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More Dispatches From the Front

 
 
jespah
 
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 06:00 pm
www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LY9p8Spe7Y

Day One
I learned just how overdressed you can be on a first day on a new job. The answer is: very. As in, I think I was the only person in the building wearing a blazer. Even the VP types were not beblazered. And I wore a skirt! And pantyhose! I think I saw one other person in anything skirtesque, and it was more like a sundress. As in, spaghetti straps, no hose and sandals.

Tomorrow, I wear chinos, a decent top and loafers.

I also brought some stuff but need to bring more. I eat oatmeal every day (part of the diet thang) and there are no paper cups, which was my bowl of choice at my last gig. I had to make do with a plastic cup and was concerned it would burst. That woulda been delightful, my first day and oatmeal all over me. At least it didn't happen. Anyway, I need to buy myself what is essentially a mess kit. Someone, somewhere out there, is going to make a mint selling individual knife-fork-spoon and bowl-plate combos for professional folk like myself. Market it as saving the environment. Green Urban Camping. Kindly give me a share of the royalties. Thanks in advance.

It was a confusing day, more than anything else. As in, should I take the benefits? Should I buy more life insurance? What the heck does this big-ass memo say? Is it in English? What about the two meetings I went to? Do HR people ever stop being perky? Do training people also drink the perk-o-lated Kool-Aid? Is Gargamel perk-o-lated? Inquring minds want to know.

My boss, by the way, wasn't even in, as there is an option to work at home and so the boss took it. I got some emails but nada else. I have a peer, too, who sits next door. The peer comes in late, I'll start to come in early (I'm one of those disgusting morning people) and we'll each have about two hours without the other one around. Not that this person isn't pleasant, but we will be more or less joined at the hip so I'm figuring that that will keep anything from getting hairy between us. Plus the database server will catch a break for four hours each day if we do this. Much good can come from it.

Tonight I'm mainly just mentally winding down. I'm a little overwhelmed and very tired, but it's a good tired. I'm happy, too, happier than I have been starting a new job in a really long time.

Nicknames will come later, when my head is less swimmy. Enjoy the video.
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 06:09 pm
Oh boy, oh boy, I'm signing up for your reports.
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Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 06:33 pm
bookmarking

(Thanks for the info jespah on an already hectic day!)
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 06:45 pm
Happy new job!

We found some super-cool grown-up mess kits while discussing kids' lunches, there must be a link somewhere on my thread. I'll go look for it later.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 06:50 pm
Here's a quick link -- there was a cooler one but it wasn't in stock anymore. This site has some good stuff too (that still seems to be in stock):

http://www.theconsumerlink.com/fitnfresh
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 06:52 pm
try a university convenience store. that's where i get my mess kits. they have a one plate, one bowl, one set of silverware sturdy plastic combo, i've owned it for the last three years, stll as good as new.

happy new job!
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 09:05 pm
Congratulations on getting through the first day! It's all downhill from here. I'm glad to hear that it's a casually dressed group.

I completely concur on switching up the hours with your "peer." I do the same thing with mine - I work 7:30-4, unless I put in overtime in the evening; she comes in between 8 & 9 and stays until 5 or 6 because she does the 9/80 thing. But then sometimes she annoyingly comes in earlier than me so she can leave early. I much prefer the days when I can get a little time in before she arrives.
0 Replies
 
margo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 09:25 pm
Woo-hoo! New depatches!

I'm listening!
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 03:42 am
Smile

Thank you all, you're too kind. Ah, the BU Bookstore! Pope!

Anyway, I ordered something from Amazon but will also head to the BU 'store, maybe on the way home tonight. Good to know and that makes perfect sense. Right now I am wearing the aforementioned chinos and need a belt with 'em. Verra loose in the waist, but my monster hips are holding 'em up just fine. More to come later ... Smile
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FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 06:42 am
Congrats on the new job! Looking forward to the new nicknames.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 09:12 am
Chinos will be very helpful when hiking in Boston winds.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 06:24 pm
You can't get there from here
Day Two
It's easy to get to my cube.

You just walk in the front by the receptionist and say hi, then walk through the air lock (the card reader thingie), then down a tiny hall. Turn left as that's the only thing you can do, shy of backing up. Walk down a slightly smaller hall until you get to the American flag. Salute and turn right, going down a somewhat longer hall past the hurricane. The Hurricane is a painting.

Then turn left at the dictionaries and then right at the Red Sox. It's a whole area with workers who are fanatical devotees of the lads of the carmine hose. One guy has those posters you get in The Globe and Dunkin' Donuts all over his cube. Plus there is a pencil sharpener in the shape of The Rock (not Prudential Insurance's logo but rather the wrestler-cum-actor).

Walk down yet another hall, past the woefully inadequate supply closet and then my boss's office is on the left. Immediately to the right is the small corridor to where the magic happens, AKA, you've arrived.

Got that?

Anyway -- nicknames. Today is the day for bestowal.

My boss, the person with the ideas but also sometimes slightly odd hair, is The Light Bulb.

Next to me sits a peer who has been extremely helpful and is the person I'm going to stagger my hours with (a 7:30 start time was approved for me). That person is The Siamese Twin because we are essentially going to be joined at the hip for much of the time. Very knowledgeable, very nice.

Then there's my cube. And on the other side of me is Sneezy. I was on the phone late this afternoon, leaving many voice mails as my task was to ask about whether some reports are still wanted. This is also for me to get to know those people and for them to get to know me. Fine. So I'm leaving voice mail and I hear the loudest sneeze I have ever heard (and my mother yells her sneezes so I have some experience in this area). I was not, er, dampened by said sneeze, hence it was obviously achieved with no hands being even remotely near that face. So I start talking louder -- and faster -- as I'm trying to leave my message as I don't want it to sound like I'm calling from St. Eligius Hospital (quick pop culture reference -- extra points if you know what I'm talking about). I'm almost done with my message when I hear a second rendering of the world's loudest sneeze. I swear that side show money could be made on that. A calling was clearly missed. I finally get my message done but it wouldn't surprise me if the person I was leaving the message for thought it was me sneezing away.

Behind Sneezy is some cypher, an unknown person who said hello but does not seem to have yet materialized into a nicknamable personality. So stay tuned.

Behind me is Coughy (Coffee?). What Sneezy is to sneezing, Coughy is to coughing, sounding more like Camille than an IT professional. The first words I heard out of Coughy's mouth were: Nothing should ever happen at 7:30 in the morning! Uh, some of us are starting work. Coughy also had a long discussion about which small Hershey's candy bar should be thrown over the cube wall. The Krackle won this round but I have high hopes for Mr. Goodbar.

Behind The Siamese Twin (therefore completing our little row) is Snorty. Snorty is a very pleasant and knowledgeable person but does not seem to have heard of Claritin. Snorty fixed something for me, and I like this person, but I feel like handing over a bottle of Advil Cold and Sinus. Then, of course, I'd be busted for distributing pseudephedrine so we all get to suffer along with poor Snorty. Fortunately, Snorty is not as loud as Sneezy or Coughy, but less fortunate is the fact that the snorting happens more frequently than the other two activities combined.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll graph the frequency.
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 06:28 pm
Oh Happy New Job Jes

reading along... Smile

have a great Day 3!
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Noddy24
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 06:33 pm
Jespah and her salt-of-the-earth companions. Heigh ho!
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 06:54 pm
Ding ding ding - St. Elsewhere reference.

Do they whistle while they work? Is the cypher a little Dopey?

I hope you were more comfortable today in your chinos at least.
0 Replies
 
Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 07:16 pm
Keep a box of tissues on your desk!
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 05:18 pm
I'm So Tired
Definitely.

Day Three
I met Sneezy today. Since the hand is never near the face while sneezing, I felt confident that a handshake would not spread germs. And so it apparently has not; the hand was perfectly dry. Sneezy is also ultra-deluxe geeky and, while nice, needs to be overhauled by someone with fashion sense.

Coughy and Snorty resumed the chorus today, and I noticed that the sounds start up after lunch. Hence Snorty might be ingesting some sort of allergen and Coughy might not be getting enough fluids. I'll continue investigating. CSI ain't got nothin' on me.

I also started the early show, as in, get in at 7:30 and leave at 4, rather than an hour later which is what everyone else does. And that's worked out well for me in every other job I've ever had in Boston and here, so far, so good. Definitely delightful to get off the evening bus at 4:45, have a 5-minute walk ahead of me and realize that yesterday I was a good half hour from leaving at that same time.

It does have a downside, though, which I'll be experiencing tomorrow, as I'm in a training session and it won't end until 4:30. Perhaps we'll be let go early.

Oh and today I dialed into a meeting and someone actually asked me a question. I had no idea what the answer was but I did represent Reporting. Now I know what the No-Nothing Party was like.

One more thing. I did have a moment of sheer terror today. I was asked to do a SQL query and it was, heh, supposed to be easy. Not even close to ease as (Ease as is hard to say. Try it. Ease as. Ease as. Ease as.) it involved a group by function, some summing, doping out what some fields meant (I've never worked anywhere where the fields in a database were actually named anything even remotely logical or user-friendly) and using the dreaded to_char function. I hate to_char and have a devil of a time understanding it, but I managed to do it (to_char is a function that converts dates, dollar signs or numbers to characters; hence, it means "to character format". It's useful in databases because you can't always directly compare dollars to numbers and need to convert everybody to character, do the compare and then convert back. SQL can be dopey at times). The report went out and hopefully the requestor will love it and tell everyone that I am the Conqueror of to_char.

Tremble, to_char. I've got your (character type) number.
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 05:26 pm
Re: I'm So Tired
jespah wrote:



One more thing. I did have a moment of sheer terror today. I was asked to do a SQL query and it was, heh, supposed to be easy. Not even close to ease as (Ease as is hard to say. Try it. Ease as. Ease as. Ease as.) it involved a group by function, some summing, doping out what some fields meant (I've never worked anywhere where the fields in a database were actually named anything even remotely logical or user-friendly) and using the dreaded to_char function. I hate to_char and have a devil of a time understanding it, but I managed to do it (to_char is a function that converts dates, dollar signs or numbers to characters; hence, it means "to character format". It's useful in databases because you can't always directly compare dollars to numbers and need to convert everybody to character, do the compare and then convert back. SQL can be dopey at times). The report went out and hopefully the requestor will love it and tell everyone that I am the Conqueror of to_char.

Tremble, to_char. I've got your (character type) number.


Okeydokey..... absolutely not a clue what yer on about there.... but glad Day 3 went well Jes.

Wishing you to be let out early on Day 4! Smile
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 08:12 pm
Yeah, I'm sure you'll finish early. They can't expect people to train all the way to 4:30, can they? (Just save your questions for a follow-up email.)
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 05:06 pm
Run, Jesse, run!
Day Nine
There were days four, five, six, seven and eight in there, but I've been tired and in a fog so I've skipped to here. I also didn't have a heckuva lotta news but I have some now so it's time to post.

First off, during one of the lost days, I was sitting in my cube, minding my own business (read: snacking on something or other and trying to look at the weather for the umpteenth time) when I hear Sneezy answer the phone. Now, that's nothing out of the ordinary except Sneezy (who is paler than I am) starts speaking Hebrew. Fluently.

I don't understand a lot of Hebrew words. Mainly numbers, e. g. ekhad, shtayim, shalosh, arbah, khamaysh, shaysh, shevah, shmona, taysha, essayr. Or, the numbers one through ten. But there was one word, said at the beginning that I did know: shema.

Shema (which is the name of the main prayer in Judaism) means "hear" or "listen". Hence I suspect that Sneezy was saying, in Hebrew, "Can you hear me now?"

Now you can see why I haven't posted for a few days.

But there's one more bit of news, which explains (or should) the title of this post. I was in a meeting with the Lightbulb's boss, the Siamese twin and two other folks. And one of them (who I'm going to be working rather closely with, actually), well, I just stared at this person. And stared. And stared.

I wouldn't normally do that. (a) it's not polite but also (b) I'm supposed to be in the meeting to, er, meet.

But I keep staring. And I finally figure out who this person reminds me of.

It's the hairline.

It's the moustache (yes, this is dude).

It's the hair length and color.

It's the skin tone.

It's ....




wait for it ...




Jesse Jackson.


Circa 1984.


If Jesse had been from the Indian subcontinent, he would be this guy.

So a new nickname has been born, and forevermore this guy will be called Jesse Jackson or, for short, JJ.

My work here is done. Now don't go and get all Rainbow Coalition on me or anything.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Dispatches from the Startup Front - Discussion by jespah
Adventures in Job Searching - Discussion by jespah
Remembrance of Dispatches Past - Discussion by jespah
Dispatches from the Front - Discussion by jespah
 
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