Week 1

Well, it’s not over yet, I may be jumping the gun. Today is a short Friday – we get off at 3:00 pm on Friday until Labor Day.

I went and read last year’s blog post about the first week at CSI: I was pretty optimistic then, too, but I was already seeing red flags.

But so far, it’s been lovely here. I haven’t actually done any work yet – it’s been a lot of HR paperwork and some intro demos to various systems and a lot of me playing around in the test instances and reviewing documentation and development stories and taking some online courses. We have two customer-facing business lines, but I’ll be working on “BOPS” (heh), internal-facing stuff like the legacy admin piece that feeds the customer-facing pieces, and the integration with Salesforce and things. I probably will be hip-deep in Salesforce, and have only ever worked with it peripherally before, so did a training course on that on LinkedIn. Salesforce is a big big deal in the business world, and getting experience on it is a big big plus.

But it’s the intangibles that are important to me, and so far all lights are green green green. Everyone has been super-nice and friendly. My team isn’t afraid to joke on Slack conversations, for instance. (At CSI, many at my attempts at humor were met by puzzled stares. Yeah, I’m weird, but not that weird. But to be clear, I’m watching other teammates being jokey here.) Everyone’s been responsive to direct requests for help (well, still waiting on some help desk things, but they’re not urgent).

I’ve been asked directly by my boss to keep a meta-eye out on how things are being done from a process standpoint and to suggest improvements. Which is completely opposite from CSI, where one of my big sticking points is that I was always treated as if I had no idea what I was doing. I did point out to my new boss that I’d learned the hard way that I needed to figure out how things were done first before telling everyone they’re doing it wrong, heh. But it’s nice to know that my suggestions and input are not only going to be valued, but are being actively solicited.

We’re all working from home for now. I’d made the effort to wear at least a nice collared shirt for the first few days, but it became clear that no one was turning on their cameras for meetings, which means that we’re all at home in our jammies or whatever. (Well, too hot for jammies.) I got sent the “return to office” plan, which starts after Labor Day, and it makes eminent sense. First of all, everyone’s in one of three groups (I’m ‘blue’) and there’s a calendar: Red gets the office for two days, then yellow, then blue and so on. The group assignations are such that your cube is surrounded by people in the other groups, so if you’re there, the cubes around you are empty for the most part. And there will be rules about masks and hand sanitizer and things. But the kicker is that schedule is when you can come into the office if there’s a reason to. If you’re OK and your boss is OK, you never actually have to come in at all, just keep working from home. And that will be true through the end of the year.

I’ll come in to the office at least once as soon as I can, just to set up my desk and get the building pass and so on. Oh, and a couple of other things – it’s clear from the floor plan I was sent that my cube is off the main drag – people will not be walking by the cube at all except for that one person who’s one cube closer to the wall than me. And apparently, it’s pretty quiet. And the cubes have high walls. So none of these are givens, and they are all big plusses for someone whose job is analysis.

So… with the caveat that I haven’t actually done anything productive yet, all signs are that this is going to be a good gig. Cross your fingers!


This post is part of a larger project, #MOC19. Read more about the Mass Observation COVID-19 project here

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