Today was my honest-to-goodness very first "first day on the job" since I joined the car washes back in 2000. Well, I had a first day when I started teaching last year, but it wasn't so much a first day as it was a good hard shove.
As I always teach my students, the first day for any employee is always the most awkward. You don't know anyone, don't know where to go, don't know what all the unwritten rules are, don't know if people are happy, mad, or indifferent to the fact that you are there. I've always tried, whenever possible, to make sure I spent time with new people, even at the car washes.
Here are the highlights of my first day:
1. I pulled on EVERY one of the eight or so front doors before giving up, only to discover that the one door I didn't try was the correct door.
2. When I got to my cubicle, I discovered that the people in the department had decorated my cube with red and black ribbon, and it was adorned with "Welcome Nick!" signs. That meant more to me than you might think. I can't wait to decorate it with my kids' drawings and my "Office Space" kit.
3. When I was setting my things up in my cubicle I raised up and hit my head...HARD...on a shelf. It was one of those "make you dizzy and nauseated for an hour" head hits. No one seemed to think that was entirely unusual.
4. I did not meet one person, not one, that did not seem genuinely happy that I was there, despite the fact that there are some 850 people that work in the building(s).
5. I thought I was over-dressed in slacks and a polo shirt, only to discover later in the day that everyone had earned a "Casual Monday" reward.
6. I got a great laptop computer, a Blackberry (it will be in tomorrow), and the coolest desktop phone you've ever seen. Unfortunately, I do not have a trash can. If that's not a call to unionize I don't know what is.
7. I ate lunch with a guy that shares the same title as I have. It was relaxed, upbeat, and very open. I enjoyed it tremendously.
8. There is a gym right next door to me...a brand new one, with a smoothie bar and TWO personal trainers.
9. There is a full-time physician and nurse on staff available to the employees.
10. Finally, lots of organizations claim to want to "Do the Right Thing," but I think I have finally found one that really does. And I think they've done a good job, based on the people I met today, of finding people that believe in that too.
And the best part? When the IT department connected my computer, I had 62 emails. 62!
I've spent the last 8 years being the best at what I do, and I hope to get there again very soon. Frankly, I am not accustomed to not being very good at ANYTHING I do, and I intend to bust my rear until I am there again.