Saturday, February 02, 2008

First Week

Yesterday was my first week at my new job. So far, I've been very impressed. There is a huge difference coming from a struggling company to one that's doing well. When I started my previous job 6 years ago, I took a $12K cut in pay. I accepted this current job at $9K more than what I earned before my last one ended.

Day 1: Spent first few hours going over benefits package. I can opt for Kaiser or Blue Cross for medical coverage. Kaiser is free. Blue Cross for single coverage is $35/month. I was paying $90/month at my previous employer. When I reached my 5-year anniversary, it was reduced to $65/month.

Got my tour, introductions to my department associates. Around 3 p.m., IT comes by with my computer, a brand NEW laptop in a humongous cubicle in the back row. I notice later that most managers get the larger, back cubicles. This is my first job with "manager" in the title. Woo hoo!

At my previous job, I got a 7+ year old desktop (eventually replaced) with an even older screen monitor. It was inside a cubicle with a crappy desk chair which took 3 years before the mailroom guy took pity on me and gave me a new one. In 6 years, I moved at least that many times. And each time I moved, I'd be down for a day because I had a card terminal and dinosaur dial-up modem that required a specific phone line routed within my cubicle. When I left the company, I still had the SAME monitor.

Day 2: Attended first all-hands company meeting. CFO introduces me as "the blogger" and one of two new members of the Finance/Operations/Business Systems team. Found the vending machine only charges $0.25 for soda. Twelve cans would only cost me $3, still less than what Safeway or Target charge for the Diet Coke cartons I used to buy because the vending machine charged $0.65 at my old office.

Day 3: Sit in my first meeting with the other departments I'll interact with regularly. My reporting manager also issues a companywide e-mail with yet another introduction. I get over the next 3 days numerous return e-mails from various staff members welcoming me. I am floored at the warm reception. I found it interesting that all of the welcome e-mails except one are from men. Hmmm....

Day 4: Receive my first assignment to follow up with customer phone messages. It is likely in response to a recent mailing they received and have questions about it. I check to see if I have the correct resources to provide answers to the customer inquiries.

Day 5: Contacted and spoke to 3 customers. Two had questions I could address, but bring up other questions where I need to go back and find out the answers. It's bagel Friday at the office, so I grab a bagel and half a muffin as an afternoon snack. I also am asked to draw numbers for the office Super Bowl pool, so there is verification that we are "SOX compliant".

Overall, it is a major contrast from where I worked previously. The office is brand new, having only moved this past August. Friendly, warm, and many of them very smart. I have underground parking. A credit union ATM (co-op'd with mine and no-fee access), upscale grocery store, restaurants and free gym (courtesy of the company) are all in the same complex.

The last time I worked an office this cushy was during the dot-com days with a company that failed to generate enough revenue to stay in business. The company where I am now has been around for 10 years and a profitable business model. At least so far, I earn more money and don't have to work nearly as hard.

Life is tough. NOT.

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