted my work directly because when I do well and bust my ass he takes all the credit that he “got the work out of me”. How do I get past that and see the bigger picture and not just see the one guy driving my career to a painful death?
I miss you.
Finding a good boss is rare. It’s really, really rare. By far, the most egregious offense a boss can make (outside of telling an intern “suck me, beautiful”) is taking credit for their employees’ hard work. When I was working in the thankless industry of minor league sports, our organization took home a ton of awards at the league meetings in Vegas. I wasn’t invited and I was bitter about it. No more than five minutes after the award presentations were over, I got an email from my boss thanking me for all my hard work and how he couldn’t have done it without me. It’s little shit like that that made me pledge my undying loyalty to him. More managers should do that. All we’re looking for is a little cookie. Some damn recognition. That’s all.
Anyway, it sucks that your manager is taking all of the credit for your hard work. The sad fact is that it happens and it happens a lot when you’re starting your career. The best advice I can give you is to work hard even when no one’s paying attention. Eventually, they’ll notice.
Hey Bri Guy,
I’m going for back to back week questions.
Onto my Q for this week. Saturday I am heading down with the girlfriend to Orlando for the week. Her dad had an extra week of a timeshare and flipped it over to us. We plan on going to Disney World and Universal Studios. I haven’t been to either before and I’m looking forward to it, especially the Harry Potter World. I’ve been told that even people who don’t like HP still love the park. If you have been down there to Orlando before, do you have any recommendations for other things to do? I recall how you are pro Chicken Parm and anti Lasagna, know any good Italian joints down there? A good restaurant would be at the top of my priorities.
I know nothing about Orlando other than Splash Mountain is a triumph of modern engineering and going to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Downtown Disney isn’t as fun as it sounds.
Sorry, buddy. Enjoy yourself.
Glad to see that the Mailbag will live on. Few things in baseball can set the tone for an at bat quite like a solid walk up song. So, If you were an MLB player, what would your walk up song be?
Personally, I’d have to go with the horn section from Outkast’s “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” For Reference: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXmqauitBkM).
This is the easiest question of the week. Val Venis’s WWF Attitude Era entrance song:
I’d wear the towel and everything, pace of play rules be damned.
“You might as well call me the big swinger, because The Big Bribowski’s balls are always juiced!”
Then I’d get a four-seamer to the face and my career would be over. Damn. The baseball dick joke promo opportunities would be endless.
I saw Fleetwood Mac last week and I have “Rhiannon” stuck in my head, the chorus of which somehow became Mc-Gaaaaaaaah-nuuuuun. I may or may not have gotten into the company happy hour beer an hour and a day early.
ANYway, my question for you: Stevie Nicks or Christine McVie? Nicks gets way more press and pop culture references, but to me, but McVie seems to have aged WAY better, in terms of vocals, personality, and looks.
Keep on keepin’ on,
True story: my parents considered naming me “Rhiannon McGannon” if I was a girl, but they recently started denying it. That would have been a disaster.
I was raised on Fleetwood Mac. My whole family eats that shit up. Fleetwood Mac, the Rat Pack, late-80s adult contemporary pop (Howard Jones, Air Supply, Eric Carmen, white people music), grocery store booze runs and sports. That’s what gets the McGannon family motor running, so asking me to choose between Stevie and Christine is like asking me to choose between “Rumors” and “Tusk.”
Stevie Nicks’s voice is like a long pull of good whiskey after a long day, while Christine’s is like a geisha hand feeding you chocolate pudding in a bubble bath. Both have their strengths.
As far as looks, advantage: Christine. She’s aged well. Meanwhile, Stevie Nicks looks exactly like you would think someone who’s done as much cocaine as Stevie Nicks to look like at 66. As an artist (and I stress the word “artist”), though, Stevie wins in a…a…dammit, she wins in a landslide. Was really trying to avoid that.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for all the questions. If you’ve got more for me, I’ll answer anything: firstname.lastname@example.org.