Thursday, February 7, 2013

Remembering first days at work

So there I was, sitting across the table from a young, tomboyish, enthusiastic woman who reminded me of a gung-ho farmer’s wife, like the ones I had seen in New Zealand. The man sitting next to me was tall, really tall. When he walked me into the office, I almost felt like Lilliput next to Gulliver. Well, that’s exaggerating it, but you get the point. It was the first time in my life that I was wearing a blazer. Unless you count the two times in 11th standard and in college when I wore it. Both times were for the “Western Day” or something of that sort. The blazer made me feel nice, more confident and smart than I probably was. So anyway, regardless of my exterior appearance, I actually had knots in my stomach. Understandably so, because it was the first time in over a decade that I was appearing for an interview in person. Later that evening when my husband asked me how it went, I had no clue how it had “really” been. Because I had no basis to compare it to!! Having been inducted into a software firm straight out of college and having had no obvious concerns with the company, I had stayed on for a long time. Even after a break, I had simply joined back!

Anyway, they ended up selecting me (ahem! I am sure they had their reasons!) And it’s now been a week that I am working at this office. And even though it’s too early to form an opinion, so far I like it – both the place and the people. It’s the first time in my life that I am working on contract and not as a permanent employee! It’s also the first time in my life that I am working at a company where my husband doesn't work! We met each other at work and even before we had met, we had been working at the same company ever since I started! It’s the first time that I am no longer a part of IT, but a part of the business team instead! It’s also the first time in my life that in a whole week, I haven’t seen a single Indian at work. And I must admit, it feels weird. And last but not the least, it’s also the first time that I do not have an offshore/onshore team in some other part of the world, with whom I need to take late night calls with. YET.

I’ll also always remember the first day I had joined my previous organization in 2002. I was supposed to report to work at their branch at 8:30 AM or so to fill out a bunch of forms and sign a bond (newbie you see?) So there I was with a friend of mine, both of us ready for our first day at work. We boarded a train at Bandra hoping to alight at Vile Parle station. (People who have a lot of experience travelling in Mumbai’s local trains are probably going Oooooh Noooo right about now!) I got into the ladies compartment and my friend got into the general compartment. Come Vile Parle, the train didn't stop!!! Some fast local or something, it went straight ahead to the last stop! We called each other murmuring that there was no need to panic; we still had time. Or so we thought.

Because the same train would begin a return journey again, one stop before its final destination, truckloads of people began to get in hoping to secure seats as a preemptive strike against those boarding at the first stop. In its new trip, when the train finally approached our stop, people pushed, pulled and shoved. And poor dear inexperienced ‘me’ finally got down at the platform with disheveled hair, a torn dupatta and footwear on only one foot! I had to buy a pair of sandals from a local ‘mochi’ and only then we could make our way to the workplace. Considering that we reached there almost an hour late, it’s a miracle that they still signed us up! Sigh.

And then there was my first day at the client location onsite. The very first time that I got a call from my account manager. It was to tell me that he had received a call from the Minneapolis International Airport informing him that his employee (yours truly) had forgotten a folder full of visa and immigration documents at the airport and was to go and collect it. What a start to the day! Like I said, my friend Murphy never really left my side! (linkSo, what were your first days at work like? 

Crazy first days at work.
Copyright details within the image.
I would love to hear your views!

16 comments:

  1. so startwed work , good for u --mail me detials--would like to know more --kidhar , kaha etc.

    U really forgot ur visa when u landed here--hahaha--never heard of that one before :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure! I'll email you, been a while since we spoke! How's you doing? Oh man, that was on my first day at work, we hadn't even met then. I think we met almost a week later, didn't we?

      Delete
  2. hahaha...everyone has their Quirks, Deepa. Trust me! On one first day at one of the clients, at the end of the day my colleague who thinks who knows everything, got me into the wrong train and after going 3/4 of the journey realised and got down and took another train back only to find that the last train going to our place has left. And me a dumbo, knows all the routes and trains perfectly well (because I already worked for that client before) just didn't see the name on the train before getting in...so ask me about it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha! That sounds like a busy Murphy at work! What can go wrong WILL go wrong, regardless of how much we know or have experience :D

      Delete
  3. hehe Wow, you really got on to that train and reached one hour late. And forgetting all your documents :). My first day of the first job was quite non controversial. We were a small group of people. In the brand management team,I was welcomed warmly by the other colleague and my boss was a ferocious chap who somehow felt that I was some highly intelligent person (?) (the perks of being a B-school grad) and treated me well. Yeah, a pretty usual day, I'd say!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was crazy Rachna! I am glad my first day here was relatively non-eventful! :) He he, I think you're pretty well placed to have your boss a good impression of you on the first day! :D I was watching Rocket Singh yesterday and laughed at his first day experience! Gosh, the sales industry!

      Delete
  4. Thats a lot of firsts there! Had started work as a door to door sales rep so had a lot of doors slammed on my face on my 1st day!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha! See my comment above :D I was just watching Rocket Singh yesterday and laughed at his first day experience! Gosh, the sales industry! And here you come talking right about that! Must have been quite something, isn't it?

      Delete
  5. Great that you have started work again.. and mumbai locals -the less I say about them, the better... My first day was actually happening in terms of meeting very interesting group of colleagues.... that's a story in itself :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Jas :) Just moving between different kinds of work. Moved from content writing to this for a little while. You should post that tale! Would be fun to read!

      Delete
  6. Good Luck with the new job Deepa and yeah these first days always end up with interesting incidents rt! I agree!

    ReplyDelete
  7. My first day was shocking. I had an initial training in my company in which we were taught how we should dress perfectly and come to office. So, on the first day, I was in crisp formals with a tie and all sitting at the reception and waiting.
    And that is when I saw hoards of men wearning chappals entering the office. Their shirts were hanging loose and hair completely disheaveled. That is when I realised that there is a big difference between real world and what we are taught.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "There is a big difference between real world and what we are taught." - Couldn't agree more Amit! This statement seems to be true for so many more concepts too - be it civic sense, respecting each other, moral values - We're taught so much but the real world is a whole different place!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...