I Want Your Opinion

OK Boys and Girls, I’m about to be seperated from my job.  Unlike divorce, where a person shows up at your door and serves you papers, a “seperation” from work comes in the form of an e-mail, with a final date, non-negotioable package and ‘thanks for the memories’ sentiment.  I’ve already started, unsuccessfully thus far, looking for a new gig. Luckily, I was able to connect with a very helpful woman in my HR department who pointed out to me that my bullet-point resume didn’t even begin to cover the thngs I have done.  So, in my usual style, I have gone rogue and composed a backwards resume.  Rather than bullet points, I’ve gone with my forté, narrative style. And instead of starting with my latest position, I’ve begun with the most defining.  I’d like your input.  Tell me what you think.  Hit the “COMMENT” icon at the bottom of this entry and let me know if you like my resume, if you’d hire me, if you think I’m on the right track or if I’m missing the boat completely.  You won’t hurt my feelings, getting canned already took care of that.  Now, I just want to know if I’m on the right track.

Alexandra Harp

Profile

I have been extremely fortunate in my life to have been afforded multiple opportunities to step into several careers that have been both very similar and very different, simultaneously.  Rather than being a jack-of-all-trades, I make the effort to master each one.  I have further expanded my knowledge with a pseudo PhD in life experience.  Most importantly all my efforts have been incredibly interesting and fun.  I am a firm believer that having a good time at work makes everyone’s work better.

Experience

Professional Stand Up Comic, Self Employed, Comedy Clubs Across America 1987-1995

I always wanted to be a comedienne, but my only comedy education was watching comics on Johnny Carson.  When I started, I secured my first paying job as an emcee within 2 weeks of my first open mic night.  I wasn’t that funny yet, but I had studied a lot of comedians and I have a personality that audiences just like, so they gave me the break I needed to learn the job…on stage…in front of everyone…sweating when it bombed.  I don’t like to sweat.  So, I learned fast.  I wrote all my jokes, until I had enough material to fill several 30 minute acts.  I managed my own bookings and expanded my contacts by doing “guest sets” in any comedy club nearby. (A guest set is bold move made by marching into a new club, finding the manager, asking for a spot at the beginning of the show and trying to wow him in a 5-15 minute “audition” in front of a room full of strangers to secure a future date.  It took almost 4 years to go from terrifying (Dangerfield’s in NYC) to challenging (Zanies in Nashville) to amusing (Charlie Goodnights in Raleigh, NC).  I learned how to read crowds and how to tailor the material to the particular audience du jour and the area of the country in which I was performing (The mostly male audiences at Pierce Street Annex in Anchorage, Alaska was very different from the Sunday evening after-Church crowd at the Punchline in Atlanta).  I did my own marketing, following up with club owners regularly by phone to keep my bookings full.  I used head-shot post card mail-outs listing open dates, nearby bookings that could be piggy-backed and amusing comments to keep them aware of my availability and wit. I collected my fees, paid in cash, late at night, after the last show of the week…also after the audiences which left me alone with a big burly guy with a pocket full of cash from the bar register.  Once I was in a room alone with a man and a gun, twice I was frightened by the size and sneer of the burly guy with the cash, and dozens of times I wondered why I didn’t have a desk job.  But I always got my money and never got hurt.  It was the most fun job I ever had and I am thrilled that I had the courage and endurance to do it. I stopped after 8 years, when my daughter asked me not to travel any more.  The sound of a daughter is the only thing more important and more wonderful than the sound of laughter. 

 

Receptionist, Island Windows & Shutters, Indian Harbor Beach, FL 1995-1997

This was my first “real” job after my comedy career.  When I met the owner, and handed him my resume he told me he had no sense of humor.  I was intrigued.  I cast a spell on him and he hired me part-time to staff his showroom, handle the phones, book appointments and keep the books.  I took it upon myself to make up marketing brochures to mail out to increase sales, update his office procedures for efficiency and reorganize his bookkeeping system.  After 6 months I was working full time.  After 12 months we were married and I became the president of the company.  You are welcome to call my former boss, Steven Harp at 321-863-5833 for further information.  Please be aware that his comments will be extremely biased based on what I’m making for dinner!

 

Wife and Mother 1997-1999

Time off for good behavior as our family re-grouped and grew into the new life situations of marriage, new home, teen-age years, dogs, a lawn and the all American dream.

 

Office Manager/Receptionist, Dr. Gary Palsis, DMD, Indian Harbor Beach, FL 1999-2003

I booked all appointments, filed all insurance, managed accounts receivable, taught myself the antiquated computer’s dental program, memorized dental insurance coding and used my stellar personality to entertain patients so they wouldn’t realize that the doctor was always running late!  In general, excellent care givers are bad at both collecting fees and managing time. I was the charming muscle who pioneered the practice (and led the way for other local practices) from an insurance based payment structure to a patient ‘pay in full on day of service’ protocol.  With no dental background, I had no idea that this radical change was unheard of at the time, so by expecting no resistance, I got very little.  Further, this new collection procedure, coupled with tenacity and determination on my part reduced Accounts Receivable from $60,000 to less than $2,000 during my tenure.  My comedic social skills calmed the dental-phobes, chatted up the potential referring patients and built relationships that brought a family feeling to the practice. I increased the number of new patients in responding to telephone inquiries, referrals and mis-dials!  My motto – No phone call ends without an appointment!  I hated to leave Dr. Palsis.  My teeth had never been whiter.  But I had reached my salary cap and we both shed a tear when I said goodbye.  He is still my dentist and I urge you to call 321-773-7400 to hear him sing my praise!

 

Senior Design Consultant, CTI at Mercedes Design Center, Melbourne, FL   2003-2012

When I came to the design center there was a lot of information that the current designers “knew”.  Much was not written down, most was in different formats, and some was just made up on the spot.  None of that worked for me.  I made it my mission to organize all the reference material with up-to-date pricing, availability of products and design trends to support the wish lists of the customers and the cost lists of the builder.  I made sure that all products that were not available for display in the Design Center were accurately photographed with narratives and bound in books for the customers to easily view and understand.  I learned the Microsoft Excel program well enough to develop an Excel Selection Sheet format.  Before my arrival, all design choices were hand written on pre-preprinted selections sheets.  That change alone saved the company thousands of dollars each year in printing costs and White-Out!  Through natural progression (retirement) I became the sole designer at this location and have been servicing all of Brevard County for the past 4 years.  Although the position of Design Consultant was technically a sales job, to the home buyer I was their personal decor specialist and I valued their trust in me in that position. My artistic experience, guided the customers in personalizing their interior flooring, cabinets, countertops, fixtures, etc. to suit their lifestyles. At the same time it was my responsibility to CTI to sell flooring for them, thus earning my commissions.  To make each presentation smooth, I took time to learn about each family, their needs, wants and desires as well as their limitations.  With focus on the buyer’s lifestyle, I made the design center experience the most exciting and fun part of the new home buying process, always using the utmost care and focus in helping customers make their new house become their home.  CTI paid me in dollars, the homeowners paid me in hugs. Win-win!  This Design Center was also located in the builder’s corporate headquarters, making me the liaison extraordinaire between Mercedes Homes and CTI (HD Supply).  My manager, Phil Spade can be reached at 407-803-4286 for a glowing report on how I took a bullet for the team!

 

Education

Fordham University, Bronx, NY – 2 years General Undergraduate Classes

Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY – BA English, Certification to Teach Grades 7-12

Skills

Learning new things quickly

Good at Jeopardy

Writer, Blogger, Wordsmith  – I have recently been invited to Cancer Treatment Center of America’s Bloggers Summit in Arizona

I am an avid Living with Cancer Advocate primarily focusing on my husband’s pesky little bout with lymphoma 

Blog Content : Life, Laughter and Lymphoma

http:///www.theworldaccordingtoalexandra.com

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One thought on “I Want Your Opinion

  1. Absolutely, your hired! Only wish I had a job to offer. Why would any employer not want to hire a fresh breathe of air into any company. A smile goes a long way.

    Like

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