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I Love My New Job…I Hate Not Knowing Everything

September 13, 2010

The nerves about starting the new job have passed, the stress of meeting new people and impressing the bosses are long gone. I have figured out the way to get to work, and the quickest way home. My new nice work clothes set me apart from the rest of the staff because my office is in the way-too-laid-back casual work clothes environment.

I love my new job and it is going great. It is easy work-you know lots of filing, doing data entry, answering phones and checking in visitors. It is really interesting learning about the work also. I have never worked in construction or engineering so getting to see the ins and outs of it is fascinating. Within the first few days of work I got to go out to a work site-they are rebuilding the levees in the city and my work is seeing it get done-and I got to see them digging the trenches with the big excavators. Man, if you have not worked in the industry before it is really cool to see it actually getting done and seeing the completed creation.  You also don’t know how much goes into a contract. All the submittals that contractors have to turn in for every little thing or the modifications that have to be added to a contract.

I love my bosses; they are really cool and laid back. On my first day they took me and the other new girl out to lunch to get to know us; I have never worked for someone who cared to know every little thing about you. They don’t get upset about anything that I have noticed yet, so that is really nice. Also, the people who work there are very helpful and easily answer questions-no matter how often I ask the same one. My first day another woman started with me, she worked for the same agency in another state so she knew what she was getting into. It is hard starting at the same time with someone else, especially when that person has such an overpowering personality that they overshadow any effort you put in to get the attention you deserve. The first week was the hardest with the other new lady, but now I understand where she is coming from and I have come to like her, not be annoyed by her.

I love that the work is so easy. My work consists mainly of data entry. Data entry is so mindless that you can do it while thinking about quantum physics. And answering phones-all I do is answer them and transfer the calls and my phone doesn’t even ring that much. Everyone knows the extensions they need so my phone rarely goes off. It actually startles me when it does because it doesn’t ring that much. Who doesn’t love going into a new position having their duties be so easy. The filing is all numerical so thankfully I am a good counter; the mailings I send out get separated into groups that are always the same. The shredding is only on certified payroll items-which doesn’t happen often because things get kept for so long. Also, we are going through all the contracts and relabeling and reorganizing and this is the best thing since I am getting to learn the contracts and where things go without having to constantly ask people questions.

I hate not knowing everything. I know that this is a new job, but really I hate not knowing everything right off the bat. As I said, the job is so easy that I feel like I am dumb for not knowing everything. My first day people were telling me how easy the agency specific computer system was-like I am stupid and have never used a computer before or something. I am not unintelligent or computer illiterate, I know how to do things, and really data entry is not hard. But it is the other stuff. It is learning all of the other stuff. I want to impress everyone by picking up on everything quickly, so that I look good in everyone’s eyes, not like I am unintelligent or computer illiterate. I don’t want my coworkers or bosses to think they made the wrong decision in hiring me.

I hate being talked to by my boss about things I have done wrong. Granted, again, I have only been at this job six weeks now-and she talked to me about this at week two-but I hate my boss thinking I don’t know something or can’t do something correctly. Again-easy job and I don’t want her thinking that I am scatter brained or a complete idiot. She sat me down and went over the guidelines for memo and letter writing-I have to go over the staffs letters before I turn them into the boss, so she doesn’t have to correct a bunch of stuff…I have never claimed to be a great writer, especially when that writing is done in a work setting where it is important. I really hate that she had to go over letters in front of me that I had reviewed and “fixed” myself and “bled” all over them-she calls it “bleeding” when she uses the ghastly red pen to do corrections…like I am in school again or something. Oh man, I felt two feet tall and wanted to go in the bathroom and cry in frustration. It was horrible-THEN everyone suddenly had letters for her approval to go out. I spent almost the whole day toiling over those letters-about 15 total-so she would think I listened to her and didn’t have to “bleed” all over them. The next day when she handed 12 back to me signed and no blood she thanked for turning it all around. Oh man, talk about sigh of relief heard round the world!

I hate when staff suddenly spring things on me that I supposedly should have known but didn’t. I take things so personally when I don’t know things that I get upset when someone tells me when I have been doing something wrong for the last six weeks. The person who had been training me had only started at her job a few weeks before me and had only one week of training, so if she didn’t know something that meant I didn’t know it either. So when coworkers start telling me that items don’t get distributed without a memo being written and asking where these items were…uh, whoops. Or my boss once again telling me that I have been doing something I shouldn’t have. This thankfully was really miniscule like not to date stamp something, when everyone initially said everything that comes in gets a date stamp. It’s the fact that I am getting told things that I have been doing presumably correctly have been in actuality incorrect.

It will get better; next week I will do everything correctly and remember that some things don’t go straight out like I was doing. My boss will be impressed that I am doing good at turning in letters and memos that don’t need the dreaded red pen markings. I will continue to be the efficient and reliable person that I know I am and try not to take things so personally.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Linda permalink
    September 13, 2010 8:19 am

    Great post – but don’t be so hard on yourself.

    Every employer knows that there is a learning curve for a new employee; no one, no matter how intelligent or computer literate, can come into a new job knowing everything. So there is an expectation that there will be mistakes made, and things forgotten, for a period of time. It’s a great new employee though that takes everything they are trained with, and learn along the way, to ensure that they do things as correctly as possible or make the changes needed to get things done right. And it sounds like you are doing all those things – you WANT to do the best you can. Being hard on yourself can be healthy – as long as you have reasonable expectionations of yourself – just like your employer.

    Sounds like a very interesting position – it’s always nice to work in a new environment and learn about something different.

  2. November 29, 2010 1:16 am

    Bingo man…very well-written post!!

    Have myself joined a new firm 6 weeks back and the “I hate not knowing everything” bugs me sometimes.However, have been really lucky to get some amazing supportive seniors which actually works as a breather 😛

    But as Linda mentioned and also by my personal experience, I have learnt to take things easy and enjoy the learning curve (not too long though).

    😉

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