There was an error in this gadget

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My first life lesson on systems

I was 25 years of age and thinking of settling down, getting married and raise a family.  Life had been good to me and just thought it was time.  No more games just enjoy life that’s ahead of me.
I met this girl 3 years my junior, not the usual girl would date but thought it was time for a change and wanted to make my family proud and I was looking forward to settling with one woman for a change.
I landed my first full time employment after experiencing different types of work.  Didn’t pay much $6.50 an hour, but it was a start.  I started off as an order picker, easy job just filling orders and getting them ready for the shipper.  Fun job, regular breaks, started at 8:00 am and finished at 4:30.
After about 3 months the shipper had quit so I started packing the orders I had picked and prepared for shipment.  I had picked all the orders that came in and now had to have them ready for shipment.  The Warehouse manager was showing me what needed to be done to prepare the packages for the courier company and what forms needed to be completed for each shipment.
There were shipments all over Canada and they needed to be weighed and priced out for invoicing.  So we start one package at a time and managed to get all the orders packed, invoiced and ready for pick up by the courier company.
No sweat!
Six months into my employment I met some great people, brought my mom to work as well as a seamstress.  The company was manufacturing Shower curtains and they were short staff so I mentioned the opportunity to my mom and my employer and that week she started work.
7 months into my employment I arrive at work and find out that the warehouse manager had quit.  I was thinking what happens now?  I had gotten to know the designer very well during my time here and asked him what I should do?  He looked at me and said, “just follow the system”.  I looked at him and said, “What system?” Just repeat everything you were taught and follow it. 
This was strange to me for I had never taken control of anything till that day.  The boss was not in so I had no instructions except for the orders that were prepared for me.  So my lesson began.
Shipment from Switzerland arrives and the merchandise need to be counted entered into it’s designated section and inventory updated.  OK, all done. That only took me two hours.  Now I need to pick the orders for today’s shipment.
Started picking the orders and laid them out on the floor one by one.  This process took me about 2.5 hours, time was getting late the courier was going to be here at 3:30 and it was lunchtime.  I had no help but I knew it had to be done.
I was speaking with Helmit over lunch and we talked about just following the same routine as I’ve seen everyone do time after time.  I was shocked to see how much I had accomplished in such a short period of time.
After lunch I started packing all the orders, I was having a great time, radio playing listening to all the hits being played and at times I remember hearing the same tune twice.  With all the excitement between the music and the thrill of doing something different for a change just drove me.
3:30 had come around and all the parcels were packed, tagged and invoiced, I looked around and said to Helmit “now what”.  He asked me if I had done everything and I said yes, order came in, entered into inventory, picked all the orders, packed them and parcels are ready at the shipping door on the skids for the courier to pick them up.
I was sitting at the Managers desk and the boss came walking into the warehouse.  I was ready a newspaper and I thought oh shit, now I’m in trouble.  He looked at me and said were are all the orders.  I told him the courier had already been here.  He asked if the shipment had arrived and I told him that it did and it was already entered into inventory.
He just looked at me and said you did this all on you own.  I told him I had spoken to Helmit and he said to just follow the system and I did.
Into my 8th month at this company, which by the way is the longest I’ve every stayed with one company I became warehouse manager.  I went from earning $13,500 a year to $45,000 in just nine months.  What a wedding present.
There is a system in everything we do in life.  Find it and work it and you will succeed.

No comments: