This is a very funny account of my friend Dora’s first 2 weeks at a new job, after returning to work from a sabbatical.
So far I like my new boss and team a great deal and I’m less enthusiastic about the company’s bureacracy which I felt more acutely since my admin assistant is on vacation most of November. The first challenge which took a while was getting a company badge & parking permit; though to be fair, I wasn’t keen on getting a badge since my boss told me not to stay past 6pm since I couldn’t easily leave the building without a badge. The security girl told me that it’s critical for employees to have a nice photo on my badge since the company’s newsletter references this photo. Some people even come in to retake their photos!
On my first day I brought a stack of signed documents to submit to HR (confidentiality agreement, I-9, etc…). When I asked questions, the HR woman told me about the company’s HRConnect website and how I could find my answers there. A few days later, she called me urgently and told me my I-9 background check failed (documents proving one can work in the US) and that I had 8 federal days to resolve things, otherwise I would face “termination of employment” ! Anyway, we got it straightened out eventually but it was quite painful. I missed the good ole day when employees can make up a social security number and not get caught since the companies just file these info and not check with the federal government.
I had no computer until the end of my second week and spent lots of time on hold with the “Help Desk” about this matter. There was no point for my colleagues to transition projects to me since most of these responsibilities required proprietory software to be added onto my non-existent computer. The typical answer to most of my questions was that I needed to do online training first and then live training prior to managing these projects. When I finally got my laptop yesterday afternoon, I found 60 emails and some nasty-mails copy my boss from the training department saying how it was imperative that I complete 3 modules (6 hours) of ethics & compliance training prior to the deadline otherwise “disciplinary actions” will ensue.
Scared to death at yet another threat regarding my short employemnt at the company, I spent yesterday’s afternoon doing the training modules. I found that the company’s training department is wise to all my tricks of completing training modules. One cannot skip reading the training slides to go straight to take the quiz. One cannot even advance to the next slide without letting the audio of the current slide complete.
I did learn the following and vowed to act appropriately from now on:
- It’s not OK to use company mailing service to mail personal items
- The company monitors employee usage of Internet. But it’s OK to send one’s relative or friend an electronic birthday card from work, as long as it’s an infrequent and quick action.
- It’s not OK to use company resources to work on one’s brother or sister campaign for public office.
- It’s not OK to negotiate prices or discuss rates with vendors since one needs to go through Global Procurement at all time.
- It’s not OK to answer any questions from journalists.
- There were at least 4 slides about “Meals” with health care providers
Anyway, I haven’t received any threatening email today, will keep you posted ….