I'm going to work backwards on this question. There is no way that I
would ever run that particular business (my dad's sign shop in MN) myself.
Right now, my mom is running it because my dad got a job back in Corporate
America (he's working for Wells Fargo Private Client Services as a sales person,
but they have a better title for him than that) and she hates it. The
business is growing and doing well, but the situation is awful. My mom is
a nurse by training, personality, career choice and it is what she was meant to
do. A businesswoman she is not, nor does she desire to be.
I don't think that I would do much better than her, because while I have a
better understanding of production-type work, I have no interest in doing
outside sales. Working with customers once they are comitted to a project
is fine, but finding and comitting those same people is right up there with
having dental work done as things I like doing.
At the same time, I think that I would like having my own sign shop.
Part of the problem with working for my dad was just that. Working for my
dad. I couldn't get away from my boss. And at work, I had more sway
with him than the graphic designer because I was his daughter, but I also had to
deal with his way of doing things, which I found infuriatingly cluttered and
disorganized. If I was in charge and could do things my way, I think that
I could do it. However, that brings back the basic issue of my aversion to
The part about that job that I liked the best was when I saw my ideas come
to fruition and work out well. Primarily, this was related to shop and
office organization, but sometimes it came from jobs as well. Also, now I
know how to talk to the graphics people and where the rip-off opportunities
are. However, I can get that kind of job satisfaction without having to
set foot in the family sign shop ever again as an employee.
To answer an unasked question, the most two-faced good thing about working
there was when I went back to school/got a job and Dad and Bob would talk about
how much better things were when I was there. It seemed like they got lazy
about taking care of their own shit when I was there, due to my trusty assistant
nature of trying to anticipate needs and staying a step ahead. But then
when I came back and they were still putting things away and using the magazine
files for catalogs, that was good.
That was kind of a long answer. Oh well.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
What was the thing you liked the most about what you did working for the sign shop and if you had a chance to run that business yourself would you - why or why not?