The Pathological Truth Journal

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Posts Tagged ‘jobs supporting sustainable agriculture’

For the past few months I was temping at a company.  Given all of the documents I signed at the agency regarding confidentiality I won’t mention the name.  However, if you are incredibly curious (because I think they’re a good company), I will give you some hints: it’s a US company that manufactures non-powered lawn and garden tools, has been around since 1700s and has a corporate office in central PA.  They were great people and it was a great company.  I enjoyed my time there.  All things being equal I would have preferred to stay there.  Unfortunately, all things were not equal and at this time they don’t have a space for me.  I have to admit I was disappointed.  That may mean something awful to some people but to me it means I had a preference.  That hasn’t happened in about two years.  What I did really didn’t matter all that much to me because without my husband it was all incredibly boring.  So, the point of this post is to figure out what I liked and what I want… Other than a beach house.

1. The People: A business is a business.  The people inside that business make it good, bad, indifferent or generous.  The people I met there listened to others and tried to understand different points of view.  They were generous with their knowledge (as long as it wasn’t security related, personal or proprietary information).  If you needed help understanding something people would help you.  They worked hard to balance the needs of their customers, individual employees and the health of the company as a whole, which isn’t easy.  Heck, I even saw one supervisor take time after an interview to give really good advice to an applicant he turned down so the guy could work on some areas and might be hired in the future.

2. What They Make: The place where I temped makes lawn and garden tools.  This company tries to make the best rakes, shovels, hose reels and flamingos ever.  They let me see how they were made which was really cool.  These are tools that work well with people who are into organic gardening.  And being human powered they make tools that can assist the most sustainable agriculture.  None of that is creepy.  In fact, in an era where more people would like to grow some of their own food and reconnect with nature it must be great to make something to facilitate that need.  (By the way if anyone from that company ever reads this please do a video on how tools there are made and put it on Youtube.  Your plant is so fascinating.  Explain to marketing that it’s cheap advertising in order to use their budget.)

3. A Spirit of Generosity: While I was temping there I saw them hand out a scholarship to an employee’s child. They were also in the middle of preparing for a charity event.  It’s easy to be cynical about charity from businesses.  Sure, it is marketing in one sense but it isn’t how they spoke to each other in the course of the day.  They talked about how important it was to fund the scholarships and other good works.  They talked about what they thought was the right thing to do.  They also try their hardest to translate this in how they treated each other.

4. Desire To Do What Is Right: Again, this can be seen as something cynical.  No organization wants to be sued over anything.  And again, that isn’t how they spoke about it.  In spite of the sometimes sardonic humor of the management the only real frustration I had seen there was when they felt impeded by some rule or law that prevented them from doing what would help their employees.

5. Community: Although they own plants all over the US that do various things this company seeks to be part of its community.  They made a community garden on their property.  It is involved with local charities.  That is important and often forgotten in the rush to globalize the economy.

6. Non Creepy Marketing: The people in the marketing department and the sales departments were nice people.  I’m sure they have their own quotas and brand discussions and all of that stuff.  I’m sure they have the pressure of knowing they need to get people to buy the stuff being manufactured.  What amazed me is that they didn’t come across as sales people under pressure.  They spoke like people who wanted other people to garden more.  It was decidedly refreshing in the age of track everyone and then bombard them with advertising.  Like most parts of the company it looked like it was more about building relationships rather than screaming about whatever you’ve done.  I think this is a combination of the people involved and believing in your products.

So, what am I looking for in a workplace?  I am looking for a place with good people who make good things and sell them without being creepy.  Also, the company needs to be part of the community, desire to do what is right and be generous.  Anyone know a place like that?