Staff Meeting - 2009-04-24
Attendance: Tyler, Stephen, Megan, Ifny (scribe)
- Phone calls need to be directed to the right person.
- Example: even though Megan said the calendar was full for the coming week, staff are still putting names into it. This causes many problems. Megan should be the only person putting names into the calendar whenever possible.
- Example: over the phone Stephen okayed 1 tonne of POS power supplies that we are not supposed to accept. Our downstream recyclers do not accept them either, so this creates problems for us. Such calls need to be forwarded to the recycling coordinator.
- Generally speaking: Incoming deliveries go to warehouse. Incoming skids/skid pickup requests go to warehouse. Smaller pickup inquiries should be directed to fill out pickup request form; if that's been done they should be transferred to Pickups Coordinator. Volunteer inquiries go to Megan. Potential sales should be directed to the Store. Opportunities for public relations and new recycling clients should be directed to Outreach.
COMMIT: Megan will write on the phone page in the wiki about how to direct calls.
- Q: how do we handle this with volunteers who may be covering the phones?
- Volunteers should only be directing calls, not answering questions.
- Staff need to answer phone when its ringing!
COMMIT: Dave & Ifny will get new answering system going for when we're closed. It will say "We're now closed" so that people can tell the difference.
- When the public calls the wrong extension (e.g. hit 9 when they should be hitting 3 for the store), it helps to politely re-train them ("Ok, I'll transfer you to the store; next time you phone, you can get there directly by pressing 3. Thanks!")
Megan's time off
- Megan wants Tues May 5 to Sat May 9th off inclusive.
- COMMIT: Ifny will figure out how to cover for the Frog Hollow youth volunteer event on the 6th.
- COMMIT: Megan will reduce the number of volunteers in the schedule while she is away to about 5 per day (excluding build).
- COMMIT: Megan will have a support volunteer class before she leaves so that we can have more support volunteers.
- COMMIT: She'll train train Mike M so he can help cover stations.
- Q: Should we reduce the number of 1st time volunteers during this time?
- No, they are not harder to train than other volunteers. Often other volunteers have not done a particular station anyway and have to get trained. Also, first-timers have to wait for their shift for a while so we need to keep them on the calendar.
CONSENSUS: staff ok with this holiday time since it sounds like it can be covered.
Hiring Committee report
- Warehouse interviews are finished; hiring committee has found a solid candidate to recommend to staff.
CONSENSUS: Staff accept the recommendation for Jamie.
COMMIT: Megan will draft the rejection email for other interview candidates COMMIT: Ifny will send it out. COMMIT: Ifny will contact Jamie today to offer him the position with letter to offer employment
- Jamie can start Tuesday.
- Period of 3 months training.
- HR needs to put together contracts for all employees
- Not much has happened with these. Staff have been promised them for a while now. Megan was looking into Blue Cross. Estimate forms have not been submitted.
- Mahmoud (our bookkeeper) recommended a good company that does benefits for non-profits.
- We have gotten permission from the membership for $300/staffperson/month. We should go ahead and implement benefits, instead of shopping around infinitely.
- Cheaper plans will not give us very comprehensive coverage.
CONSENSUS: Let's go ahead with benefits as originally promised. COMMIT: Ifny will get 'er done for May.
- Store Hire
- Interviews to be done Sat. Apr. 25
- New store person could start Tues. Apr. 28.
- Skill testing questions will be asked during the interview :)
- Q: There are some volunteers here today. How come?
- We couldn't get a hold of all volunteers to reschedule
- One of the volunteers has rearranged his life to build for us on Fridays; he's totally autonomous
- Some builders have been told they can come in on Fridays as long as they don't ask questions.
- We needed a couple helpers in receiving
- Consensus at the general meeting was to have volunteer-free Fridays, while running with a skeleton crew (part timers in the store and receiving).
- It's not fair to say yes to some volunteers and no to others
- If builders are told "no questions" then they may build problem systems or feel abandoned or embarrassed.
- Volunteers always need some attention
CONSENSUS: Fridays should be volunteer-free. If staff want to schedule volunteers on Fridays, clear it at a staff meeting ahead of time. We will need to figure out what to do about receiving, which may be an exception to this (E.g. could have one support vol + one regular/beginner who want to work most of the day).
What other things could we do on Fridays?
- meetings: hr meetings, staff meetings, etc.
- Build meetings can happen on thursdays.
- Q: should we have Operations meeting Friday day? They have had low attendance recently. Also some volunteers are available during the day but not in the evening.
- Operations meetings have not been well advertised; attendance with meeting notices is pretty good. In past there have been attendees who work during the day.
- CONSENSUS: Let's try more advertising & see; Operations can change the date if they want to.
- Q: Should we have Support volunteer training on Fridays?
- It's quite busy during the week. Nice to have quiet time to do it. Would allow for bigger trainings, since there will be more quiet areas.
- When Megan does support training on a regular workday, it creates more workload for other staff (helping volunteers)
- Does it make sense for volunteers to come down just for a couple hours for support training? It is a special class, like Adoption, so it should be ok. They aren't necessarily scheduled to help on the days when the class is anyway.
- CONSENSUS: Support training is ok on Fridays, and other days.
- Other notes about Fridays
- Warehouse coord will give part-time warehouse heads up about deliveries etc. We can try to schedule shipping on other days.
- Pickup days should not be Fridays if possible.
Staff work updates & reports
- Staff should do regular reports about what they're working on
- These could be weekly or little more frequent ones.
- Let's try what works for each of us - detailed weekly report or updates throughout the week. Details about goals, missions accomplished, ongoing to do list.
- Roundup vs. Wiki for to dos
- Roundup is great for staying abreast of what people are working on. We have it, we should use it.
- We can also assign tickets to give work to support vols, core vols etc.
- Don't forget to nosy people!
- Wiki is good for personal log, but tasks can get lost since people have to actively visit the person's page to see updates.
CONSENSUS: Staff will start doing regular reports. Let's see how it goes before we set frequency/interface guidelines. These can be little & frequent, or bigger and less frequent.
- Staff minutes are not getting sent to the General List after they get approved on the staff list.
- They are not getting put on the wiki either
- Scribes need to make sure both these things are done!
- Alex has been helping wikify minutes, maybe he can help too.
CONSENSUS: We will give scribes time to work on the minutes immediately after the meeting (30 min or so). Other staff can cover for them so they can do this. Other staff can help by approving the minutes quickly on the list. We can help remind scribes to follow up and post minutes to the general list and wiki.
- Date of AGM is already decided, we just should set the time
CONSENSUS: potluck at noon, AGM can start at 2pm
- deferred to Operations meeting
Ifny proposed to keep a workspace in the Cave (back room of the store) for now.
- We need a place to have private meetings (e.g. job interviews), impromptu meetings, do financial paperwork, prepare bank deposits etc.
- We won't have the staff platform workstation for a while (have to get permits)
- There's no room on the warehouse floor or in the mezz for a meetingspace
- Q: What about store stock? If we take out that desk we'd have more room.
- Some room has opened up in the warehouse for inventory. Also the back room can get an overhaul -- better organisation will open up more space.
- Megan proposed converting the kitchen to a meeting room, maybe for 2 hours per day. It's bigger than the Cave.
- Others pointed out that volunteers need a place to take breaks
- They like using the kitchen to relax, eat lunch, socialize.
- What if there's a meeting but a volunteer is hungry? We can't keep people out.
- The meeting space could be put into the back of the back room, or some other kind of configuration
- Cave is not ideal, but there's no good alternative atm
CONSENSUS: Keep the workspace/meeting space in the cave for now.
- viable mobos & processors are still getting destroyed, or not tested fast enough
- salable mobos get people coming into the store
- we need to create a training for mobos
- we will put a call on the list for help with documentation, troubleshooting & training
Addressing General List
- There's been a lot of emails flying about on the General List lately
- Some volunteers are upset and confused
- A unified message would help reassure volunteers.
CONSENSUS: Staff will send a collective email to the General List to help people feel better. Megan will draft it up.