Things started moving fast between Christmas and New Year. Fed Ex had started delivering daily bundles of information from the auditors about the Mid Atlantic car rental acquisition. UPS started delivering crates of office equipment for Jeanna’s office and for our new offices. With the gym having a commercial address freight was cheaper to have everything shipped there than to a residential address. Lorrie, Marcy and Ching Lee were running back and forth to get everything set up at Jeanna’s.
The big very expensive copiers that were going to be leased effective February 1 had already been delivered. We had a bear of a time getting Jeanna’s to her house, and then on top of that it needed 220 volts. An electrician had to come and run an outlet just for it. The big screens to go on the walls in the meeting rooms in both offices had been delivered. Jeanna’s two had already been hung to use with her bank work. Our 6 were still in their crates in the far back corner of the gym. Our office was to have several of them.
From what I understood about that part of the computer program the screens would run in a loop like the arrival screens did at an airport. Ours would show rentals, reservations, and returns in real time. One would show vehicles available at each locations and the GPS location of those on the road along with excessive speed or involved in accidents. Our over-dinner conversations were business meetings every night now.
If it hadn’t been apparent to the rest of the girls yet it was obvious to me that we were going to need several secretaries or office people. We couldn’t pull any more trainers out of the gym, we going to need more of them as it were.
A forklift and a scissors-lift arrived and were sitting parked under the canopy of the long loading dock. Other materials were unloaded by Bob, pallets of ply wood, drywall, pipe, and wire. Another small dumpster was sitting in one of the parking places.
I started making the run to the college. Students were arriving and moving into their dorms. HR and I were giving the same welcoming speech three times a day. Patti and I were busy doing photo IDs, making up new access cards and reactivating old ones. Local businesses were posting part-time help wanted notices on the bulletin board. We researched every one of those carefully, the business and all we could find on the owners before they were posted.
On Thursday Misty and Belinda started moving into their rooms. They were finished except for a travel bag. They were going to stay out of our house until they formally had to move in on Monday to meet the sponsorship requirements. Sarah was traveling back and forth with either Patti or me, she too was moving in on Monday. She was there to give an overview of the student union and how it could help with any problems that any new student might have.
There were many. For some of the students this was their first extended time away from their parents. For some reason they had not made the decision to attend college at fall session of the college year or lacked funding or grade credits and decided to start in the second half of the college year with some of required courses.
Sarah asked me if there was any way she could get a display area and possibly a cubicle in the security department. The idea was to give students one stop to handle any problem that may not be HR related. The security department was open 24/7. My answer was simple; if HR gave their blessing we would gladly make available whatever room she needed including a designated phone. I had several unassigned cubicles. There were also several private meeting rooms for confidential things. She left to meet with Bob Jackson and Shirley Short to ask about it.
We had been running short-staffed since Thanksgiving with so many students home for the holidays. Thursday we brought the staffing back to full force. We had some new part-time people on board, they were going to work with an experienced person for several days before going solo. That meant that nights, for at least a week, we were going to be double staffed. I was going to use the first part of the shift each day to give them the orientation material I needed to go over then they would hit the beat with their partner for the rest of their shift.
Patti and I were packing up to leave. I was just getting ready to call Sarah’s phone when she, Bob and Shirley came through the door. There were two very long faces. I wondered what was going on or what they had found out. I knew I was going to find out very quickly.
Bob said, “We have a problem.”
I motioned for the three of them to follow me back to my private office, “What’s wrong, how can I help,” I replied.
“We lost a FedEx packet. It contained the enrolment information on nine students from California including payment in full or scholarship grants. They will be here tomorrow morning. They have to have dorm rooms. I know you have three rooms as spares. Can you pull a room and a half out of your hat,” He said.
I thought a minute then called Misty from the speaker phone. When she answered, I asked “Is your partner in mischief and mayhem with you?” I knew they were working in the gym from the background sounds.
“Yes” she replied.
“Find someplace quiet and put the phone on speaker so I can talk to both of you.” I said.
“Ok, we’re both here, go ahead” she said.
“How would you two like to stay where you have been staying and not in the dorm room until college is over, if I can get a living requirement waiver?” I asked. The phone was quiet for a moment then went crazy.
“Can you do that? Heck yeah. Can we go get our things tonight?” Belinda asked.
“Let me put you on hold for just a minute” as I slid a sheet of paper and a pen to Bob. I looked at Sarah. “The same offer goes to you. Are you up for the challenge?” I asked.
“I was going to have a new roommate anyhow. So yeah, I can do that. How are we all going to get back and forth?” she asked.
“With me or Patti or in one of the rental cars.” I said.
I looked at Bob and Shirley, “There is your room and a half. Sarah will no longer be making dorm payments. How about giving Misty and Belinda a cash dorm allotment to help pay for food and such?” I asked. In for a penny in for a pound I thought.
“I’m sure we can work something out. Just how many bedrooms does your house have? I know there are several other girls living with you?” he asked.
“Seven,” I answered.
“Just how damn big is your house? Never mind I don’t want to know,” he said.
I picked up the phone and said, “Bring two cars or one if Marcy can come in her suburban. Sarah is moving in with us too,”
That kills two birds with one stone temporarily, I thought. Cures a college problem and guarantees part time help for the gym at least until the end of May. Little did I know the other problems that had hit the fan today!
EDIT by Alfmeister