Whew, I wrapped up week one at my new job. Overall impressions? Pretty good, I think. It’s still too early to tell, but there’s potential for a trong fit. The pros? Well, for one thing, I scored my very own office. Fuck yeah, first time ever, so that’s kinda cool. I’m rolling with the big dogs now! I actually spent Saturday printing/framing photos for the office. Second good thing? My boss and team mates are super cool. The boss is a really feisty Indian lady: I think we’re gonna get along really well. I’m also digging the college scene. There’s just something about being at an academic institution. I mean, part of me was a little concerned I might have minor PTSD given how much I stressed in undergrad, but thankfully, nah. I’m fine. I’m not a formal student right now anyhow, so it’s all good. Beyond my immediate team, people appear very warm and welcoming. The team treated me to lunch at the fancy staff and faculty lounge on Tuesday, and then someone in another group took me out on Wednesday, and I went out with a third person on Friday. In general, there isn’t much of a lunching culture (people do their own thing), but I’m trying to just meet some people and you know, get the lowdown in whatever way I can. Hee, hee.
Job-wise, I think there’s going to be a lot of latitude to experiment and to try new strategies. I’m trying to ramp up as quickly as possible, because I’m eager to start contributing. For one thing, the university ain’t no small environmental public agency. That is for sure. I mean, coming in, I knew that the university employed more than ten times the staff of my last employer. Still, I guess I didn’t really grasp the breadth of all that goes into a university. It really is a massive ecosystem, from the administration to staff to alums to undergrad programs to grad schools to student life to athletics to facilities to sustainability, etc. The list goes on. Consequently, their social media network is super distributed, because there’s just no way to scale with one or a handful of people running the show. That’s a huge shift for me: in my previous role, I pretty much managed all web and social media– strategy, content, planning, metrics… Here, I oversee those key areas but at a higher level, plus I’ll manage two student interns. Needless to say, there’s a shit ton to learn. Exciting but a little nerve racking too. Thankfully, my boss has us signed up for a higher ed social media conference. She’s on it. Finally, the commute is a very reasonable 20 minutes. If I want, I can opt for the train, which extends the commute to 45 minutes including walking to/from the train station on both sides. Double the travel time but still an alternative for days I don’t feel like driving my hurky jerky hybrid. What else. I get my own iphone. Interestingly, when I asked one of my coworkers whether she would advise keeping two separate phones (personal and work) or consolidating, she recommended that I wait until the 6-month probation was over. Nice. Haha. I mean, she said she didn’t mean that as a bad thing against me… who knows, maybe I’ll decide that the place isn’t the right fit. Haha, kinda odd but ok.
Now for the bad. Well, pretty minor so far. First, I do get the sense there is some mild drama/politics going on. Not that surprising considering every workplace has its issues. Also, the school seems a bit on the frugal/cheap side when it comes to budgets. For example, I requested a PC computer (instead of the existing mac), and the IT department spec-ed out a bottom of the barrel system. I replied, asking for a faster processor and better screen resolution, because this unit is supposed to last me the next 3+ years… I mean, if you get components that are already outdated today, that ain’t gonna go very far, especially at the speed at which tech evolves. Thankfully, my boss is advocating for me… but damn, we’re talking maybe $500-$700 difference for something that is critical to my daily work and is also amortized over the next several years… You KNOW I’m all about the bargains, but shiiit. Come on! As an additional data point, I even asked the IT department at my previous workplace to see what models they’re currently issuing, and they recommend the 7000 series. The uni wanted to give me the 3000 series. Other than that, no big complaints just yet. The new leadership definitely has some SUPER aggressive fundraising goals (that raises eyebrows), and the institution is working on a number of major projects concurrently, so… it’s an exciting time. But also a potentially insane time. We’ll see.
Other than that, I had a pretty exhausting first week. Not so much because I had to get up early (hours are roughly 8a-5p)… I actually like starting the day off early. For me, the trouble has been insomnia again, because Martin is having issues still. We took him back to the vet on Tuesday, and to the doctor’s surprise, he still has a bladder infection. And his kidney levels are still high, though they are lower than before. So turns out, the first round of antibiotics didn’t completely clear the infection. He’s also still having occasional spooking issues and unexplained trembling. So back we go on antibiotics, and now I have to try a few different meds to troubleshoot the trembling to see if it’s caused by 1) anxiety 2) internal pain 3) or if it’s actually tremors, which is neurological.
Yesterday, we learned that John’s sister put down her dog Bodi. He was a 15-y/o black and tan coon hound. Sure, he had a cushy, long life. Still, no matter how expected and inevitable death is, the loss of a dear, old friend is extremely sad and traumatic. Bodi, Jake, Remy, and Martin were like cousins– all of the same generation. When we adopted our furbabies, John, his sis, and I were just starting off as young professionals. We were all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Now we’re all old and crusty and jaded. Haha. But man, our dogs really grew up alongside us. I keep thinking to myself: Why do I still cry when I think of Remy? Goddamn, heartbreak sure is a beotch. RIP Bodi. Thanks for all the love and cuddles. Now go find your old friend Remy.