Friday, June 17, 2005

Enthusiasm, Excitement, and Exhaustion

It is official. I have a team lead. Yesterday marked the day I could offer the job and the lead started immediately after.

I suppose introductions are in order. Although he knows nothing of the blogosphere and my site, I'd like you all to meet Steve J. Steve was the second interview mentioned in this post. He was the candidate that halfway through the interview, Andy (my previous supervisor who is also looking to replace me) thought, "This is the guy Beth is going to hire." When the interview was over, Andy and I led Steve out of the room and then sat there talking. The entire discussion was pure excitement.

Steve has been working at N.A.B.A.B.N.A. for just over a year. In this time, he has been a successful banker working on DM's roommate's team. He has worked as a coach in our training queue and all the new bankers on my team know who he is because he has helped them so much already.

A piece of advice was given to me at the beginning of the process, something I had already thought of but liked to hear the reinforcement. The training department manager, without anyone in mind, said to me, "Even if it seems hard, hire the person who is not like you." She was talking about strengths and weaknesses. If there are areas I am not great at, I want someone else who is great at them. I found this in Steve.

When I arrived at work yesterday, the approval was still pending. The offer email ended up in our center manager's email and he just hadn't looked at it yet. I stopped in and asked him about it, explaining my excitement over Steve as a candidate. The manager then approved it (while I was in the room!) and forwarded it on. I spend the next two hours, unable to do anything else, pacing back and forth, waiting for the regional manager to approve the offer.

Steve had a pretty fun day at work yesterday. Since he had been there a year, he walked in the door to find his current supervisor pulling him aside to tell him he was rated as a "superior" performer (we rate on a scale of 1 - 5, at 3 you can keep your job, 5 is the best and hard to achieve. Steve was a 4 for his first year.) He was also told what his salary increase would be.

Once I had the approval, I was ready to tell him. All the other turn downs were done, so I could announce as soon as he knew he got the job and he accepted. I got the approval and was off. I found Jeff (DM's roommate and Steve's current manager) and found out that Steve was at lunch.

My patience was gone yesterday. I am typically know at our center for having infinite patience with bankers, but it was gone. I was too excited to tell him. While Steve was at lunch, I hovered near his desk, watching the doors and waiting for him to return.

Finally (it seemed like AGES) he returned. Jeff signaled to me that it was okay and I approached him before he started to take phone calls. As I walked up, he was smiling because he had received another Thank You (little rewards and encouragement) while he was at lunch. He told me that it was his second of the day (most people get one or less a month). It was fun to see him happy and pleased with himself. I asked him to go into a training state on his phone and if he had a few minutes to talk.

We walked to the room where the interview had taken place and I was going to try and be a bit suspenseful, but I was just too darn excited. As we entered the room, we sat down and I said to him, "Thank you for all the time you've invested in this process. I know you've interviewed with a few different people now and you've been waiting for any type of response or feedback. I just wanted to let you know it takes a bit longer to get a 'yes' than it does to get a 'no'. I would like to offer you the position and here is what I'd like to pay you."

He said yes immediately. He received his second raise of the day, a promotion, and started to earn a shift differential (10% more). Then it was time to announce throughout the center.

Steve expresses excitement differently than I do. I tend to go crazy a tad overboard, he just stands there and smiles. Without the aid of caffeine, I was hyper. I clapped, spoke quickly, and "bounced" around in the call center. He stood there smiling a HUGE grin all day long. We stopped by Jeff's desk so his old team could hear the news. Then we visited the training department to introduce him to our new bankers that will be on our team in 6 weeks. We then went back and announced the news to the bankers on our team that were there yesterday (it was only two of them). Those bankers were excited, since they both knew him from the training queue.

I have much more I would like to share about Steve's first day and my excitement, however I need to get to work. This post will be updated later.