I spent most of December wondering about my new job, not anxious, just fascinated by the upcoming unknown work environment, colleagues, and schedule. I knew my 2019 life would be much different from my leisurely fall, but did not know how.
I just finished my first week at the new company. Although a short three-day week, I still got a good look at the lay of the land. Each morning by 8:30am, I need to get to the corporate shuttle stop at San Francisco’s 22nd and Valencia St. I walk hurriedly over twenty-minutes the 9 blocks from my house, but next week I’ll hop my bicycle.
I board a little van with 4-6 colleagues for the 40-60 minute drive to Redwood City. On the ride to work, I may be able to check email and messages, but I have trouble parsing more thoughtful work on a bumpy ride.
My day at the office ends at either 4:45pm or 6:45pm for the return shuttle to San Francisco. I soooo enjoy neither driving nor fretting over public transit, yet I do worry about missing that all-important ride to work.
The office is dumpy, lacks good windows, and is slammed full of plants such as fig trees and large palms. I have a little standing desk across from my two data-science colleagues and next to my boss (currently away), the head of software engineering.
I figured out how to hook up the two monitors to my company-issued laptop. I’ve got both a wireless keyboard and mouse to stave off repetitive-typing injuries.
The office is loud, cold, and industrial with concrete floors and gridded ceiling tiles, but collegial. I’m surprised at the emptiness of the office at 9:15pm. People come late to avoid oppressive morning traffic and stay late.
For my first three days, I flail to learn the science, company jargon, and the software systems. Fortunately, people are patient, supportive, and kind. Unlike at my last employer, my coworkers are happy to see me and seem confident I can get the work done. I’ve already been assigned a small project.
I still need to sign up for health insurance, pick iconic online avatars, figure out an exercise routine, and prioritize my work. Yet after three days, I’ve already attended a company LGBTQD (includes Dinosaurs) mixer at an offsite bar, participated in the Friday happy hour, sat through the weekly company meeting, and spoke with many of the principals.
I choose this company well, or rather it picked me. I’m happy. The future is hard to predict, but I proclaim this company a 7.5 out of 10 with +/- 2 uncertainty, so my stay here could turn into a life passion or just be pretty good. Either way, I have crossed over into the working world.