Day 1: The First Day Tailspin!
“FIRST DAY OF WORK FIRST DAY OF WORK”
My adaptation of a famous Finding Nemo quote where Nemo abruptly wakes up his father early on his first day of school, bounding with excitement at the prospect of going to school for the first time. I felt pretty much like a little kid again, all excited for the first day of classes, except this time I was turning in my pencil box for a key to the office and a company provided laptop. That’s right, I’m in the big leagues now, and I’m an adult with a real adult job!
Well, okay I’m just an intern. Only working for the summer. Who isn’t getting paid much… And has to commute from home in the suburbs of Atlanta into Midtown Atlanta (hitting the Atlanta traffic really hard.) But still, I’m excited to having something to do this summer that is really going to help me further my academic interests, teach me all sorts of new things while gaining work environment experience, and getting some college credit! So overall it’s a good deal, and I’m super fortunate to be able to have this experience.
The shiny prospect of the first day is really what I want to focus on here. You don’t know what to expect other than that there will be a break for lunch in the middle of the day and the expect a bunch of orientation meetings most likely to help you get acclimated, the day is full of possibilities, unknowns, and questions (again, I feel like a little kid again, the obnoxious one that asks you 250 questions within an hour time period.)
- What are the people like?
- Who will you be working with?
- Will I have a desk?
- Where will it be?
- What are my tasks for the summer?
- Who will I be learning from?
- Are there other interns?
- What are they like?
- Am I the youngest person working here?
- Where is the bathroom?
- How do I get my phone to connect to the Wi-Fi?
- Is this place more on the causal spectrum of business causal or do they like to dress up?
I could seriously go on and on here…. You get to meet a ton of new people, experience a whole new environment, eeeeeee!
So that’s how my first day felt. It was open. I left home early because I wasn’t sure of my route (wanted to give myself some time in case I make one of my famous wrong turns, plus the unpredictability of Atlanta traffic.) I arrive there with plenty of time to spare, 8:49 and I wasn’t expected to be there until 9:00. I walk up to building in my cute first day outfit I picked out the night before, with my lunch box, water bottle, and cardigan (because who knows if it’ll be cold) ready to go and……..the doors are all locked……..I have no way in……..
”Hello? Anyone there?”
Nope, front desk is empty. Guess I’m going to just stand here awkwardly until someone comes and gets me. Maybe I have this wrong? What if I wasn’t starting today? I’ll double check on my phone, plus it’ll make me look busy and less lost, yeah good plan. Nope my email says to go to the front entrance at 9:00 to meet the person I’ll be working under this summer…..sigh okay, minor setback, no need to panic!!!
My head conversations look a lot like that, reassuring and then second guessing, but it always works out in the end with a little added patience. A person came to the front desk about 9:03 and noticed me standing out there and quickly motioned me to try the door again….unlocked, HURRAY! She apologized, hoped I hadn’t been waiting there too long, and had me sit in the lobby while I waited for my boss to come down. Then began the game of orientation meeting roulette, hence the name of this post, tailspin.
I had my office tour, IT meeting/setup, keys and alarms meeting. They ran back to back to back until lunchtime! Finally, I’m hungry and my head is about to explode from information overload. Wait….who do I have lunch with? Where are the other interns? I ended up eating with my boss and her boss/my other boss, and I met a few others. I’m definitely the youngest person here, but hey this still was exciting!
After lunch was more meetings, the operations meeting aka learning about the hidden codes of conduct and curiosities, pet peeves, that this office operates under, plus finding out my birthday was the same as another intern who just so happened to be working the front desk as we walked by J Finally I ended the meeting madness with HR. Having me sign some forms, learn how to log my hours, get my direct deposit set up. And done. Now what? There’s only an hour to go before I leave for the day…..where was the bathroom again?
The first day was fun and exhausting and I’m sure I missed some key piece of information or forgot something important, but hey I survived! 😀
June 13th, 2016