Sunday, April 14, 2013

So, the new job

one more brown/ red leaf :)

So, I started the new job on Monday.

It's been very weird. Weird to not have anything that I really have to do (well, on days 1.5), weird to be in such an organised team (I'm used to being the most on-top-of-things person and now I'm not) and weird that I'm excited about not knowing a thing.

I said to Julia that I'll be happier once I know my stuff. It's really hard for me not knowing anything.

However, I'm officially the industry expert in the team because they all have consultancy experience, but none in our industry.

Which has been a bright spot this week to actually have some expertise :)

cityscape doodle by Cat

Our work goes in a 5-week cycle of analysis and then 4 months of implementation. I already know I'm going to LOVE the implementation but I'm a teensy bit scared of the next 4 weeks' intensity.

More about that later.

On this project, we're a team of 4 - two girls and two boys. The lead is a really nice guy who knows his stuff and aside from that, is really reasonable, objective and good with the people stuff too. One team member was extremely combative in a meeting, I was even tense but he was amazing - stayed cool, navigated that beautifully and moved on successfully.

Something cool happened - in that meeting, I agreed with his point of view, this other person was on the other side, and then a few days later, we found we're right. Not that it's about right and wrong; it was just nice for ME (the newbie) to know my instincts haven't failed me.

This same girl seems to have a huge chip on her shoulder and I'm wondering if it's not about the time-keeping. You see, she's a new mom.

my word of the year doodle on my home desk - also by Cat :)
They have warned me (both in the interview) and in coffee chats that it's going to be hard... and I'm not used to time-intensive work anymore. I'm used to outcomes-based work; you do your stuff and mostly you do work a full day on average if you pull your weight but no one consciously checks your time, etc.

However, we bill out our time so we have to keep time cards. So on Thursday I discovered that even though my secret company requires 7.5 hours plus lunch a day, this manager wants us to work 9 hours. I said, "well, my letter of appointment says "all other conditions of employment remain unchanged" and so I'll be working 7.5 hours". There were four big eyes around the table....Hmmm, we'll see. I do have small babies at home and would never have accepted a position to work 10-hour days, except infrequently.

I'm also worried (very) about just keeping up to date with work friends (don't laugh) and my relationships in the company. We have 4 hours of non-client work per week (Fridays 12 - 4). However, 12 - 1 is team lunch, 2 - 4 is team meeting/ learning session and once a month 4 - 5 team drinkds.

if you're keeping up (well done - you rock!), you'll see there's an hour in there to relax and do emails and such.

Already I've had to decline ALL four of our benefit sessions (the sessions where HR discuss our group risk benefits aka how much I'm worth if I die or become disabled. normally not riveting content but remember I'm weird, I love this stuff) simply because I'm off site or have other meetings over that time.

So obviously this is on my list to speak to the manager.

Do you think I should play it by ear for now or should I clarify all these things on Monday?

But aside from that, and learning all this new terminology and a new computer programme which I'm told is easy (, I'm enjoying using my brain in a totally different way.

This whole week I've left work absolutely shattered. In bed by 10 - 10:30 which is two hours early for me.

On the bright side, at least I'm getting my sleep.

The other bright side is that the people are really, really nice. If you're friends on FB you'll have seen the lovely flowers they got me and they also did welcome eats for me on Friday (shame, I had to have a tiny piece of carrot cake just to show my gratitude and "team spirit" even though I'm on Weigh-Less). They really have made me feel very welcome and answer my questions nicely.

my babies last week - I'll post these during the week but I just love the sunlight streaming into the study

How has your week been?

PS while looking for pics, my hair just landed in my coffee and I didn't even notice. Yes, about 5 cm is soaked. Everybody say GROSS!
PPS no, still not 100s. Prayer still welcome.


  1. Vi.sio is easy. Loads of how-to videos on youtube too. In a month or two you will wonder if there really was ever a time you didn't know this stuff.

  2. I agree with you. To work longer hours is not in question especially with your children. I too would have said that without feeling a tad bit bad.

  3. you normally go to be at MIDNIGHT! Wow. I would never survive. I try to be in bed by 9:30 otherwise I am pretty useless the next day. What time do you get up?

    Also, I would not agree to the extra hours either.

  4. I think talk it out. Really its the only way. And so love that you used my doodles!

  5. Well in line with your word of the year maybe you should wait it out a bit? The biggest issue for me would be the time and you have laid your peg in the sand on that one. So I would wait it out a little bit.

  6. I'm sure you'll find your feet in no time and keeping timesheets is quite an adjustment if you're not used to it! I agree with you on the hours, Steamcleanere knows exactly where I stand on the issue too, I am willing to put in a bit of extra time on occasion but not as an every day thing. Luckily we had the conversation right at the start, and it's never been an issue between us.

  7. So what did you end up doing? How did it go?
    First thing first I'd establish what I'm willing to give. False expectations wouldn't be good for anyone. Around here family comes first. Pretty sure I offended a girl a work with that this weekend!

  8. Thank you for the update, Marcia! I've been so anxious to hear how things are going! I'm so glad to hear you're being challenging in a very good way. I hope between that and being in a climate of other "organized" people, you'll feel at home very soon.

    I'm really proud of you for standing your ground about the hours, early on, too. I think that's the best thing for everyone, for you to outline your expectations, and understand those of you as clearly as possible. I would think -- given that the others there are "organizers" -- they would appreciate that, too.

  9. Oh, and on the "knowing what to do" note...I used to always say that new employees could expect not to feel totally comfortable / like they knew what was going on most / all of the time only after a good 4 to 6 months. Even just moving positions within the company, I'd outline 3 months on average. That always feels like such a long time, but I think it's good to try to internalize that it's an involved *process* in acclimating to a new position / company.

  10. Mmmm...your work situation is a bit tricky. We are expected to deliver a 40 hour week which essentially equals a 9 hour day with 1 hour deducted for lunch. I thought that this was standard? I say clear it up with the boss - I do think though that if your terms of employment are meant to remain the same then it's a no-brainer.


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