Monday, October 28, 2002

First Day

Today was my first day at my new job. It’s been a really long time since I’ve worked in an office and the feelings were strange yet familiar. It was a lot like being warm and getting goose bumps, or being so cold your skin burns. Odd opposite feelings.

I’ve had a lot of first days. More than I would have imagined having at my age. I used to feel comfortable changing jobs every three to four years. Now I’m just happy to last longer than six months. Actually I am hoping to find someplace that I can stay for a long while. I really hope that this will be that place.

Some typical new day things - spending way too long to pick out the perfect first impression outfit. In this case also one that will be with me for the rest of my time at this job as they took my picture in it. More than one person showed me their pictures after moaning about how they won’t retake your picture no matter how bad you look or how much you’ve changed. After looking at some of these really old pictures I understand completely. And yes, my id picture looks okay.

I’m a boss again. So today I had people anticipating my arrival with a certain nervousness of change. Yes I’ll be changing things, but they’ll mostly be good things. I’ve run enough help desks to know what needs to be in place to make everyone happy (users, staff and management). So I’ll spend time getting people to relax and show me how things work around here. Aside from getting my personal infrastructure set up (y’know email, telephone, network and application access) I talk to a lot of people and get a feel for the place. In my last job I talk so much that I ended up losing my voice for a week. (Okay it was probably allergies but talking myself horse sounded better). Once that happens it’s usually obvious what needs to get done and in what order in needs to be done. It’s like a puzzle.

I need to learn the system. How do I get stuff done around here? I’m starting to understand how big things are. The last three jobs were for smaller companies. Companies that were about the size of my division, which in this case is about 2500 people. I’ll have to figure out how many different groups or divisions there are so that you too can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people. But things seem cozy enough. I’ve met lots of friendly people who stopped by to say hi to the new kid. That was really nice.

I also have to get a new routine. What time do I get up, do I go to the gym before or after work, what do I wear and how do I get to work. Right now I walk up 4 blocks and catch a bus. I’d like to maybe walk to or from work, but I need to get used to getting up early first. Doing contract work for so long turned me back into a lazy sleepy head. I think sleeping is one of my favorite things and a really good day is one where I can sleep as long as possible.

The first day is always stressful. I hate that part. Every time I think that this was a great move I get to make a fresh start and do things better this time. Which contradicts my doubts of picking this place because the job wasn’t exactly as it was sold to me. Or else everything is going too fast and I get overwhelmed. Or even worse, it’s too slow and I’m numbingly bored trying to find things to do to get me through to the end of the day.

But mostly I try to think about the good things. The new friends I’ll make. The people who will find it easier to do their jobs because of things I do. The bills that I can pay and the COBRA payment that I won’t have to pay anymore because with a new job are new benefits. Now I just need to figure out how to use this information to get me out of bed an hour and half earlier than I’m accustomed.

Have you been the new kid lately?

No comments: