Sunday, August 12, 2012

The New Job: Week One

It's been a long time since I was so happy for the weekend.

The hardest part of this job for me is going to be that it's not clearly defined. They want me to come in and tell them what needs to be changed, what processes can be more efficient, what procedures can be put in place to maximize profits.  This means a lot of putting numbers in various spreadsheets and then analyzing them. It would be so much easier to come in and just be trained to do something, to look at how it's been done before and how other people are doing it and then do it myself, instead of having to make it all up from scratch.

I have a lot of trouble not putting too much pressure on myself. Since there are no defined parameters, there's nothing stopping me from feeling like I have to do everything right away. Friday afternoon my new boss (who seems nice) asked me to put together this giant mass of numbers to look for a pattern, and I'm either going to have to make a miraculous discovery about Excel tomorrow morning or tell him that it'll take me forever to do what he asked for, and make sure he thinks it's worth it. Especially given that the main program I need to be using is not set up at all yet, so no changes can really be made until that's done.

I literally almost cried at my desk. Then I forced myself to calm down and regain perspective. He doesn't have a clear idea of exactly what he asked, that's why he isn't doing it himself, that's why they hired me. There has been zero reason to think everyone isn't fine with my progress so far, and yet my default position seems to be to beat myself up for not doing enough. I don't know why I am so hard on myself, but it's going to be my focus now to STOP DOING THAT. I'm a smart person, things take as long as they take, that's all.  Realistically, so far I think I'm doing great, really.

Everyone who works there has been so nice. It makes me kind of sad to remember my former job, in retrospect the lack of financial support seems crippling. Everything is just so pretty and new and clean at this new company. At my former company, due to budget cuts they wouldn't give me a 2012 calendar. At this new place, they set up a giant pile of fancy office supplies on my desk (although now that I think of it, they didn't include a calendar, ha) and told me to just ask for whatever else I might need.  Maybe tomorrow I'll ask for a calendar, just to see what happens.

Unfortunately my desk is in the call center. My boss and the director of the call center both sort of apologized for that, apparently this company has grown so much so quickly that they are running out of space. It's not bad, except for the fact that this call center is dedicated to sales, and therefore they try to keep a very upbeat and energetic atmosphere. Which means relatively loud music. Seriously, sometime try to look at millions of teeny numbers on a spreadsheet the size of Canada and make sense of it while Call Me Maybe reverberates in your head. I actually tried earplugs on Friday, but they didn't help.

They also put me right next to Loud Guy. I am familiar with him, he works in every call center that has ever existed. And he never stays seated, he stands up and faces every direction and paces to and fro as far as his headset cord will let him. And because this is a call center with only one type of call coming in, he says the exact same sales spiel every single time. I know it by heart now. And I can tell by the slight variations if he's getting close to a sale, or losing it.

On the other side of me is Trainer Lady, and her tiny cubicle is piled high with cardboard boxes full of training binders and brochures and things. There's almost no room for her chair because of all the stuff stacked around her on the floor. She's been very sweet to help me with my computer woes (I still don't have access to the department drive), even though she's an older lady who admittedly is not an expert with computers.

Overall it went well, I think.  Last night Greg and I celebrated with dinner at the Melting Pot, a place I have wanted to go but have balked at the price. I had a dirty martini and steak and shrimp and cheesecake dipped in chocolate, and it was a very nice and celebratory Date Night.

Tomorrow begins my new determination to be nice to myself for a change, dammit.

Blurry pic our Serbian/Greek server took with Greg's iPhone