October 30, 2009

Two Week Evaluation

Today marked the end of the first two weeks of my new job. I had promised myself when I started, that I would make no assumptions or judgements about people, places or things related to my employment until I had at least 10 work days under my belt. So, this afternoon before I left, I took 15 minutes to evaluate and consider the basics.

Things: I have a cubicle all to myself, which in itself should rate an "A". In the past, I was forced to share a cubicle with another person, and in a 7 by 5 foot space, I can see why prison inmates get a little testy after a while. I managed to scrounge up a chair that doesn't absolutely kill my back, and have ample desk space to spread out. Supplies aren't easy to find, but I've mounted a few before and after hours raids on a number of abandoned cubicles, and have come up with enough stuff to keep me away from Office Max for the near future. My phone works, as does my computer. Although it gets something akin to agita about mid-day and begins wheezing and hooting until I restart it. Then it's good to go for the rest of the day. I'd have someone come look at it, but it's one of those things that won't recreate itself when someone other than me is around, so instead of looking like an asshole, I'll just put up with it.

Rating: A-

Places: The site I work at is huge, with well over 5,000 employees working in a number of buildings on about a section of land. The building I work in is a large, one story affair. It has been recently gutted and refitted with tasteful carpet and furnishings. I can park very near to the door, the inside is neither to hot nor too cold and the restrooms are so nice that even my dear mother would be proud to take a dump in them. If it had a cafeteria, it would be perfect, but unfortunately, you have to walk outside and across a parking lot to get to the building with the cafeteria. By the way, the food at this place is to die for! And inexpensive!

Rating: A-

People: The places and things where you're working can be without reproach, but if the people who surround you are a bunch of psychotic assholes, it doesn't matter. I worked at this particular site and in this particular group a number of years back, and when I left, I would say that I liked 90 percent of them. And that's actually pretty good. So I didn't anticipate any problems in this regard, and aside from a few people I've encountered so far, I'd say they're a pretty good group. There is one guy who talks like Yakov Smirnov with adenoid problems and seems to annoy the people he chooses to visit, but he works in another area and only visits my neck of the woods a couple of times a day. And there is young woman who sits on the other side of my wall who continues her phone conversations with people after she has hung up and seems to tell them all of the things she wishes she'd said during the actual conversation. Plus, she likes to call her mother and discuss the texture and odor of her infant's poop. But if this is as bad as it gets, I'm in good shape.

A good friend reminded me this week that I need to hold off making judgements on the people I work closest with until I know who I can trust. And this is very good advice for anyone. I like to think I'm good at first impressions, but in reality, I don't think I've got a stellar track record in this regard. And, on the other side of the coin, I want to conduct myself so that other people think favorably of me.

It's probably to early to tell, but I'd give the people I work with ...

Rating: B+

I still miss the things I had when I wasn't working. The freedom to sit up as late as I wanted. And the choice of getting up early in the morning because I wanted to, not that I had to. Most of all, I miss the freedom to do whatever I wanted to during the day.

But when that check hits the bank every Wednesday morning at 9 am, whatever freedom was lost is easy to overcome.

I hope I'm working for a long time to come.

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