Friday Gauge Check: Gainful Employment Edition

I started Wednesday.

That’s really skipping, because I should talk about my weaving class on Saturday. I intend to do a full post about it, but right now, let me just say that weaving feels like the most natural thing I’ve done with fiber in my life. My teacher asked if I was sure I hadn’t done it before, because I certainly didn’t act like a rank beginner. Not in this life, I told her, and she nodded and told me that fiber was in my blood.

I’ll take a picture of what was supposed to be a sampler and turned into a scarf I’m going to be proud to wear. I’ll talk about my second project, that I’m going to start tomorrow, and we’ll see where it takes me. But I’ve found something I love more than knitting.

I should talk about my knitting, because while I didn’t do much, I did accomplish my goal of knitting every day. I finished the first Personal Footprint sock, fixed the first Hiss sock, and I put down the heel turn on the second one to get this post out. Oh, and I’ve done some work on Jack’s grey scarf – if I don’t finish that over the weekend, I’ll be somewhat surprised. Really, if I don’t finish it over the weekend, it’ll be because I’m working on the second Personal Footprint sock, getting it to the point where it can go into my purse.

I wrote a very little, obviously blogged even less.

What I did do was start Wednesday, and three days in, I’m utterly delighted with my job. Not only are my co-workers as much fun as I hoped they would be (I spent a not-inconsiderable amount of time talking about Phoenix ComicCon and amigurumi with my boss), but the corporate culture is helpful, supportive, and focused on solving problems rather than placing blame. Eight days out from a major deadline, with the sorts of SNAFUs that happen when there are a lot of different departments collaborating on a massive project, and I did not once feel genuine inter-departmental tension. What I felt was a bunch of people working as hard as they could to get something finished, and doing as much as they could to alleviate confusion, communicate clearly, and make everyone else’s jobs easier. It was amazing.

I haven’t talked about my previous job, but it was at a company where I started out happy to go to work and ended up nearly sick with dread at the thought of having to go back and deal with the corporate bullshit yet again. The phrase “throwing people under the bus” was used regularly, frequently in the context of, “Well, I don’t want to throw [person] under the bus, but….”

I think you can tell a lot about a company by listening for corporate catchphrases. Every company has them – they’re phrases that you use at the office, and don’t necessarily make a lot of sense out of context. Often they abuse traditional rules of grammar. But in my experience, (there’s one now) the word choices management adopts when speaking to co-workers and subordinates say a lot about the corporate approach to problem-solving and dealing with stressful situations.

The word I heard most of over the past three days was “help.” As in, “What can I do to help you?” Help isn’t a corporate buzzword, but it does speak to a very positive culture. The buzzword, though, I heard my very first day. My boss was making doubly sure that I understood what he was teaching me, that I wasn’t getting overwhelmed by information overload, because he’d had trouble with previous new hires to my position just quitting because they were overwhelmed. “I wish she had told me so I could have tried to solve for it,” he said.

Guys, my corporation’s buzzword? Is “solve for.” I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

It’s not just the words, either. The building is beautiful, and there are so many little details that speak to a company that makes its employees happy. The cubicles are spacious, the room is brightly lit with lots of windows, the chairs are the sort that you had to have a doctor’s note in order to get at my old job. The vending machines are well-stocked and cheaper than I’ve seen vending machines in years. There’s a (free) coffee selection that includes three kinds of tea, guys. Three kinds. The bathrooms are clean and classy. Little things, yes, but it’s really the little things that make you happy to go to work every day.

Next week I have to work 45 hours, so I’m going to limit my goals to enjoying my job and doing something creative every day.

How has the week treated you?

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~ by Amber on April 30, 2011.

2 Responses to “Friday Gauge Check: Gainful Employment Edition”

  1. Can I have your job? ‘Cause I’m seriously unhappy in mine right now. 😦

  2. D00d, that’s so awesome. I’m glad you’ve landed someplace cool.

    Where is this place? I need to know what name to watch for in job listings.

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