first impressions

My dad always says “never judge a new job in the first two weeks,” so I’m not judging. Just observing.

1) This company is relaxed. Very relaxed. So relaxed that there isn’t an HR department (there’s a half-time contractor who does the HR stuff), there’s no vacation or sick policy (you just don’t come in, and you get paid), and no one even really knows (or seems to care) what their job titles are (I asked; no one could give me any definitive answers).

2) The workflow is relaxed. Instead of working for (and thus having to please/bend over backward for) clients, the company is overseen and run by 6 founding companies. This seems to mean that schedules are determined internally and that there’s little pressure to go-go-go-go-go-fix-it-right-now! I didn’t notice any real sense of urgency today.

3) The company is tiny. The Charlottesville branch has about 15 people, and the Dallas branch has about 10. Of the employees in my office, 4 are women, and the rest are men. All of the men are software developers; the 4 women are business analysts/project managers/do-all-ers. The girl who’s closest in age to me is probably a solid 4-5 years older and is married.

4) The workflow is undefined. The area that I’ll be working in, in particular (“content bugs”), is undefined. There are two developers who spend some of their time on content problems, but (as was my experience at my last job) it seems to be the area that’s most neglected. Other tasks often get prioritized above fixing content problems. I got a crash course in using the internal content tool today, and the dev that was training me concluded that it would be faster for him to automate the whole process than it would be for me to go through and fix them all by hand.

5) My boss is chatty. She took me out to lunch, where I listened to her talk about herself and her family (unsolicited) for probably 60 of 70 minutes. I literally didn’t have to contribute anything besides a few head nods and some strategic “mmhmm”‘s and “yeah”‘s.


Another item of note from my first day:

I walked back to the office after lunch with the girl in the office who’s closest in age to me. She told me that she and her then-boyfriend (now husband) had a long-distance relationship for four years. They met during college in Pennsylvania, after which he came to UVA for his Ph.D. After four years, she’d had enough of the distance, and moved here, too. She said she’s been here for three years, and now they’re married. So I guess it can be done. But four years is a long freaking time!


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