Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A Month on the Job

Today marks a full month exactly that I've been at my new job. To be perfectly honest, I'm still not 100% sure how well I like it. There are some days that I like it a whole lot, and there are some days when I honestly consider leaving at lunchtime and not coming back. It would be quite unlike me to take such drastic action, so I highly doubt that would ever happen, but the thought of it is there.

The good days are the busy days. When I have a lot of proofreading to do, that makes the time go by faster. If I have to make a lot of corrections, so much the better. That's what I'm there for, after all. If I don't have a lot of proofreading to do, I get uncomfortable. After being there for a full month, I still haven't been trained on any specific job responsibilities outside of proofreading, so if there isn't much of that to do, I flounder a little bit. I find that I have to really pace myself on days like that so I don't have to sit there for any length of time with absolutely nothing to do. Right now, no one has time to show me anything else. I'm hoping that day will come soon, but I've been hoping that pretty much since I started there.

I'm still getting used to the daily schedule. I start at 9:00, which is pretty much okay by me. I wouldn't mind starting earlier and getting off earlier, but whatever. Everyone gets a ten-minute break around 10:30, which is only an hour and a half into the day. Then I go to lunch around noon, which is less than an hour and a half after my break ends. I get half an hour for lunch, which is fine except on the days (usually just Friday) when I want to go out. If I go out, I always end up taking more than half an hour, which isn't a big deal since I accumulate plenty of extra time over the course of the week. At least, no one has told me that it's a big deal yet. Anyway, lunch break is generally over around 12:30. There's another ten-minute break at 2:30. Then there's a long stretch until the day is over at 5:00. It's just weird. The mornings generally go by pretty quickly, since they're only three hours long (with a break thrown in), but the afternoons drag on forever. I'm still used to a balanced day: four-hour morning, one hour lunch, four-hour afternoon. I'm sure I'll get used to this new schedule eventually, but it sure is taking its sweet-ass time.

Of course, it's not just the work-day schedule that has me all bent out of shape. I'm also not used to the way this job is affecting my schedule when I'm not there, and I'm not liking it one bit. At my old job I had free run of the Internet all day long. We generally weren't busy, so I did a lot of surfing at work. Even on the rare occasions when I was busy, I could manage to do essential stuff online. Not so at this new job. Company policy doesn't allow personal use of the Internet, as far as I can tell, even during breaktime. I have sent out a couple of personal e-mails that absolutely couldn't wait, but I'm not going to be pushing it. I definitely don't mind staying off the Internet on company time, although that was one definite perk (probably the definite perk) of my last job, but it would be nice if I could use it for a few minutes on my lunch break if I needed to. Trying to squeeze it all in when I'm at home...well, so far, it just hasn't been happening.

Another disconcerting thing, since I was introduced to the crowd at the Christmas party, is that everyone now knows my name, although I frequently don't know theirs. It's not a big deal, but it can be a bit awkward at times when someone says "Hi Jon, how's it going?" and my witty response is "Hey, um...dude."

On the other hand, it's good to be finally doing something that I know I'm good at. I was pretty good at my last job, especially given my complete ignorance going into it and how far I came from that, but there were some things that came up that I just didn't have the slightest clue what I was doing and had to slog through it on my own. I don't have that with proofreading. I know I'm good at it.

I guess at this point it would be fair to say that I'm mostly ambivalent about my job. Everybody knows my name, and they're always glad I came, but sometimes I don't wanna go there (I'm not sure why I needed to make the Cheers reference, but I did, so just go with it). I like the job itself better than the job I was doing previously, but some of the peripheral stuff is still getting on my nerves. With the New Year coming up shortly, I'll be examining where I'm at and what it's going to take to get me to be somewhere better.

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