Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Today is the one-year anniversary of me being an associate at J.P. Morgan Chase. Only nine more years before they can kick me out on my ass like CBOE did. But seriously, I have been taking steps to distinguish myself at this gig, like volunteering for the quality team, which makes a presentation once a month talking about productivity numbers and error rates and what we can do to improve our performance and stop pissing off our customers. The first time I spoke at a Q-board meeting was the end of December, and although I was nervous and monotone because of my lack of public speaking skillz, I could feel a sense of newfound respect from my co-workers, like they saw me in a whole new light. And I saw myself differently as well. I only volunteered for the team because my old supervisor told me that it should push me into the highest level as far as my reviews go when combined with my nearly flawless productivity numbers. But now that I've been doing it for three months, I feel more responsible, more in-the-loop with those in charge, and more of a leader when I'm doing my job because people who have questions see me as a go-to guy after hearing me preach about asking more questions and reducing errors. Last month, that's what I spoke about, customer service and paying attention to the critical care list, which contains accounts that have complained about various mistakes we've made. My old supervisor told me about a conference call headed up by the C.E.O. of Chase, Jamie Dimon, who said that other banks can get the ear of customers on our list and tell them to take their business away from us. Those banks can say, "We won't make those mistakes," whether that's true or not. I relayed that story during my speech, and the floor went silent, so at least my co-workers were listening for a second. I was told later that some higher-ups heard the part about Jamie Dimon's remarks and said, "Yeah! That's what we need! Someone to talk about those kind of things!" So I'm starting to make some kind of impression. I've stopped coming in late, I stay until all of my work is done, and I even take out the garbage at the end of the day because my team lead is preggers. (No, I didn't do it.) Somewhere in the last calendar year, I've matured a lot. I'm not totally sure why. I think it's some combination of my personal life becoming much calmer and more peaceful, my living arrangements becoming settled, and my being scared shitless by not finding a full-time job for thirteen months. Whatever happens with this gig, I'm not going down without making as hard an effort as possible to step up in the food chain and distinguish myself. This job is something I have been able to sink my teeth into because there are a ton of standard operating procedures to follow, and being an asshole perfectionist, I get off on coming up with the right procedure when everyone else is scratching their heads. In other words, I'm starting to like it here.