New job

I’m mostly desperately tired. It’s always like this, starting a new job, and I always forget. It also has not been going particularly well. However, I believe I can do this job. But the boss is difficult. The director, whom I was worried about, and whom I dealt with for the first time today, actually seems quite kind. But this boss, who seemed so ‘nice’ at the interview, is a bit of a bitch.

I already got told off and I’ve only been there a week. Man oh man.

And they continue to be unaccommodating. I want to start work at 8:30, but the boss arrives after nine, so all must work from nine to whenever. At first she said OK, when I asked. The next day she pulled me into a meeting room, saying I’m making her look bad if I’m not there until after five. No one cares when you come in, but people talk if you leave before five. I do want this to turn into a full time, don’t I? Excuse me? You’re threatening my job, when I have never yet not done what you ask? No threats were needed – of course I’d stay until whenever she says, she has only to say it.

Some kinds of people get anxious about me. I don’t know what it is. This has happened to me before. They see something, and they get very worried. Especially that I will not reflect well on them.

So yes, I’d like to start at a different time,which has never yet been an issue for me in other places. The subway at nine am is a complete nightmare. But what can you do. But being threatened with losing my job, in my first week there, is not encouraging.

People at work seem to be extreme introverts. My one teammate does not seem to talk to anyone all day long. She does not even get up from her desk to get tea. And she doesn’t talk on the phone. She is very very young, maybe under thirty, I’m not sure. The only time she talks is if our boss asks her a question. Or if I do. She never has a question or concern herself.

So the fact that she does not talk to me, and wouldn’t say hello or goodbye except that I say it first, shouldn’t bother me, but it does, a bit. At least I know it’s not likely personal. Then the other person in my cubicle is also almost completely silent, though she does get up once in a while. If I make her, she will talk to me a bit. She’s actually a bit interesting, unlike my team mate. I just get so irritated at someone who won’t even acknowledge you, yet sits in the same cubicle, just facing the other way. Weird.

And even though I’ve been staying until a few minutes after five since being told to, and arriving well before nine, I still get the feeling I should be staying later. Although I have little to do so far, mostly reading things. And by five, I am completely exhausted. So I leave. Once I have more work, I’ll stay later I suppose, but I will  not now, just for show,  unless I’m given a time I must stay until. If the boss dislikes me, so be it.

Then there was a first task she gave me on my first day, which did not go well. It’s so easy for things to go wrong when you’re unsure of things. I have to say, pretty much anything she’s asked me for, I haven’t been able to do. Like she mysteriously lost some work, and I couldn’t immediately find it. She seemed to have about five hundred documents per file folder, so it was quite confusing.

Anyhoo. It’s hard. So the only people there to talk much are the senior people by the windows. One fellow is quite cheerful and even says hello to me in the mornings, which is nice. They seem to talk to people and on the phone. But the analysts – they mostly do not talk.

The good thing in all of this is that I’m very competent at my core skills, and I’m keeping that in mind. Whatever anxieties my new boss may have about me, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to produce good work. If we’re on the same page at all. Which I’ll do my best to assure that we are. I am also pretty good at dealing with people, which I’ll need to do to some extent, as there will be internal clients. The benchmark for social skills there is not high it seems, lol.

There were also a few people in the lunchroom who were a bit friendly. I need to keep the positives in mind. It is disappointing that my one co-worker seems so uninterested in being at all friendly.

I want to keep mys spirits up, and not feel old and fat (boss and co-worker are both tiny Asian women, and decades younger than I am).

It does feel good to be out and about again. I’m more or less over the endless flu at last. I no longer feel that crushing fatigue. Now the fatigue is from stress as usual.

The night after I got told off for leaving before five, I really wanted to quit at once. There was another unpleasant interaction with the boss that day as well, and it just seemed impossible. I was actually trying to get some direction, because she was going on vacation for two days, and she was I guess too busy. Then why not say that, instead of being snippy and nasty to me?

I think the trick may be to lie low and not engage with this woman more than I have to. Maybe that’s why my co-worker is so very quiet – it’s best to lie low at all times.

So, I’m doing my best to fit in, not interrupt people, but also maybe chat with anyone who might seem a bit friendly.

I don’t want to quit anymore. Let’s see if I can tolerate the job once the boss comes back. I may leave it as a contract though, and not convert to full-time, even if they ask me to. So far, I’m not comfortable there.

  1. I’ll tell you my first impression based on your observations. (For what it’s worth.) I think you have unwittingly walked into an insane asylum. Someone in an important position somewhere is nasty and unpleasant, and it is making most people fearful. Your boss is expressing her fearfulness by being controlling and irritable–she’s reactive rather than expressive and she cannot trust enough to just say what is expected; there is no assumption of goodwill. (She might actually be the nasty, unpleasant person.) She feels she must use scare tactics to get what she wants. The other lower-downs are silent: any attention could be negative attention so best not to get any. It doesn’t necessarily have to affect you: You can walk away from this, unlike permanent staff who have a lot to lose already. I find it works this way a lot. The “nice” one in an interview is a bitch later on. I read somewhere “people leak,” meaning their true personalities come out eventually. Might be someone can keep a mask on for 30 minutes during an interview. Then the real person begins to show. Take care.

    • Ellen said:

      Could be it’s an insane asylum. 🙂 It sounds funny, but it could be really damaging. What you’re saying may be true. It’s hard to tell from just one week though. Maybe I am just seeing the dark side. Thanks for commenting.

      • Yes, it is hard to say after one week. Best of luck with it all.

  2. Grainne said:

    It’s always hard to judge a place when you’re still figuring things out. I’d say give it a month to see how things evolve and you’ll have a good grasp on the oddities of the place by then. Sounds to me like you’re doing fine and the non-talkative coworkers may have a million reasons for being silent…just try not to worry and do your work to the best of your ability right? Not being able to find work for a disorganized boss isn’t a big deal and should be expected until you know where things are and how she thinks.

    It takes me a good 3 or 4 months to sink into a new work environment. Once you’re there a while, the staff will start sharing all the secret politics and history – it’s pointless info but will help you navigate. It must be a big change for you, going from contract work where you never quite get a chance to settle in, to a full time job where you plan to stay a while. Hang in there! Always around if you’re looking for an outside connection while working through the newbie months. xx

    (PS – it doesn’t sound like an insane asylum to me. My bosses are bitches and they’re not even close to the worst I’ve had and I work in a rather professional organization. People are weird…all of them are. lol. Take your time and remember, you don’t have to stay if it turns out badly).

    • Ellen said:

      I agree, I need more time to evaluate this. The only thing would be, the sooner the better for the sake of my resume, if I do leave, because I’d have to leave the job off, and so would have a large gap. If I do leave, the best scenario would be to stay out the six month contract.

      I know people are weird. The trick is finding the brand of weirdness I can tolerate. 🙂 I don’t think I could handle what you put up with work-wise Grainne.

      The boss seems to dislike me so far. I’ve done a few things she has been unhappy with. Anyhoo. I’ll keep on keeping on. I do have your email address on my phone so may email at some point! Thanks

      • Grainne said:

        Anytime, my friend. I think your idea to stay the six month contract is a good one, particularly, as you said, for the sake of continuity on your resume.

        I love the way you put that “The brand of weirdness I can tolerate” lol!! Isn’t that the truth! I’m not sure I’ve found my brand here at this job either but the overwhelming love and support from the rest of the 100 or so coworkers I get to spend my days with makes up for it. So far. Hah!
        Happy Monday to you. Hope it is a good one. xx

        • Ellen said:

          Glad you get the support from the ‘100 or so’ (!) co-workers – that must make up for quite a bit. Hope I can last six months. Cheers

  3. leb105 said:

    Sounds like you feel it’s manageable, I’m glad of that! The whole scenario would activate ALL of my insecurities. It does seem as if it might help to remember that people are weird and living in their own little worlds. I think I’d prefer a quiet roommate to a chatty one. Maybe that’s how you survive in a battery cage environment.

    • Ellen said:

      It’s activating most of my insecurities too! But I’m going to muscle through if at all possible. Thanks Laura

  4. e.Nice said:

    Hope things go better this week as you are able to settle in and figure out whats going on. I can kind of relate to office mates that stay quiet, not wanting to bug anyone, but I would still think they’d want to help you feel more comfortable so its a weird situation all together.

  5. Ugh. That’s all I can think. I don’t like your boss or how she treats people. And I wish for you that your coworkers would be a bit more friendly. It’s so isolating to be in a group and have no one talking to you. I really hope that this next week is better, and that maybe as people get to know you they will be more friendly.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Alice. So far, it’s not gotten better. Sigh.

      • I’m sorry. I had really hoped it would get better for you. Sending you lots of positive thoughts, support and hugs if you want them.

  6. Rachel said:

    I shuddered when reading this post. The way your boss talked to you was really unprofessional and I don’t like it. I love how you stated your confidence with your abilities; that’s true. And I’m glad you know that, because she will likely be rude regardless (unfortunately). And holding to your worth and skill will serve you, however long you’re there. Well done. I know it’s exhausting.

  7. It sounds like a lot to be dealing with Ellen. I’m sorry the boss is a bit of a bitch. You really didnt need that starting somewhere new. Keep the positives in mind though. Your doing your best. Thats all you can do. Xo

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