10 things I noticed on my first day at work

The thought of the first day of work can be most exhilarating feeling... before you get to the office.

Marium Arif March 23, 2012
The first day of work can be full of excitement... before you get to the office. It's like the first day of school; you can’t contain your excitement but when you enter the premises you are already dying to leave! I’ve listed the 10 things I noticed on my first day of work. Here goes:

1. The blank look on the HR guy’s face when you arrive at the office - the same guy who interviewed you and begged you to accept the package . No one knows where you are supposed to sit, how you’ll enter the building or if you’ll need a laptop to work on.

2. The horror on the admin staff’s faces when they are asked to fix the electrical boards beneath the desk of the most non-private cubicle you just have been bestowed with. Their facial expressions evidence the inconvenience you had dared to put them through.

3. You haven't been introduced to the peon, so he walks in and chooses to ignore your existence, skipping your cubicle and avoiding your eye while serving a tray of tea to the rest of the floor.

4. The awkwardness. Sitting at an empty desk, staring at your phone, you start re-reading millions of year old messages, refreshing Facebook every few seconds on your über slow GPRS, silently cursing your network service, trying hard not to listen to everyone else hammering away at their keyboards while looking super busy and important.

5. You start to personalise your cubicle all over again. As time (barely) crawls by, you wonder which photograph of you and your beau should be displayed at your desk, discreetly crane your neck to check if others have frames on their desks and think about the a bonsai you may keep eventually.

6. You are so bored that when it’s time for introductions and orientations, the relief and excitement that you keep in check is impressive, but wait - that’s a lot of people! Smiling and nodding at everyone, you struggle to remember who is who.

7. Trudging back to your desk after the orientation, you realise that the only department you know most about is HR - but you are nowhere close to working near that department, let alone working in it.

8. You finally message your super busy husband who is consumed with his super busy job a couple of miles away from your office, saying:
“So how about lunch today? You and me like old times?" (Hearts and everything, bribing him so he picks you up and steals you away from the awkwardness for a while)

Post-lunch and back at the office, you try to find the water cooler, the cafe and the washrooms. Success! Now that thechai wala peon has seen you, he has to serve you tea! So you throw in a “Shukria” in accented Urdu just so he knows you are a sweet person unlike the guys who do the “Oye… chai lana zara”.

9. The washroom survey reveals an array of soap dispensers.  You spend the next 15 minutes fixing your hair, refreshing the lipstick, cleaning cuticles, filing the rough edge of the thumb nail, drying hands while your desk beckons your presence.

10. By the time its 4:30, your face is so radiant at the thought of going back home that the lady beside you notices this expression of bliss and casually mentions that the work day at your new office ends at 5:45 PM and not 5:00 PM. She goes on to say:
But that’s just the official timing; your boss doesn’t leave before 8:00 PM.

After a long sigh of resignation, you sit quietly waiting, contemplating how to hurt this bearer of bad news. The last 30 minutes of the day are spent calculating how many years you will have to give in to this slaving till you can start your own business.

And this was just the first day of work - I have approximately 269 more days to go!

This post was originally published here. 

Follow this author on Twitter @mariumarif.


Marium Arif A Masters graduate from IBA who is working in the field of marketing and PR. Marium tweets @mariumarif.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


noreen | 12 years ago | Reply Shazib khan "I have gone through some of the things you have mentioned above while working for different organizations in Islamabad. So far, I have have been fired thrice and resigned five times. I don’t like working in any company for more than 2 months as I get bored and start asking myself what the hell am I doing here? Thus, my productive becomes zero! I always feel that people around me cooking conspiracy against me and they want me failed . I don’t like boss asking me to get things done before dateline , I struggle to cop with such pressure and end up fighting with boss. I don’t like formal office environment and want people to laugh when they see something funny. Either I or my female colleague gets wrong meaning of friendship and we fall in love which affects my working. I can’t digest boss imposing wrong ideas on employees and still they think they are walking on the right path. I hardly failed making impression on interview penal but can’t keep the job for too long. What should I do? Should I go for having my own company based on my ideas or there is something seriously wrong with me which needs to be fixed big time ?" ^ da fuq did i just read? :|
Adeel Ahmed | 12 years ago | Reply @Awais Ch: Obviously because you would have joined Multinational company. But few are unlucky like me who after graduating from top business school of Pakistan (IBA - Karachi) are compelled to do a job at Seth Owned company where you can't find any peon to place an order to bring a tea. All you have to do by yourself. You are the employee and you are the peon too. This life sucks me.
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