Thursday, August 16, 2012
Help Wanted. Sort of.
Hiring is one of my least favorite things to do. Inviting a stranger into our tight-knit world is a crap-shoot. We went through 5 studio assistants in 2010. Two quit. Three were fired. Having people quit sucks. Firing people really sucks. It makes us question our judgement. In almost every case, I could have predicted their demise after a week. That's about how long it takes for some to realize that what we do here is work. The fact that we're dressed down, listening to music and laughing - that's the window dressing. Behind the curtain, we're on a mission: Paint, glaze, fire, pack and ship as fast as possible. Many days, we drag ourselves out of here. We're hot, tired, sweaty and gratified in a 'we just kicked ass' kind of way.
Working at Museware Pottery is possibly one of the coolest jobs ever. We're wicked busy and the work just keeps coming. Write those 50 cursive platters and here come 50 more. Stamp out all those plates then turn to find another pile waiting for you. Empty those blazing kilns and load them again while they're still hot. Then do it all again - oh, and faster please?
We need help and have for months. We put it off because training a new employee is time consuming, expensive and disruptive. Did I mention disappointing? We finally gave in last week and ran an ad. Our application doesn't ask where you worked and when. Filling it out is more like on-line dating than applying for a job. We ask who you are, what you care about, why you want to work here. What we really want to know is - can we trust you? Will you fit in? Will you work out or break our hearts?
We'd like to start interviewing next week. We like this local gal. Her natural hand writing looks like ours, she's artsy and articulate. Her application was thoughtfully completed, her plans open enough to include us. If the stars align, she'll become an important part of team and we'll wonder how we lived without her. For The Women of Museware Pottery, training a new employee is like starting a new relationship. Everyone's all excited and hopeful. Finding the right combination of heart, determination and creative thinking in our new hire, well that will be kind of like falling in love. Only different.