I dont recall what grade I was in, but what I do recall was thinking one day, probably sitting in class day dreaming during another boring class, how cool it would be to live/work in Manhattan or New York City. Im pretty sure weve all heard the expression, “If you can make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere”! What I couldnt fathom is what I would be doing in NYC to earn a paycheck. But it was just a dream anyway, right?
But here I am, living the dream!
Unfortunately the halls are barren and I am among only three other individuals who are basically allowed to come to the office. When I first started this dream, there were just under 1000 employees working for a major publishing company in the financial district of Manhattan, covering 4 floors and 21 Audio/Video conference rooms. Thats my job; I am currently the only person that handles the audio and video capabilities in the conference rooms, making sure those who wish to conference with other participants from around this big blue marble have a flawless meeting!
When I started here just over four years ago, I was hired as the Sr Tech. Unfortunately, the Jr Tech felt the Sr position should have been his. Luckily enough, I soon proved to him I knew quite a bit more than he did; not patting myself on my back. And we worked well with each other. He was actually a company hired employee, while I was subcontracted by the installation/integration company who was still responsible for all of the conference equipment as part of the Service Agreement. And it was in the contract that the company I worked for oversaw the conference rooms. His boss, and my on – site supervisor, wasnt much of a people person, to say it politely and his tenure here was limited. He soon found a new job and it was up to me alone to look after the equipment. Although it didnt take long to interview and hire a replacement, my new Jr Tech was a good fit and was hired under the Service Agreement, not the company for which we worked. We got along well and I started training him and how to trouble shoot the equipment when “things” hit the fan! He didnt always “get it” which was fine, you gotta have repetition in order to learn sometimes!
After about 18 months and about just as many run – ins with our on – site supervisor, she started “grooming” the Jr Tech. She started asking that he join our weekly supervisor meetings and asked that I teach him a bit more complex trouble shooting. As Ive been in the position of training my replacement at a previous job, I saw the writing on the wall! So after 18 months, just a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, she terminated my contract. I had heard last year (my third year) that she was given the impression I was looking for another job, therefore took action before I up and walked out. Although there was some truth to that, I wasnt actively looking for another job. Since I was hired by the sub contracted company, they had asked if I wanted to be placed at a different location. And since my supervisors and my relationship had become bitter, I felt that would be a better option. Unfortunately, the company didnt have a location to place me so they ended up terminating my employment as well.
A month later, I learned that her position was terminated! And when I learned of this turn of events it was also expressed to me that people were literally dancing in the halls!! Yes, I said literally! A few weeks later I was invited to a going away party for one of the facilities managers. As we sat there waiting for others to arrive, my Jr Tech approached me and asked if I had heard the news. Since we all new that our old supervisor was out the door, I told him I didnt know to what he was referring. It was then that he told me that he found another job as well and that his last day was going to be a couple weeks in January. Talk about turn of events!!
It was then I had asked one of the other managers in attendance, who the “new” boss was going to have over see the A/V equipment. He had no idea, so I had told him to reach out to her, since they had previously worked with each other, and put a bug in her ear that perhaps she should reach out to me. No one knew I hadnt yet found another job, so I made sure to let her know I wasnt desperate to come back. To me and him, it made perfect sense; I knew the equipment, I got along with coworkers and the clients liked me. I think that may have been a huge deciding factor. Once I was able to have a formal, call in interview and was asked the deal breaker questions, she asked what my desired salary requirement was. She bumped it up by 20%!!
I started the following Monday after the Jr Tech’s last week was finished. I never felt the need for hiring another Jr Tech and although things can get hectic at times, its not anything I cant handle. I hired a new company that handles the “new” service agreement and started a training program for a few individuals to cover the conference rooms when I am on vacation or out of town on other projects.
But to be honest, it really is crazy to think there was once just under 1000 people roaming the halls, gathering in the many pantries or bull pens and conference rooms. I now only take care of three floors and about 18 conference rooms. Today, Im still making sure that the equipment is up and running, its just, Im the only one using it! Im just living the dream!!