Sunday, January 11, 2009

Week One Report

No one ever told me work would be tiring. After all the glamorization of work from Disney movies, Office Space and TV shows like Murphy Brown, The Office and Cheers, I was prepared for a land of milk and honey. Thankfully, it isn't like the failed Fred Savage show Working.

The week started ominously with the miscommunication regarding my first day. After a prototypical night-before-a-new-job night's sleep, I went through my morning work routine then hit the roads. Arriving early, I was greeted by the receptionist, who was confused about my attendance. Turns out there was an error in my offer letter. My boss had told me Tuesday would be my first day, but the letter from HR informed me that I should show up Monday. My boss was right and HR was wrong. After a quick chat with my boss, it was back on the roads for home. The extra day provided me the chance to setup a new bank account and get insurance squared away on my new ride.

My second first day proved more standard. I met with HR and discussed the benefits available, which is pretty exciting. After an apology about the first day debacle, I asked "I still get paid for Monday, right?" The office does take Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in case you wondered.

The balance of the day and the week was spent training with my coworkers, who are all very nice and helpful. I have a pretty firm grasp on the role I'll play and what they strive for. Next week will be my final week of training before I am let loose on the world to write captivating copy and impress clients everywhere. Look out world.

Odd things about working:
  • Being followed into the Mens room. I've been followed in there twice. Both times I ended up washing my hands and trying to chat while darting my eyes all around the small room avoiding eye contact. Seriously, where am I supposed to look? Come on now. I appreciate my coworkers making an effort to get to know me, but is the Mens room the proper place for women?
  • The setup of this office is a bit peculiar. Taking its cue from interior design shows on HGTV, they went for an open floor plan. Avoiding the stigma of cubicle land, they opted for half cubicles so you can see everyone and subsequently they can see you. It's nice in a way, but the majority of people in the office are sales folk who are always on the phone pursuing clients.
  • De facto segregation in the cafeteria.
  • A tale of two parking lots. There is an upper lot that is much closer to the entrance and a lower lot that has a gate. If you want to park closer you need to get to work earlier. This incentive and competition for 30 spots is a source of office conversation. After reading a few Econ books, the Elite lot as I'm dubbing it, encourages people to get to work early, while also making those who arrive later feel less of themselves. Well played.
  • Casual dress. Once again, to the chagrin of my sister, I have landed a job with a very "relaxed" dress code. Office attire includes jeans and t-shirts.
  • Inter-Office politics: The company I work for is part of a bigger company that occupies 95% of the huge building. There is some animosity toward my company for its casual dress. This acrimony is taken out on the field during the summer when they play Wiffle ball. I've been warned.
  • Computer restrictions
  • I've dealt with this before, but it's the bane of my existence. Is iTunes really going to bring the company down? I need my Grammar Girl and The Bugle podcasts.
  • Last but not least, learning to speak proper English. A few of my coworkers are from the UK. Therefore, I am on the accelerated course to learning to speak British. There's another bullet point on my resume. I plan on keeping a log of new words I come across. Last week I learned naffie (corny), no worries mate (I knew this one), brilliant and cheers. There were others but I neglected to write them down.

    Late last week I learned the master plan for my role. I'll be doing copy writing and split the account management roles with one of the people on the creative team. Yeah responsibility!

    I'll do better next week, if they let me in.