The job is going well, working hard (or hardly working) into my seventh week at Supa IGA here in Denmark. I have got to say it has exceeded expectations, although I don’t know if I had any expectations before arrival because I was not too informed. I just knew I was going to be ‘doing accounts for the Albany Supa IGA while working in Denmark’. Since I have begun and learned what I AM doing for the next year, let’s see if I can put this into perspective for you.
So I basically have my own office, or I’d like to think, haha. Only on Mondays and Wednesdays it’s all mine, on the other three days in a week I share it with a part –timer. Occasionally the owners Bob (Denmark store manager) and Karen or their daughter Sarah (Albany store manager) come in to ask or solve a query, do their portion of the accounts, or write checks for the goods on our shelves.
They are great people very funny, sarcastic, and rivals are big. Discussions or sarcastic arguments are always looming, I always receive an earful at work explaining the latest reason for why or how Australia is better than America. I like my peanut butter, Aussies like vegemite, it’s horrid – I got close enough to smell it – not going to taste it. A basic 30 second conversation: “We have Keith Urban” “He was born in New Zealand” “We have Nicole Kidman” “Is that all? We have Hollywood” “We have footy” “You do, that’s why I am here”. For the most part I am the only Freo Dockers fan at work, everyone else hails the West Coast Eagles which became a franchise in Perth about 7 years prior to the Dockers, and footy is always a discussion. Again they try to pick on me for that one…FYI, the DOCKERS beat the EAGLES two weeks ago in the Western Derby, ha. The Yank still wins. Currently, Karen and Bob are traveling the US for the month of May…because they know its better! I am enjoying work to say the least – discussions are always in good nature and it always brings out good laugh or smile.
I am located in a rented office space across the street from the Denmark “Shop”. A “shop” to an Australian is where you shop. They wonder why I call it a store, “well, because a shop is where you fix things. Like on a farm for instance.” “That’s a shed.” “No, a shed is where the tractors and machinery is stored.” “Well, we call a storage shed and a fixing shed – a shed. And a store – a shop.” The comparisons never end haha!
The office is spacious and nice; it has windows opening to the garden outside and the “car park”. Conveniently, I park about 20 feet away from the office each day!
As for my work itself, so far, a lot of paper pushing. If I had to give myself a title, I recon I would be defined as an Internal Auditor for the work I do. I have for 7 weeks been filing ‘charge backs’, charge backs are our suppliers that get paid through an IGA national organization called Metcash. Metcash pays the 50ish suppliers individually and sends us one big bill; saves us some hassle. In the end I get copies of the individual invoices, and double-check the payments that Metcash has made for us. The largest problem I have found with my work is the lack of organized files (our self-inflicted problem) which is frustrating, as well as double payments, payments not made, and credits unrecognized. As well, it has been a struggle to match delivery dockets or receipts of delivery to a bill or invoice, but it’s getting better. A file organized chronologically by date and invoice number is ideal as I see it, but not for all. All in all I am grateful for the challenge of the 40hpw learning experience, unlike 4.5 years at SJU, there are just some details of a job that can’t be taught in a classroom.
Yesterday I began learning the new accounting program on the computer; the program is new since January and is an initiative to get away from the paper pushing I have done. I’m excited for that, hopefully the next fiscal year beginning July 1 will be all computerized.
So a couple of weeks ago I came across a problem where the delivery docket didn’t match the invoice. As far as I could see and understand we were overcharged for 288 items! First of all it was bad procedure when our staff on the receiving end of the delivery didn’t make the correction to our original carbon-copy delivery docket. Second, I have never had an Easter with hot-crossed buns, so culturally I could have understood this problem, but I had to make a fool of myself…so I gave the delivering company a ring, to get them to send a copy of their delivery docket to us…it had two additional hand-written lines, a sloppy written, “Hot X-Buns” was the basics of the additional two items that totaled the 288 disputed items. After comparing their copy and ours, consulting our bakery department manager and wondering why 288 items were added to the delivery on Monday of Easter Week I called a second time still not agreeing with the situation. After a 20-minute explanation from them and a laughing bakery manager I got the point. Hot crossed buns are an Aussie tradition at Easter, I would guess coming from the English heritage. Basically, when Easter Week comes the store can’t buy enough for the demand, so the hot crossed buns are like an “add-on” to the deliveries and as many as the bakery can supply, are delivered. “You don’t have hot-crossed buns in the States?” “Nope, but I played, ‘Hot-crossed buns, hot-crossed buns, one-a-penny, two-a-penny, hot-crossed buns’ on the recorder in 4th grade…” lol.
Hope all is well in the working world back in America!