This most recent week was probably the best week I’ve had since I got here. Not only did I only have to work 5 days this week but my family came to town to visit. It was nice seeing them and getting to do different things with them. We got to take my little brother to the casino for the first time which was fun even though I only won $20. The most fun part though was last night. Something that my family always tries to do on vacation is go to a MLB baseball game. Last night we got to go to a Los Angeles Angels game making it the 24th stadium I have been to now out of 30. They were playing their rival, the Dodgers too, which made the game a lot more exciting. There was a point in the game where the benches cleared and there was a small fight which was also very entertaining to see.
This week has been a weaning week, which means it’s busier than most other weeks. During the weak of weaning, we move all of the piglets from the farrowing rooms into nursery rooms, and depending on the size of the group and whether or not there are piglets on research, it can take an entire day to complete.
Piglets are weaned between 18 and 28 days, depending on the farm’s strategy or guidelines, the MSU swine farm specifically weans between 21 and 25 days and sometimes as long as 28 days depending on the health and size of the pigs. Weaning earlier can be beneficially because then pigs may grow faster after being moved onto solid food but can be inefficient because pigs may not get the full days of nutrients they need from the sow, and vise versa for weaning late.
Our weaning process consists of weaning all the pigs in each pen and recording the weights on the sow’s farrowing card, we do this to determine how well each sow did raising their litters. After weighing the pigs they are then vaccinated for Circovirus and are given a slow release antibiotic to help with the transition over to solid food which can cause stress to piglets. Piglets are moved into pens of 8 divided normally by sex and size into a nursery that is heated to 95 degrees to keep the young pigs warm. This process normally takes all day, before piglets are moved out of the farrowing stalls the sows are moved from the farrowing stalls and into gestation where they await breeding.
Have a great independence day!
This week was a pretty normal week. Nothing too crazy happened. I had a very successful week though. I am doing well right now and am one of the top leaders in the office so that’s exciting. Because I am doing really well, I was able to shadow an interview on Thursday. This is exciting for me, because hopefully in the next month or two I will be able to start interviewing people by myself. Having that experience will be very beneficial to in future interviews because I will know what it’s like to give an interview. Also it will look fantastic on my resume when future employers look at my experience.
Other than getting the chance to shadow an interview, nothing out of the ordinary happened this week. I am still enjoying this internship and I am learning something new everyday.
This was the first full week that I have done in the stores during this internship. It has gone smoothly so far, but has also been a little bit stressful. I have focused on operations this week and learned how to read and interpret certain reports. The operations manager has worked a lot with me and she is extremely nice, but also really busy. There seems to be so many different responsibilities that the operations manager has, but I feel like I always enjoy being busy while I’m at work so it would be a good fit for me. It would be a lot of learning and you are under an extreme amount of pressure, but I would enjoy doing it. I’ve been doing a lot of fresh produce checks and store walks which are very important to the appearance of the stores. Appearance is crucial because customers don’t want to shop in a store that seems dirty. Next week I am learning more about the merchandising in Kroger, which should be a fun experience.
This week was the annual intern forum. Cargill flies all 300+ interns to Minneapolis and they spend a week going to seminars and networking with each other.
Learned a lot this week about how to handle running a branch during one of the busiest follow-up weeks of the year; the fourth of July. This week we had about double our usual number of reservations per day (20 is the average), meaning that we had about double the volume but no additional vehicles in the fleet. I had to step up and help my manager find cars to gain from other branches in order to fill the number of reservations we had. The fleet management system is something I have only been working with for a couple of weeks and this week my knowledge on the program was definitely put to work.
The hardest part of this week was dealing with difficult/ornery customers that came through the door without reservations. On holiday weeks/weekends we can’t really afford to give away cars on our lot that have already been reserved by other customers. Under normal circumstances, we usually give walk-in customers a vehicle and go out and replace the vehicle we gave away for a later reservation – but in this circumstance it just wasn’t possible and we had to turn away a lot of potential customers. I learned a lot about how to deal with angry customers in a calm and respectable manner that left them more angry at the situation rather than at the business. Learning to not make a customer’s anger in a situation personally is a huge part of dealing with them. Most times the customer just wants to be heard and understood – they aren’t necessarily angry at you, just frustrated with the circumstances.
The week that follows independence day is probably going to be busier than the week before. I know we’ll have a huge amount of vehicles returning, and everybody will have to pitch in to get the job done.
Well this week was fun. Over the weekend there was a power outage in the store which made us write off a lot of products and killed our business for that day. Insanely enough we still received shipments from our vendors. However, with the store being closed and no customers making transactions we couldn’t clear out enough space for the new orders.
So, this week was all about catching up and getting back to regular operations. This week was hectic with the fact that I had a very limited time for breaks and ate lunch at late times every day. Right now, my internship is about understanding how a store is managed. Mangers have it rough in the retail business. The one thing I learned from this crazy experience was the fact that working as a team is important. Having enough competent workers and being a good manager who delegates tasks effectively ensures that the manager doesn’t get stuck with working on the “gap” of responsibilities. Sadly, my manager had a lot of responsibilities because her employees were not as helpful as she had thought.
Speedway has rigorous standards for each classification of its stores and for the store I was assigned to, we receive many sales so we require a lot of attention and labor. We struggled this week due to the availability and skill of our employees. Next week we are receiving some new hires that can hopefully help alleviate the manager “gap” of responsibilities in the future.
This week at work I was reminded of the importance of proper planning. We were digging out the liner of a pond that the team had set up a while ago. There was water that wouldn’t drain under the liner and it was affecting the cleaning of the pond and the space they had to raise fish on it. One of my coworkers, looking a little angry at the situation, looked at me and asked “Richard, have you heard about the seven Ps?” I said no. “Proper, Prior, Planning, Prevents, Piss, Poor, Performance. Rules to live by. Remember them.”
The pond hadn’t been in use for a while because of the problems it had and those problems could have been prevented with a little more work and as my coworker says, proper planning. To fix the pond, we are digging a trench and installing a drain under the liner. This will help us to easily pump out water that can filter under it in the future. We are also burying properly the edges of the liner. These things could have been done previously and the pond would be in use now but that’s how we learn. Aquaculture is a constantly changing field where new techniques are learned all the time. We are building new ponds and the team is making sure to implement all they have learned from their mistakes. I will make sure to take all this into account when I start my own fish farm.
This has been a very exciting week for me at Brown Bag Seafood Company. After submitting my proposal to participate in Chicago’s summer street festivals the restaurant management team has decided to move forward with the project and has tasked me with coordinating and running stalls at two street festivals during the month of July. The first festival Brown Bag will be participating in is the Time Out Chicago Battle of the Burger Festival. As we do not serve burgers, the festival has asked us to contribute a side dish to the festival. For us, this means choosing between one of our varieties of coleslaw(Louisiana Tang, Lime Cilantro, or Classic) or one of our tater tot sides(Buffalo, Truffle Parmesan, or Classic). Considering the tater tots would require a freezer on site to keep the stock tots frozen, we decided to go with a coleslaw. From there, the festival asked us to incorporate Chalula hot sauce in the recipe for the dish because they are sponsoring the event so we will replace the current brand, Crystal Hot Sauce, with Chalula. The Battle of the Burger coordinators are expecting a very busy weekend so they have asked us to prepare almost two thousand portions of the side dish. In order to do this we will prep all of the dry slaw the night before the event, chopping celery stalks and mixing it with the cabbage packs and carrots. Then the morning of the event we will mix in the slaw and hot sauce and store all of the mixed slaw in coolers we can bring out to the event.
The second event we will be participating in is the weekly concert series called Lakeview Curbside Concert Series which actually takes place just outside of our new restaurant location. This is exciting because if all goes well this is something we could be participating in on a regular basis. Passed that, I am looking into any other festivals that will be going on within a close vicinity of our restaurant’s that Brown Bag could participate in next summer.
It has been extremely busy for at least 4 weeks straight now here at JK moving. I am really starting to get the hang of this position and am finally seeing how the whole process connects together. More than just entering data into an excel sheet I am understanding how that will be looked at, what it means and how it will be used by other people within the industry going forward. I am also at this point getting a better sense of what the other departments do within JK moving and how they affect the day to day operations and the bottom line. I really want to be able to experience other positions at this company and see the challenges and problems they face on a daily basis. I also like my managers for my role as they are very helpful with the training process and helping me succeed. Although most of the training is a learn on the go type deal. Which has its pros and cons. For example when you face a problem that you have to meet a deadline for you have to figure it out right then and there instead of putting it to the side and delaying it because you do not know the processes or know what to do. I am not sure if I would want to continue in this position at JK although it’s a great experience, I would want ot potentially explore other career options here at JK moving. For example sales where I can be in contact with potential prospects on a daily basis. This would most likely be on the residential side of the business, which I think I would have a smooth transition too because of what I have already learned in this position. Where some of the same skills and traits directly carry over.