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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


One of the things in life that I've never quite forgiven myself for is the prickly point of never having finished my degree and thereby having never made anything of myself.

I felt like a failure before entering University, and then exiting before having any letters behind my name, and not being able to turn that investment into a bonified job only magnified my sense of inadequacy.

But now I'm in my forties, which is when people say that life truly begins. So, it follows a certain amount of logic that I've finally found my destiny in this life, and that I recognize my irreplacability and proficiency in this very special calling.

Turns out that I'm in Distribution- that very important component of Logistics & Supply chain management (wikipedia). I'm in a very specialized branch which an extensive knowledge base is critical.

Not unlike the woman in Proverbs 21, I arise early in the morning to begin my tasks. Usually the first order of the day involves redistributing the dishes from coffee table, kitchen table, computer room and counter top to sudsy sink, and further distribution to drying rack and cupboards. Then items are re-routed from cupboards to countertop to lunch bag back to cupboard. Meanwhile, the baseline of the whole business begins filling up with crumbs, cheerios, and unidentifiable blobs which require movement from floor to broom to mop.

This is also the time to redistribute all fiber types into the washing machine and dryer. Down the stairs, into the first and second machines, back up the stairs, and into appropriate drawers and closets. Meanwhile check for quality, size, and possible items for re-stocking. Gather up stray socks, sheets, towels, and t-shirts from the floor of whichever area is being re-stocked. Take them down the stairs, through the first and second machines....

By now it's time to redistribute all the cups and plates you've ever owned, and probably most of the ones your ancestors have handed down to you.

Breakfast is over, and it's nearly time for lunch. Another perfect example of the high demand in the industry of distribution. Cupboards and refridgerater are emptied, dishes moved from cupboard to counter to table, then sink and back again. This cycle actually repeats hundreds of times per day without ever seeing resolution or completion.

The entire corporation is run along this model of distribution. On certain days of the cycle, a phenomenon known as "fund redistribution" also occurs with a swiftness that can leave the underexperienced novice blindsided and dizzy. Funds enter the facility, and rapidly are consumed by smaller arteries and vessels known as children, sporting programs, hydro and gas, television and internet, and many, many varieties of loose teas purchased at out of the way locations.

I shall not bore you with every nuance of my chosen field. My life's work.

Suffice to say that it's wonderful to be so terribly important and specialized, even if it has taken me the better part of over half my life to recognize it as such.

No number of fancy letterheads and symbols trailing my name could ever compare with such a revelation.

I'd love to share more about my passion and vocation, but I sense a certain urgency to to sort dinky toys and velcro foodstuffs.


janice said...

Ok, you are functional. Where I work, we have a whole module (or some such unit) dedicated to supply chain management. I am on the technical team and I never wholly understood what you do, but I know that if the test system accidentally hooks up to the actual suppliers, palates of radioactive rats* will show up after a test order is sent out. I never knew there was a demand or supply or a supply chain for radioactive rats, but this actually happened and the functional team (your kind) had to deal with the fall out from the mistake of the techno geeks (my kind).

In my house, I have no functional team so the distribution is not managed so well. My technical expertise is nearly useless here, despite that I finished my degree. Dirty dishes and laundry mingle willy nilly.

*I work at a university - rats, research.

mmichele said...

Never finished mine, either. Drives me c-r-a-z-y.

joyce said...

Janice- would the technical term for your portion of the chain then be known as "dys-functional"?!

Ok, do you mean virtual rats- as in a pic on your monitor- or (as I'm reading) actual, factual RATTY rats with tails and everything?!

If I was on the functional end of your department, it would be easy to solve. My boys got pellet guns for Christmas. Rats= target practise? Is it ok to get radioactive remnants in one's sandbox?

mmichelle- and look what a success you are!! (those letters behind your name woulda just messed you up.... ;) Were you in a legit field, or were you are farty like me?

janice said...

Technical vs functional. Everybody knows that here - but dysfunctional sounds much more like the counterpart of functional, so I shall see if I can start a new naming convention.

These were real rats, with ratty tales, and radioactive tags somewhere - maybe in their blood, or maybe just in the way the story got embellished. There was a functional person over the wall from me who had to track them down, when it came to pay for them. I heard phone calls all day, and we were all laughing at her. I guess somebody used them when they showed up (perhaps for target practice?).

My degree allows me to be on the dysfunctional team, so it is not lame or useless.