Friday, October 06, 2006

How Hard Must a Girl Blog to Get a Job?

Apparently it takes more than 176 posts because that's how many times I've posted about Taco Bell (or something) and while a large percentage of those posts have been complimentary of all things Taco Bell, I have yet to receive a job offer from the Irving Headquarters or, at the very least, a year's supply of free YUM! brands. I think I deserve it. BUt then again, I think I deserve a lot of things I don't have. I probably shouldn't start in on that discussion. It is a slippery slope to doomsday and locking myself in my apartment this rainy weekend. I don't want to encourage that.

Which brings me back to the very specific topic at hand: how much heart and time and energy does a girl have to throw into a company in order to receive a handsomely paid and creativity-based job? I can't give anymore, Taco Bell. And please don't tell me I just need to "apply" for a position. What I want is beyond an established position. I want to do exactly what I do now only for money and healthcare, I will stay home all day and write and research and promote Taco Bell. Hell, I'll even go around to Taco Bells and test the food, serving compliments and complaints for the betterment of the company.

My friend Jen saw a briefcase on the baggage carosel recently with a Taco Bell Corporate Headquarters tag, clearly to belonging to a higher-up in the company. Obviously, she hoped to search him out, give him my business card, complete with blog site, and set me up with a nice pension plan. Unfortunately, I do not have said business cards. I will take the blame for that downfall in my plan.

The Taco Bell Headquarters sound like a lot of fun! I read this on the website today, highlighted are the reasons why I am envious and will cry over my next enchirito because I will never live in Irving, CA with all the beans and money I could ever want:

We spend nearly a third of each day, every Monday through Friday, toiling away at work. Some of us make the widgets; others sell them. And then there are those who manage the makers and the sellers. If everyone does his job and gets along, work can be just fine. But when work is about more than the making and the selling – when a group of like-minded people commit to the company mission with passion and dedication and enthusiasm – a workplace can be transformed into a destination where everyone finds fulfillment. Here are our editors’ picks for our ninth annual list of the Best Companies to Work for in Orange County.

Taco Bell Corp.Founded: 1962Headquartered:
Irvine Leader: Emil Brolick, president
Employees: 550 at the Restaurant Support Center in Irvine; 150,000 company-wideRevenue: $6.2 billion
Best Perk: A colorful, whimsical work environment that inspires creativity and contentment

From the outside, Taco Bell’s 20-story headquarters on Von Karman looks like any other contemporary corporate tower, but it’s a party inside. The lobby is Disneyesque, both retro and futuristic, with sleek curves and a pictorial timeline of the company, which was founded in 1962 on Firestone Avenue in Downey. It is a bright, expansive Southwestern-style room that makes you feel good as you walk through the door, a place where you want to linger.

The colorful restaurant-inspired décor continues on each floor, clearly proclaiming that this is a fun place to work. The Taco Bell Chihuahua and sombrero are enshrined behind glass, while the latest Taco Bell commercials play on video screens.

Each department has its own themed conference room, such as the Hawaiian-inspired Luau Room and the Dug-Out Room with a wall mural of the field at Angel Stadium.

There is a food court in the basement, a gym, a dry cleaner, a travel agent and a car wash.

So why all the emphasis on the environment? Here’s a clue: A recent survey found that 93% of advertising and marketing executives believe office layout, décor and lighting have a significant impact on workplace creativity. And for the 550 people who work here, creativity is the coin of the realm.

This is the brain trust for a 6,200-restaurant empire that is both pop culture icon and economical dining choice. New food items, training programs and marketing campaigns are developed on Von Karman. If innovation fails here, the whole enterprise falters.

So innovation, flexibility and fun are encouraged. The marketing department, for instance, recently took a field trip to Santa Monica during work hours just to see what’s happening out there in the hip world of coastal Los Angeles. “ It was a way to get some fresh ideas and see what is hot,” says Kevin Weissman, director of human resources. “They had an eye out for captivating things to tie our brand to.”

The food innovation department had a tailgate party on the roof of the parking garage on opening day of the baseball season, and the whole company has big blowout parties on Halloween, Christmas and other occasions.

There are summer and holiday hours to allow people more personal flexibility. “For summer hours, you come in 15 minutes early each day during the week and work half an hour later, then take off at noon or 1 p.m. on Friday,” says Weissman. “We do the same thing on holidays, so people can beat the crowds when they are shopping.”

“ Taco Bell knows how important it is to maintain a balance between work and family,” says Senior Manager Fred Gatchell. “The summer hours give me more time for visits with my 80-year-old mother, who has grown fond of the routine. She starts asking me in late spring when the summer hours are going to start.”

The freedom people here enjoy doesn’t transgress on hard work and professionalism, and it has clearly paid off.

“ We have seen sales growth at existing stores for 40 consecutive months,” says Weissman.
Which is another reason it is fun to work here: “It’s fun to work for a winner,” says Rob Poetsch, director of public relations. “This is a great brand.”

“ Fun” is sometimes overrated in the workplace. Loud-laughing, back-slapping co-workers can be more of an annoyance than an incentive. But this place radiates the kind of fun that goes hand-in-hand with light hearts and willing hands.

“ You can’t walk through this building without getting a smile or friendly greeting,” says employee Chris Pizula.

“ Many of the people I work with are good friends – both in and out of the office,” says marketing analyst Suzanne Jarmusz. “They care about my health and happiness. It’s an amazingly supportive, ‘people-first’ environment.”

“ While most workers are wondering if dream jobs exist somewhere over the rainbow, we at Taco Bell are laughing the day away,” adds operations analyst Pam Kalt. “All is well at the bell!”

— By Steve Thomas - OC METRO Magazine


Blogger JenC said...

HEY!! I made the blog!! HOORAY! I did try to stalk the owner of the TB briefcase but Colin thought we should probably leave the BWI baggage pick-up area... I'll keep looking!

8:59:00 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Colin--so practical.
I'll work on the business cards.

12:11:00 PM  

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