Sunday, January 10, 2010

Newbie Jobbie

I went to this new job thinking that if I could quickly get past that "new person" fog of cluelessness, and get set up with the access and equipment that I needed, then getting busily to work would be a welcome change for me.


I know from my own experiences and seeing how contractors were often treated at GM that things don't often go that smoothly. Still, I chose to go in with a hopeful and positive attitude about it.

When I got to the lobby at my designated time I found an anxious looking woman sitting there. I took a guess and asked her if she was starting a new job today. She was, and I introduced myself and learned that her name is MaryAnn.

After quite a while a very rushed man whom I had interviewed with came out and led us over to a busy woman named Robin who then led us to Jessie and told her that she would be responsible for orienting us to the job that day. Robin left and we sat down with Jessie, who looked unsure of what to do. I thought she looked extremely young and asked her how long she'd been with the company.

"Oh, I'm just an intern!" She told us and explained how she'd be going back to school in February. I suggested that she show us how things are organized in the online system and any procedures that she knew of that were published online. We did that for most of the morning had probably exhausted most of her knowledge. I suggested that we find Robin and ask if there were plans to set us up with computers, desks, and access badges.

Robin was still seeming very busy but she did say that she thought someone had put in orders for computers, and that she knew of at least one desk in the area and maybe there was another one somewhere else that could be available. We walked over to the known open desk and I quickly surveyed the area. There was an actual window nearby, and a man across the aisle who was tall with white hair. I thought of good old Bob. This guy looked too grumpy to ever be singing me showtunes but, still, there's comfort in the familiar. When Robin asked who wanted this desk and MaryAnn paused I quickly jumped in and said I would take it! Assertive Melinda!

I later felt slightly guilty when poor MaryAnn was shuffled around to different desks in a faraway part of the building. I decided that I would try to be helpful to her however I could, to make up for it.

I ended up having to sit at my nice new desk without a computer trying not to look useless as all of the busy people around pretty much ignored me for the next two days. I hated that but tried to focus on the positives as I found them:

-The building was kept at a comfortable temperature for doing desk work. How nice it would be not to shiver in my coat trying to type with numb fingers!

-There is a fully stocked supply cabinet! I tried not to stagger backwards in shock as I was invited to take what I needed from the selection of post-its and pens, something they had stopped offering at GM in response to some lucky fool's cost savings suggestion.

-The parking is awesome, this is a building with sort of spread-out wings and there are parking spots all around. I could look out of one of the windowed doors and see my car waiting happily for me just outside. Then I noticed that someone had parked an identical Blue Saturn VUE right next to it. I have decided that I will find out the owner is and they will be my friend.

-This place is only slightly closer than where I used to work but somehow it cuts out the worst part of the drive and my commute is a good 15 minutes or more shorter. Also there are less people on the road these days. Now the drive feels reasonable as opposed to unbearable, even when we got hit with a big snowstorm on the second day.

I continue to be unclear about the reporting structure around there, and have not been able to see any kind of org chart. Back at GM that was always the one thing everyone wanted you to know was who-reports-to-who, even if it was in some zany basketweave matrix. To a some people that was the only thing they needed to know. I guess I can figure it out somehow.

I did eventually get a computer and start to understand what my job will be and how to do it. MaryAnn is still waiting for hers. I've been showing her the things I learn when I can. I'm kind of glad that this is only a short-term assignment. I'm even more glad to have That First Week behind me, and looking forward to finally getting to do some productive work.


Anonymous said...

Great description. You will do just fine there. Wonder how many there are on the permanent payroll? And why didn't you have a first day appointment with HR? Maybe you did that before you began-but they do some orientation. Are you expected to lean toward 'Ol Grumpy and call out "Is it payday yet?" Aunt C.

Anonymous said...

Keep that positive outlook going Mindy!
Mary Beth

Heather Leigh said...

Welcom back to the world of the working!

Rebecca Binno Savage said...

That is a lot of positive! I hope the work part is going ok too! And it seems like there are some things to like about it. Keep trying!

Jenny said...

Congratulations Mindy. I'm so happy you found a job. Could you please send some of those vibes my way? :-)