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Thread: New job update

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    New job update

    So I've been at the new job 7 weeks now. I'm going to admit that I'm struggling.

    Boss had automated so many functions in his massive Excel workbook in order to be very efficient as he was a one man operation for 18 years. Homegrown system except the small program (which someone else developed) used to transmit to Customs. This program is used by very small broker and uses older programming language. COBAL, I believe. The automated functions were things like sending an email with a customs release or an invoice to a customer.

    I came from 13.5 years at a company that did things VERY different. Program used was much more "modern." Windows based. Used by a ton of brokers/freight forwarders. I had used some version of that program for most of my time there. One forwarder we clear shipments for recently changed to the program I used at the old company and I've actually been giving them some tips.

    Boss does things like have proper bits of software that allow you to convert pdf documents to Excel. I never had this at the old company. Then we can at least copy and paste from the shipper's invoice to work up the customs clearance. Boss will do things like excel formulas to strip unneeded data or lines out so he can paste into the big excel workbook in one fell swoop. I have NEVER done formulas in Excel, and frankly, I am simply not able to cope with them right now. It's too much. So I copy/paste what I can and then I have to manually enter the rest. I'm still saving time over how I used to do things at the old company.

    There was one important procedure that boss does that was totally opposite how old company did it. As a result, I'll admit I had a difficult time with it. FINALLY got it today.

    Boss got a little frustrated today and said it was like trying to shove a square peg (old company's procedures) into a cheese sandwich (his company). He does value all my industry experience and knowledge (he told me this yesterday).

    I will admit some of the issues have been totally my fault. I've made some data entry issues and boss wants to approve files for the time being before I transmit to customs. I'm trying to slow down. He did say there's no need to feel any pressure to go fast.

    It doesn't help that there have been a lot of technical issues. I have to stop and text him on Microsoft Teams so he can remote into my computer and see whatever the issue is so it can be fixed. The Excel workbook is programmed using VBA.

    He at least isn't a screaming witch like my old boss. And I told him that yesterday when we had a 90 minute talk going over some things. She would scream at you for things you had done wrong in the middle of the open office.

    Good thing I don't have any current upstairs neighbors as I've been screaming at the computer out of frustration due to the tech issues. Today I was just so frustrated that I wanted to just put my head on my desk and cry. If you have one dash or a period where there's shouldn't be, it can throw the whole dang thing off.

    I'm trying to be kinder to myself, but I can be very hard on myself and I've just been beating myself up. I feel like such an incompetent. Boss said he's very hard on himself (perfectionist actually) and I told him I am as well. So we get that. I was last at the old job almost six months ago, but there's 13.5 years of habits to overcome.

    After two months of being a sloth, I rejoined the gym last weekend. I've only gone twice (actually went at lunch yesterday and that worked out well), but I feel better already to be moving. I'd have gone more this week, but my car was at the dealership for something to be fixed.

    I'm continuing to dive and probably will through the winter.

    I just needed to vent.

    @jp1, I remember you saying it took about six months to feel comfortable/get used to on your current company's system. I think you said it was more primitive than what you had at the previous job. What were your difficulties?

  2. #2
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    I went from a modern system at my previous employer to an old DOS based one where I am now and it took a lot of getting used to. Among other things having to tab between fields threw me - I had not done that since the early 90's. And there was not a back arrow, instead you scroll up. People told me the whole first year you are considered a newbie and hang in there.

    There are online Excel tutorials you can do. Companies like Robert Half offer them for free.

    You are learning from every mistake, and you will get there.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    I went from a modern system at my previous employer to an old DOS based one where I am now and it took a lot of getting used to. Among other things having to tab between fields threw me - I had not done that since the early 90's. And there was not a back arrow, instead you scroll up. People told me the whole first year you are considered a newbie and hang in there.

    There are online Excel tutorials you can do. Companies like Robert Half offer them for free.

    You are learning from every mistake, and you will get there.
    Yes, having to tab between fields still throws me. And if you don't tab through all the fields the first time you're in a file, then that throws everything off! ARGH!

    Scroll up? Oh, my!

    The Excel tutorials would help for things like the formulas, but I can't just cope with that right now. The big excel workbook is full of fields where you fill in data. It's not just a spreadsheet. I still can't believe that you can do stuff like this with excel!

    Thanks for the support!

  4. #4
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Vent away! It will take time but you will get there.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    From where you were to where you are now, you have done well, Tradd!!! Definitely be kinder to yourself and realize that you really are doing a good job! Eventually it will become "second nature" and even more enjoyable.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Tradd, you're undoing 13 years of muscle and mental memory. It will take some time. And you're doing this with no co-workers other than your boss. For adapting to a completely different workflow, you're doing quite well after so short a time.

    Your boss will have to adapt, too, to no longer being a one-man show.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    Tradd, you're undoing 13 years of muscle and mental memory. It will take some time. And you're doing this with no co-workers other than your boss. For adapting to a completely different workflow, you're doing quite well after so short a time.

    Your boss will have to adapt, too, to no longer being a one-man show.
    That is a good way to look at it.Tradd, hang in there, and thanks for the report.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    That IS a good way to look at it, Steve. Thanks!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Boss and I had a two hour call on Tuesday. Make a world of difference. Boss said today that I’ve been doing a fab job the past three days. Yay! Today I even discovered that the little menu that pops up in Excel when you’re pasting something and right click allows you to strip out unneeded stuff without having to resort to the substitute formula. Boss said he didn’t even know about that! I taught the excel nerd something. I tried the formula earlier in the week, but it’s cumbersome compared with this paste shortcut.

    Good way to end the week.

  10. #10
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    You mean "paste special"? There are a couple of different ones and they are super handy! To be figuring out excel is super impressive!!! Congrats!
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

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