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28 August 2010 @ 03:28 pm
No, seriously, this trainee is not so good.  
My job at RHA is not hard. Answer the phones. Fill out some paperwork. Some minor filing. Don't cuss anyone out. Kick back, relax, and read a book or watch movies on your laptop or fill the downtime however you'd like.

So why is filling the position so difficult?

My boss interviewed two candidates on Thursday, and selected one to come train with me on Friday. That's fine. That's great!

She's a couple minutes late on Friday morning, but whatever. I quickly find out she's commuting from Santa Cruz. Traffic can suck coming up 17; at least she's here, right?

If I had to pick a word for her, it would be twitchy. This seems really bizarre to me, because my boss had described her as a "cool Jewish girl," very together and professional. She looks frazzled, talks a mile a minute, and seems distracted by everything.

About an hour into the training, she asks how long it'll take because she has to drive up to Ashland this afternoon. That would be Ashland, Oregon. Now, as far as I'm concerned people are free to do as they'd like, but driving six or seven hours one evening and returning that distance the following morning seems like a bad idea. I tell her that it's really up to the trainee, but usually they stay for four to six hours so they can get a feel for the job and what they might have to do. She asks if she can leave by noon. I get the impression that she's not really paying attention to the training, anyway, so why pay her to not listen to me for longer than absolutely necessary? I go over the extreme basics with her - the filing system, the passes we issue, how to use the computer database - but I find myself being interrupted constantly, like so:
Me: RHA has four hundred townhouses in the complex-
Trainee: OMG! I lived in a townhouse in a homeowners' association once! It was in Scotts Valley, and *blathers on about this townhouse for two or three minutes*
Me: That's...nice. So RHA also has ten swimming pools-
Trainee: I LOVE SWIMMING THAT'S WHY I LIVE NEAR THE OCEAN.

She's also asking me to repeat things again and again.
Me: This section of the homeowner file is where we put all communication the office has with the resident.
Trainee: Like what?
Me: For example, any letters the residents have sent us would go here. Print-outs of e-mail communication would also be filed here. Basically, anytime we have documents to or from the residents, we keep it here.
Trainee: So what is this section again?

It was a little frustrating. She did not seem ready to do the job on her own the next day - we're by ourselves in the office - but at 11:30 she left. Other employees from the maintenance team, our traffic monitors, and various board members were all quite stunned to realize she was already gone.

Fast forward to today. I get a call in the morning that she's stranded in Redding - a good five hours from Los Gatos - with a dead alternator, and she can't pay for repairs so she's trying to find someone with a credit card to pay it for her. She has no idea when she'll be in the area, but thinks she can make her shift. All I can think is Seriously? SERIOUSLY?? This continues throughout the morning; she calls with updates every hour or so, but she doesn't actually leave Redding 'til early afternoon. There's no way she'll make her shift. I talk to the boss and we decide to tell her not to come, but she'll still have to
work the next day (Sunday) because we've had to close the office early far too often as it is.

Yeesh. Why is it so hard to fill such a simple position?
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