Monday, 19 May 2014

New Job, Getting Back into Routine

Last week was incredibly stressful.  I had my last 3 days at the law firm, and my first 2 days at the new company.  And along the way I had 3 nights of working until 4 am, 1.30 am, and 10 pm to wrap up the old job, just in case there was a remote chance that I would have the tiniest bit of energy to start my new job. 

And yes, I was the last person out of the office Wednesday night, as usual.  I had previously made arrangements to hide my laptop with the tech team and left my calling card and security pass under the door of my associate manager so there was nothing left in my office.  Nothing, that is, other than a dotted outline on my desk where my candy machine used to be.  The candy machine may be mourned more than me at the end of the day - I hear that people have been "crabbypants" since I left, and I suspect it's a result of chocolate withdrawal.

The transition was literally hellish and after pushing to complete as much as I did before I left I am completely ready to leave that place and never look back.  Every time I think about the work I was doing I thank god that I am gone.  Perhaps I was just burned out, which is not surprising, all things considered.

The new job is good, so far.  It is of course incredibly stressful to start in a new place where I don't know any of the people or processes or traditions or unwritten rules, and no one knows me or what I can do.  In some ways that's good - no baggage.  But in other ways it's not good, because I have no goodwill on which I can trade.

There is also the issue of not having any of my old tools or routines - - I don't know how to access servers, my iPad is not hooked up to the system, I don't have a way to remotely access my email, my laptop internet connection is hinky from home, and I have no connection to printers yet.  All of these are just fussy system things that will get resolved over the next week or so, but for now, these are irritations that make it harder for me to do my job.

This week I need to try and learn as much as I can in the next 2 days before my predecessor leaves for Atlanta again, and I need to try and integrate myself into the department and the system.  And most importantly, as Col. Hadfield notes in his book An Astronaut's Life, I need to try and be a zero in the immediate short term - - not try to make my mark too soon, and try not to screw anything up.  Just float in the middle there with my eyes and ears open until I can get my bearings.  

The people at the new place are very nice, and everyone is working in the same direction, which is a pleasant change.  The offices (shown in the photos) are pretty new and clean and uniform, which means that a lot of my tchotchkes and photos and diplomas from the old office are not going into my new office - - I can't have anything on the walls other than 1 piece of approved corporate art.  My office carpet is another casualty to the new design esthetic, and it will need to stay at home for the foreseeable future.  Thankfully, the candy machine is more than welcome in the new office.

The new company really values wellness and health and has lockers and showers in the office for people who want to bike to work - - fantastic.  There is a super duper pop machine that dispenses water, ice, and juices for free.  It is great, and it has really bumped up my water consumption during the day.  And let's not forget bathroom breaks as a result - - another source of steps during the day, because the washroom is at the other end of the floor.  As a final innovation, my office has a standing desk, so I can work standing up and reduce some of the sitting I do in a day.  There's even a cushy rubber floor pad to help reduce leg fatigue.  The rubber mat is great, but I have picked up a couple of pairs of comfortable loafers to replace my stylish but painful heels just in case.

This past week has been a virtual dead loss from a workout routine point of view.  Between the mother of all colds and 3 ridiculously late nights at the old firm and 2 welcome lunches at the new firm, I have been eating out far more than usual and exercising less than usual.  I was still able to lose a pound and a half, though, which gives me hope for this week. 

Today was a holiday so the Nerd and I were able to sleep in slightly while still doing full workouts.  I am still fighting the lingering effects of this damn cold so it was not easy to do my weights today (I feel weak as a kitten), but I was really glad to get back to a solid 90+ minute workout like I used to do.  Tomorrow will be all-elliptical, all the time, so I need to brace myself for a nice long cardio session.  I should be even better tomorrow, though, so it should not be too difficult.  I am starting to feel better (ever so slowly), and last night was the first truly good night's sleep I have had in almost a week - - I needed that!

The Nerd and I also took a little walk to the new office today to bring more binders into my office.  It's a nice 12-15 minute walk each way, and when we went there it was nice and sunny.  I wanted my office to be as ready as possible so that I could hit the ground running tomorrow when the fun and games really begin.

The balance of today will be homework - a packaging opinion as well as basic research into advertising and packaging law as a refresher.  No time like the present to try and make it easier to get up to speed.  

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