Monday, November 26, 2007

Like any good sailor, one must learn when to change tack

It's been a while since I've last written, as you can tell. Of course I have an excuse (it's up to you whether you're willing to buy my excuse). You see, I have a new job.

No, I didn't lose the one I acquired when I last wrote. That's the job that's been keeping me busy, and I've finally gotten to the point where I can talk about it.

For the first few months my job was a bit of a mystery, because my key responsibility was a project we were developing below the industry radar. Whether that was a good idea is no longer a question. The project became visible to the light of day on October 29, 2007, and the task has switched from development to maintenance.

On October 29, the world learned (at least, those in the world who cared) that I had been named E-Commerce Manager for Goodwill Industries-Suncoast. My task was to build and manage a virtual Goodwill Store. There were quite a few really interesting ways I could have gone about this task; I took one of the least interesting ones. Why? I believed I had no choice.

The project, in fact, the whole E-Commerce Department, is not a subset of IT, like many would expect. No, E-Commerce is a subset of the group that runs the brick & mortar stores, and more specifically, the E-Commerce Manager answers to the Director of Acquisitions and Allocations (A&A). A&A, while waiting for an incoming E-Comm Mgr, attempted to lay the groundwork, with some assistance from IT. The result is that many of the initial decisions were made before I came aboard, and as the new guy, I didn't believe I had the ability to challenge those decisions.

So, I went with the flow.

The result is the web site you'll find at When I find the time to talk, down the road, I'll probably talk some about that web site: the reasoning behind some decisions as well as comments about products, themselves. Particularly fun, from my point of view, is how work as an e-commerce manager in a world unattached to IT or Marketing departments compares to my previous (mis)conceptions.

Oh, and as you'd expect, I'll close with this: if you happen to be someone who likes to save money when shopping, please be sure to visit the web site. And while you're at it, bring some friends. Not just for Goodwill, but for me as well!