Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The First Week

One week in and I am so in love with my job.  Though I am doing much the same work I did at The Old Job, the difference in the process and work environment is staggering.  For a long time I thought I wasn't well suited for an office job, but now I realize I just wasn't suited to work for a huge conglomocorp.

How it was:
  • Documents went through so many hands before reaching me and were pasted together from so many sources, I usually had no idea who had written anything.
  • Edits I made were usually not seen by the documents' authors, so nobody knew what was needed to improve their writing.
  • Huge documents either came in at the very last minute or large sections that took hours to edit would be deleted at the last minute.
  • I felt completely out of place.  There were only five or six people I ever felt comfortable talking to, and even with a few of them I felt I had to bite my tongue more often than I liked.
And now:
  • Every document has the name of the originator and his or her manager as an embedded field.  I am REQUIRED to track the number and type of edits I make for each person so we can look for improvements in writing.  If someone is not improving, they will be sent to classes (that I will be eventually teaching periodically) to refresh their grammar and punctuation skills.
  • There is an employee directory with recent photos and a seating chart.  Not only do I get to know the names of the people writing the documents, I get to put those names with the faces in the office.
  • Redline strikeout is still the most used tool I have, but now, comments are also encouraged because the author is responsible for making changes to his own document before sending it out to the client.  This means I get to explain exactly why I've changed something, and the author doesn't feel like I've just bled on the page for fun.
  • The break room has a ping-pong table!  And we have an annual tournament during March Madness!
  • Because the company is largely made of computer engineers who spend most of their time at jobsites, there are team-building events every month.  And these are events people actually want to attend. 
  • The Christmas party is at the Birmingham Museum of Art this year.  How posh is that?
  • I've already felt comfortable enough with two of my co-workers to discuss my Harry Potter and Twilight obsessions--and they didn't look at me like I was a lunatic afterwards!
In summation, I can't believe my luck.  I had heard that my old company was a great place to work before the big takeover, but I never experienced it myself.  Now I know how different it is to work for a small, independently owned company and the difference is palpable.  Really, it comes down to a feeling; everyone at The New Job believes in this company because the company believes in them.  You can't get that belief or sense of belonging when a company gets to be so large that the part-time employees aren't invited to the regional Christmas party.  I know I've wandered into hokey, sentimental territory, but I've never felt so good about a JOB before.  I'm elated.