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Andy Does Ratna Ling / Yeshe De

Exploring Tibetan Buddhism in California through Work and Study

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New shipper, hurray!
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As you might have seen, something's been on my mind for the past few months: who is to be my successor? We've been putting up advertisements here, making it a featured item on our other recruitment areas, and asking our friends if they know someone suitable. Two weeks ago, I sent out an email to our volunteer recruiting team and everybody at DP, asking "What's our contingency plan for when I leave in a few weeks?" Not ten minutes later, Bridget (one of the new volunteers who's been here for two weeks) walks in to the shipping room to say hi. "Andy," she says, "I heard you're leaving in a few weeks. I was wondering, how does someone get into Shipping?"

"Well, Bridget," I tell her, "you ask that question." It was the same question I'd put to Gwen back in August before I transferred to Dharma Publishing. We talked to Anette, who supervises all the factory workers, and Magda, who supervises the DP office workers, and scheduled her to start training on Monday, Jan 25.

It's been a week now that I've been working with Bridget, training her how to use the database system and the different shipping programs, how to package books and art for shipment, how to make notebooks and laminate posters and assemble products, and how to work within DP. It's been a super-positive week and Bridget is picking up everything super fast and asking questions when she doesn't. As it is, I mostly just sit on my computer, writing up reference sheets for her (and her successors) to use when I'm gone and answering any of her questions about if an invoice looks good or a package is well-packed or where something else in the office. I feel pretty confident about leaving her on her own, since she has an excellent support team upstairs with Meggie, Andrea, Marianne, and Magda, who know how to do everything I haven't taught her yet.

After a couple days of working, Arnaud held a meeting with Bridget, Meggie (as shipping supervisor), and me (as trainer) to check in. He asked Bridget how she was doing, if there were any issues she had already or foresaw, if she would like to continue with shipping. Thankfully, she said yes, and while she voiced some concerns, they're nothing that can't be overcome - especially with everybody supporting each other to make for a happy, productive office. He then set out what he expected of the Shipping department: to keep the office a clean and welcoming space, half library and half work room; to get orders out in a timely manner, but not to sacrifice quality in favor of rushing orders; and to ask for help if it's ever needed. All in all, it was rather nice.

For these coming weeks before I leave, I'm transitioning myself out of Shipping to let Bridget take over while still providing some support. It's a great situation because orders are still getting out while I have the opportunity to record my knowledge, answer Bridget's questions and make sure she's getting everything done that needs doing, and taking care of some projects here (like organizing parts of the warehouse). Moreover, we're both staying on task, since we stick to the factory schedule and take breaks with everybody, so we get a lot done when we're working and then relax a lot when we're not. My intent is to stay out of the shipping room for most of the day to get Bridget up and running as quickly and possible, but be accessible for if she needs a hand.

So, the great man-hunt is over: we've captured a new shipper!

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