Week One – A Journal


AMTRAK TRAIN BACKS UP TO HOOK UP WITH PASSENGE...

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Monday

Well, here it is, day one, and so far, not so bad. I don’t have much to compare it with, of course – other than PDE, I haven’t had a real “first day” in a VERY long time. (And of course there is little to base that on – just a few hours into day one.) Nothing equivalent existed with WKH, as I was just consulting and not actually in the office much, and it was always a different circumstance at Thomson – usually moving from one group to another. Even the very first start day I had moved over from being a temp contractor, so it wasn’t really similar then either.

When comparing today with PDE’s first day, the differences are glaring. The people seem to be more palatable here, which is nice, and although the space is a little more shared than I am used to, I have been somewhat able to settle in. The biggest difference, though, is that they are prepared for me. Not that I have any real work yet, but at PDE everything was totally up in the air, hectic and crazed. Here at least they’ve prepared some training materials, I got to have an initial meeting with my manager, and I have a general idea, at least, of what will be expected of me going forward.

Well, there are another 100 minutes left in today. Fine. I can deal with it. One day down (almost), a million to go.

.

Tuesday

I had another night of troubled sleep, worrying about missing the alarm. I made it to the bus and then to the office by 8:00. It’s tough to get used to a new routine.

The office is empty at this time – standard work hours are 9:00-5:00. Thanks to the bus schedule, I did talk with my boss about working from 8:30-4:30, so we’ll see how that goes today.

I have a lot of reading to do – I read it all yesterday, but since I have the time I want to go through everything a little bit closer today. We’ll see how that goes, but it promises to be a long, dry sort of day.

Be that as it may, it’s a job – and a good one, by all indications. Better than my last one, to be sure. And although my overall desire to work is even less than it had been – quite a poor level – I think with a little time I can get into this a whole lot more than the last place I worked.

Wish me luck.

.

Wednesday

Day three on the job, and so far I can’t complain too much. No I don’t like the bus, not at all, but it’s not totally unbearable. Sure, it’s no ride on Amtrak, like I was doing to Harrisburg each day, but the ride is a touch shorter, and just knowing that the cost is SO much less I really can’t say anything in comparison.

The first work request has actually come through, so that should occupy me for a tiny amount of time. I have more prep work on a couple of other issues to deal with, and hopefully this first Hump Day at the new gig will pass quickly enough.

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Thursday

Day four and I am the first one in to a quiet, dark office. My boss will be traveling today and tomorrow, along with one of my four teammates (another of whom is working from home tomorrow), so although the whole general area might be as busy as usual, it should prove particularly quiet for me – not a circumstance I actually want on my first week.

I finished studying the SQL tables and data structure yesterday – I suppose I will do more of the same today, maybe mapping out some of the relationships. I’m not sure what else to work on, other than a quick task on the customer issue that was raised yesterday.

So far I do like the place – the people are much more to my taste than at my previous place. They’re mostly youngish – within ten years of my age, give or take, for the bulk of people I have met thus far – and most of the conversations I have overheard in this land of not-quite-cubicles have been of a more interesting variety than I’ve heard in a long time.

Well, I guess I’ll get back to it. Just two more days and this first week is done.

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Friday

Another day of being the first one in the office – there was only one car in the parking lot when I arrived today. Ah, Fridays.

With my boss and one colleague out on a customer visit, and another colleague working from home (a perk enjoyed on a weekly basis here), it should prove quite quiet here today. On the other hand, it is “Pizza Friday”, a monthly occasion when the boss treats the whole company to lunch. Although I am not usually one of those who jumps excitedly at free food, everyone here has been talking about this benefit which is just resuming after a successful close to 2011.

Today should pan out to be a lot of playing – playing with the products by running sample queries and projects, reading more about the industry on the internet, and otherhow just trying to pass these last eight hours of my first week.

All in all, it has been a good one. A job is a job, certainly, and the first week of almost anything is hardly enough to make an informed judgment. That being said, the people here have been nice, the work seems like it will be challenging, and frankly, just having my salary back to (and slightly above) its old level fills me with a sense of being appreciated as a professional.

I don’t really know what the future holds in store for me, but then again, who does? Whether I stay here a year or ten years is totally unforeseeable at this point. Whether I truly will be happy here – challenging my brain properly, making friends, actually enjoying coming in to work – remains to be seen. But I have to say, I do like what I’ve seen so far.

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