July 30th, 2012

Reading

Il Postino

One thing I can say about my time at Il Postino is that it really upped my game. I learned about doing the big sell to gather political momentum before formally proposing a change; about managing stakeholders; about making plans for more than a year in the future. I learned how to create changes in a business' culture; I learned how to manage large (for me) budgets; I learned how to negotiate with suppliers to get what I wanted (affordability) while learning what I could give them (shared training, working together to achieve changes we both wanted, support during panicky fuck-up moments on the lines of "no fingerpointing here, let's just fix it"). I did all this while trying to treat my employees like I valued them, understanding that they would be around longer than I would.

 

I also became convinced of the deeply rooted evil that is public-private "partnerships." Under some sort of pressure from governments gone by to become "smaller," my company calved off essential services (IT support as one example) then was locked into multi-year contracts at bad rates with poorer service levels.These companies had a license to print money that the government had to back. I could only imagine some minister having a major interest in each of these businesses. And I bet these money-sucking companies exist for each of the former state owned firms; conduits to suck public money into the private coffers. Any bureaucracy has inefficiencies but these set-ups, which send essential services off site, always cost less and have higher quality when done by your own company. I am absolutely against them now.

 

I enjoyed parts of my time working at Il Postino but I'll never want to go to a semi-public or public firm again. There's no attempts to match the salaries of the private sector and now I've been inside I can say the bennies suck, too. Morale is low after decades of BS and innovation has been trampled by the culture. A lot of people really cared about their work but too many were just trying to survive. The business treated them all like cogs and it was pretty disgusting.

 

I was glad for the opportunity to grow and I certainly learned a lot. Hopefully I'll have another opportunity like this in the future. It isn't feeling, right now, like what where I am is going to be using me the way I wanted, like I'm going to be dealing with disasters and panic for quite some time. ah well.

Reading

Holiday in Mykonos, Day 2

Booklectic is taking it easy in our  room, I'm sitting in the shade with my books on the beach next to Johanna Nikos' tavern (beach chair rental = one bottle of water from taverna), H has been playing tag with waves and is now making piles of rocks. Day 2 in Greece looking good so far. Pix on Twitter and FB.