Friday, September 11, 2009

Work: What's Old and What's New

So, I've had my first (abbreviated) week at work, which means I am now an expert and can start writing blog posts about it. Thought I'd start with the things that don't ever seem to change and then talk about the new and different stuff. Here you go:

What's Old

1. Computers and printers hate each other, would much rather not talk to each other ever, and take it out on me (I guess because I'm always trying to get them to get along). This means that I could work for any company in the world and still have days like today, in which, instead of getting any real work done, I spend six hours trying to hook up a printer/fax machine that still isn't working properly, and I am doomed always to have to resort to "work-around" solutions.

2. The people who work in IT at every company are absolute saints. This week, I met St. Skip (who is already sick of me and how ditzy and inept I am, I'm sure). St. Skip had the presence of mind to tell me that it's good to be a Luddite. We spent so much time on the phone chatting today (yes, I was chatting on the phone. See how desperate I was?) while waiting for things to load and unload that I feel like we've known each other for years (it helps that he's from Philly, although living in California now, and actually knows this area).

3. People who can't string two coherent sentences together will always think they have a great idea for a book and want someone to publish it. Most likely, they will approach a completely inappropriate publishing company (say, an academic publishing company when they've got a memoir all about the time they were abducted by aliens who took them on a roller coaster ride to their galaxy).

4. I will always think there are enough hours in the day to accomplish the twelve things I have on my to-do list, will always forget that I might have to spend 3 hours chatting with St. Skip or the author who was abducted by aliens, and will always get to the end of the day despairing that only three things have been crossed off the to-do list. (Even when I have promised, promised, promised myself that with this job things are going to be different.)

5. Every day, some email will appear in my box that might as well have been written in Chinese for all that I can understand it. Usually, it has something to do with systems and is chock-full of acronyms.

What's New:

1. A company that is truly set up for telecommuting. What? You've sent me a phone? And that phone plugs into my wireless router? And now people call me on a number with a California area code, and I never see the bill, and I never have to remember to submit said bill for reimbursement in a timely fashion to avoid having accounting people screaming for my head on a platter? How cool is that???

2. I am promptly addressing all emails, keeping them sorted and organized, immediately deleting what can be deleted, and will never again have five billion email messages hanging around with nowhere to go and no time to organize them (although I might get a wee bit behind on days that I spend urging computers and printers to get along with each other).

3. A user-friendly, intuitive, company computer system. Really. I'm supposed to get some training on it, and I suppose I will, but I've already been playing around with it and have figured out quite a lot, because it's well-designed and makes sense.

4. Already knowing so many people on my first day of the job (lots of colleagues from the company I worked prior to my last job now work for this company). It was so nice to log into my email on that first day and to have so many people welcoming me back and telling me they'd missed me.

5. Feeling like I can't wait to get to work every morning, and that what? This is a weekend? And I have to wait till Monday to contact people and pursue all these thousands of ideas I have? (Okay, this feeling won't last, I am sure, but right now, I am loving the job and am full of ideas of things I want to do.)


Charlotte said...

Hooray Emily! Glad to hear it is going so well. I wish you many more happy weeks and months.

litlove said...

Hurray! This new job sounds like a good thing. I was going to ask you if you were still working from home, but I can see now that you are. Will you have to travel much?

And the alien invasion writer made me laugh. Here's hoping s/he doesn't become a regular fixture in your day!

Courtney said...

Yay!So happy to hear it's been a (mostly) fabulous return to the world of work. And yes, computers and printers will never, ever, ever get one point five of us, with a combined total of 13 different degrees, couldn't get the damn printer to work.

Dorothy W. said...

I'm glad things are going well (computer issues aside). It sounds great to be returning to work with familiar people, and with a great IT department. What a difference that makes! Making friends with the tech people should surely be the first order of business in any new job, right?

Stefanie said...

So glad things are off to a good start in spite of computer troubles but at least you got to meet St. Skip!

ZoesMom said...

I'm really glad you're off to a good start. It is great to have you as a colleague!

I swore I would keep my inbox organized, but somehow lately it has gotten completely out of control. Let me know if you come up with any good management techniques for that.

Emily Barton said...

Charlotte, thanks! It continues to go well even into the second week.

Litlove, nowhere near the travel I did before, so that's going to be nice.

Courtney, all those heads and 13 degrees? Well, now I don't feel so bad...

Dorr, I always buddy up to the tech people first (I'm shameless that way).

Stef, I keep thinking I need you to move next door with all your IT experience. Want to come to PA?

ZM, yes, it's great to be colleagues (now, if only we could have lunch together more often). So far, I have no special email techniques, just dealing with everything that comes in as soon as I can and creating all kinds of files to dump stuff (which probably means losing lots of stuff when I can't remember where I filed it).