Call Me Pops

By Rich Weissman

July 27, 2014 at 9:24 AM

During my manufacturing years I always noticed that there were three generations in the workplace: a lower tier of workers who were either starting out or had some basic experience; a mid-tier with a dozen or so years of experience, many of which were in or aspiring to supervisory or management positions, and a third tier of very experienced people who were in the, shall we say, later stages of their careers.  

I was lucky to be comfortable across all of these tiers of colleagues but I found that I would gravitate towards some of the older workers for career advice, a solution to a supplier problem, or friendship. Having decades of experience they were comfortable in the workplace and with themselves. I’d often refer to these people affectionately as “Pops”.  “Old Timer” would get me slapped. And yes, there were women in this category as well, but “Moms” just doesn’t seem to work. 

I have become Pops. 

While I have another solid decade in the workplace, I am a mentor, friend, confidant and trusted colleague. I was recently complaining that too many people were coming into my office for me to solve problems and offer advice. Then I realized that this was a really nice thing and I became a lot more accepting of it. It is an honor, actually. 

This came through loud and clear recently in my gym when I was counseling two of the younger members on their job searches. I had introduced both of them into my network and they were both actively interviewing with friends of mine. Here I was Pops as well. And it happens in my classes when I share stories from my manufacturing career or help them with a resume or mock interview. I’ve survived the corporate life they are aspiring to. 

It is a bit of a shock recently to realize that I am a member of tier three. And while no one calls me Pops yet, my graying hair and decades of experience reinforce my membership, especially when the students or employees I am working with are sometimes younger than my own children. So I look back through my career and see a bit of Jim, Ron, Art, John, Steve, and yes, Christiane. All Pops, and Moms, in their own right. Now I am one of them. 

Reporting for duty. 

 

 

 



Tags: purchasing Supply chain management Careers Procurement sourcing
Category: Blog Post

Rich Weissman

user_avatar

Endicott College Assistant Professor Rich Weissman teaches management courses for the School of Business and the Van Loan Graduate School. He is also the director of corporate education, which includes the Center for Leadership, Endicott’s management development institute. He is vice chair of the planning committee and also serves on the technology committee and the Institution Review Board.  A practitioner turned educator, Weissman has more than 25 years of experience in all facets of procurement and supply chain management. He has held positions with large business units of Fortune 500 companies, medium-sized contract manufacturing companies, small venture-backed Internet startup firms, and third-party procurement, consulting and strategic sourcing firms. 

Rich holds an M.S. in Management from Lesley University and a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers University. He is past president of the Purchasing Management Association of Boston and a recipient of the Harry J. Graham Memorial Award, the highest honor bestowed by the association.


Please add a comment

You must be logged in to leave a reply. Login »


Related Content

The Road to Profitability: Uber’s Play for a Driverless Future

Guest Editor

It’s arguably the most important legal fight of the year: Waymo, Google’s since-spun-off driverless car division, is battling Uber over allegedly pilfered trade secrets and information. The two companies are fighting in a space increasingly Read More

Procurement’s Impact on Financial Statements

Guest Editor

The famous quote “Show me the money!” from the movie “Jerry Maguire” reflects the role of procurement quite accurately. Only clear financial Read More

The Reality of Generational Differences in the Workplace Part Three - We’ll Cross that Bridge When We Come to It

Jim Baehr

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” is the wrong answer for any Supply Management organization that’s pondering its future state. There is real risk Read More


Supplier Profiles

Staples

Staples Advantage is the one supplier that offers all the business solutions you need, all with the expertise of a specialty vendor. Read More

Digi-Key

It started in 1972 with an idea, a new concept in distribution. Today, Digi-Key Corporation is one of the fastest-growing electronic component distributors in the World. The stimulus for this growth is Digi-Key's customer-centered business philosophy… Read More

Lunney Advisory Group

Lunney Advisory Group was founded in 2007. Our firm is not your typical consulting company. Some members of our firm are highly qualified and experienced industry executives/practitioners while others are full time or adjunct university professors.… Read More


Webcasts

What CEOs Expect Of Purchasing

Guest Contributor

Procurement and supply management leaders have a seat at the table, and management’s expectations are high. But what do CEOs really want, and is purchasing delivering on these expectations? This webcast looks at how procurement and supply management … Read More

Growing Purchasing Influence On Indirect Spending

Guest Contributor

At world-class companies, purchasing’s influence touches just about every area of spending. But, how exactly do procurement teams get to the point where other departments approach them for help with sourcing such indirect categories as human resource… Read More

Procurement-Finance Collaboration

Guest Contributor

Procurement & finance are two business functions which are often at loggerheads with each other. One reason for this is the lack of perception alignment on an important metric of procurement and finance performance - 'savings'. Read More