First Day on the Job… post-game wrap

This was posted after a three hour nap.

My first day was weird at first, because working for a start-up is a seriously fucked-up method of returning to work after a four month period of not working. Honestly, I quit my job on September 30th of last year and on January 30th of this year I’m back. Um, so anyway, the first thing I had to do was build my own machine using the parts they ordered for me, and configure it to my specifications. The big problem with that was that after I got Windows XP Pro running, I was pretty much stymied because the windows administrator was in a meeting until way later in the day and I had to wait for my account to be created, so I waited… doing nothing but just trying not to play solitaire. I couldn’t be look through documentation until I had access to the network, but since my boss was in the same meeting, it wasn’t like I was going to be painted with the idle brush unnecessarily.

After I got my access, the huge debacle ended up being the damned VoIP phone system they use over there. For those that don’t know, Transera is an internet telephony solution for call centers, so we use our own technology but passing voice over IP as a means for communicating with the outside world. Oh, and even though every has extensions at their desk, absolutely no one calls anyone on them. This company loves to come up to your desk and get your full attention. So far, I’m so new that this fact wasn’t a problem in the beginning, but we’ll revisit that in a bit. The major problem with the phone was that it wasn’t being fed any power… neither from the wall jack nor the fucking AC adapter I plugged in. At first, I thought it was the adapter being crappy and then the power port on the cube wall might not have been hooked up, but moving the monitor to it eliminated that possibility. Then I noticed that the power plugs into the same cat 5 cable that the voice uses… and I asked the VoIP expert, “Wouldn’t you need to plug the voice cable into the wall to complete the power circuit?” He said, “No.” I frowned and insisted we just test my theory on a hunch (basic electronics coming to mind), and of course, once the voice cable was in the wall, my phone amazingly had power. I had arrived at 9am that morning, and my phone was working at noon. Also, for my trouble… I have no direct line. You have to call the main number and get transferred. And the extension number on my phone’s display is not the ‘real’ extension.. it’s an internal virtual extension so others can use the intercom to get me… and as I said, no one uses that system anyway. What a fucked up phone system.

Due to the fact that I had three hours of sleep (and I might be headed for a repeat of that tonight), I found it incredibly hard to focus. I had no food that morning and gave me a little bit of money to buy my lunch on the first day. Also, my new boss said she wanted to have lunch with me, but Monday was a meeting-intense day for her so she had zero time to really do much but get me settled in in the morning and hand me parts to put together. But, she was kind enough to walk me around and let me use her badge to get food… so I walked over to this place called Mandarin Gourmet which was right next door and placed a quick order. They offered to deliver the food to me in about 25 minutes and since I needed to go back to my desk anyway, I took them up on it. Dude, their lemon chicken is motherfuckin’ tasty. Awesome food even though it cost me near ten dollars. Plus, having free soda at all times is a dangerous thing for me, so I’ve decided to take iced tea with me to work starting tomorrow. I ate, and then got handed like two projects right away.

Even though I didn’t get the operations manager position, I’m being groomed for it and I can totaly tell right now that they have major plans for me soon. The current interim ops manager is a really nice guy named Shankar who is also the engineering manager and a developer wrangler, as well as the QA coordinator. He wears four hats, including ops… and now that I’m there, he is hot to trot on getting me to handle all ops issues so he won’t have to. Remember when I said that people like to come up on you in your cube while you’re trying to work? Okay, I now am responsible for a) taking all tier 1 noc calls and b) analyzing the tier 1 response system for streamlining. These are both high visibility projects, I shit you not, because suddenly people knew who I was. Before, I was like a bug on the kitchen tile; people would walk by and peer into my cube, but maybe one in fifteen would stop and introduce themselves to me. Anyway, I think Shankar pointed people in my direction because that stat went from 1 in 15, to like 15 in 15.

I so need a fucking cube door.

I looked through the ultra-shitty document they’ve been using thus far, and started designing a new doc formula to make things easier on everyone reading it. It was about that time that I realized that the non-ergonomic keyboard was beginning to really kill my wrists and I asked my new boss, “Can I order things?” She said, “Sure, you have authority to order what you need to get the job done… just don’t go crazy. What did you have in mind?” I said that I wanted a new keyboard, a trackball, and a headset for starters. She seemed to understand immediately and asked her exec assistant to see to it right away. Hopefully, I’ll have those things by Wednesday, because writing all those emails sucked ass. Plus, I hate mice with a passion. Trackballs rule all.

By the end of the day, I could barely keep my eyes open and I left 30 minutes early (I know, bad). I needed new clothes for work, man. I have a grand total of two dress shirts and two slacks, and I’m so not used to wearing those types of clothes on a daily basis. I cannot wait for casual Friday, when my denim shorts are okay. Julia and I stalked over to the store and picked up two shirts that look nice, to add them into the ‘rotation.’ As soon as I get paid, I have this feeling that a significant amount of money will be spent on getting similiar work clothing. The cool part is, I get to write it off as a business expense, because let’s face it… where the fuck else am I going to wear this shit? I’m a t-shirt/shorts kind of guy, and I’m so going to ask if I can get away wearing that to work instead.

With one full day completed, I can say that there’s a lot of good and bad so far. But quite honestly, I’m seeing an opportunity to really spread my wings out to get this work done and make a substantive contribution as they want me to. I’m hoping this company doesn’t go the way of a high percentage of start-ups and die within a year, too. That would be cool, to actually be a part of a start-up that can be called a success.

Related posts


Skip to comment form

    • champion on January 31, 2006 at 01:30

    Sounds like you landed a promising gig 🙂

    • staplerx on January 31, 2006 at 19:24

    They make cube doors? o_O

    And dude, how can anyone hate mice? I have so much more control moving my entire hand with a mouse than I do trying to manipulate a trackball with my index finger. Well, whatever.

    Good luck with the job, it sounds awesomely wickedly awesome.

    • jetblack on February 1, 2006 at 07:26

    I use a trackball that’s thumb controlled, not index finger controlled. I get more control from my thumb.

    • jetblack on February 1, 2006 at 07:32

    Thanks 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: