Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So this is good

Three days into the new job and: No stress yet.

I have not received much training yet. The first few days have been getting my computer online and usernames for various programs to which I will need access. Today, I have a meeting with someone from another department who will train me in a program called Millennium, which will be an integral tool for what I will be doing everyday.

My first day was really low key. I arrived early and made my way to HR where they collected my paperwork and I became an official employee of Caltech. I then headed to the Caltech Associates department and my new boss, Arlana, gave me a hug and said that she was so happy to have me. Lelia, the Senior Department Assistant, was late as she was bringing in pastries to celebrate my arrival. Arlana sent out an e-mail to the whole Development and Institute Relations department inviting them up to meet me. Though many were not at work yet or were busy, people wandered in to meet me and say hello throughout the day and it was a very positive thing for me.  :)  The first think Lelia asked me was how I was feeling about leaving my other job.  Was it sad?  How are you doing?  Wow, I needed that.  It has been emotionally difficult to leave friends and wonderful clients.  She also insisted on treating me to lunch my first day.

I know it sounds silly, but my work space and the glass plate that reads, “Kimberly Taylor, The Associates”, were the most exciting part. I have to decorate my work space. I have 2 full walls and 1 with a high cupboard shelf. Lelia says I need to put up some framed photographs or something. I need to give this some thought. I love decorating spaces. In another life, I would have like to be an interior decorator.

Yesterday, I got to attend a special meeting with the Associates, the Communications & Marketing department heads, and the Associates Membership (members of the Associates who are not staff, but are on the Board and volunteer their time). I was brought along to take notes. The meeting was held in the prestigious Anthenaeum Library and I felt so out of place sitting amongst brilliant minds and seniors who have made such a mark on science. I also got to partake in a delicious catered luncheon complete with chicken sandwiches, tomato and mozzarella, caesar salad, and soft cookies. Attending the meeting was very valuable for me to better understand what the Caltech Associates do. Their passion and commitment to Caltech and continuing to provide students and professors the support needed to pursue excellence in science was inspiring. I sat there and noted their concerns, their strategies, their love for education, their ideas. It was very inspiring and I learned a lot about Caltech just from listening to this candid meeting.

So far, my main project is lining up a caterer for our Caltech Associates retreat later on this month. We are booking the Tournament of Roses for the location and they have a list of approved catering companies. This is new to me, being someone who rarely hosts events in which a caterer is required. So, I’m learning a lot.

I am still getting used to the fact that I have access to all four of my supervisors throughout the day, unless they're in meetings.  At the studio, I was only allotted 30 minutes M/W/F to discuss with the Director and then a staff meeting on Thursdays.  I am used to collecting my questions and having to wait (cause of much anxiety) until I can get them all answered in one go and then solve problems based on the answers.  I am so used to keeping a distance that it surprises me when Lelia tells me to "check with Arlana" or "just ask Arlana".  It is refreshing and relieving.

One of my supervisors, Carrie, is waiting for me to complete my Millennium training today before she begins doing some other training with me. So, I expect things to pick up after today. In the meantime, it is so refreshing to be at a job where I have my own office area that involves very little customer service and takes place in a small, quiet office and where everyone seems to be cheerful, helpful, and low key.

And I'm starting to forget how bad things used to be.
And I'm actually sleeping.
And I'm truly enjoying things again.


Jason Pestell said...

I am so glad that the regular presence of your supervisors is relieving so much of the would-be stress - the stress that filled your previous job. I love the ease of approaching a supervisor or two with questions knowing that I'm not on my own (a feeling which I now experience a little at Western Christian, in contrast to my less-stress bank job).

I am also quite glad for your sleep and the general sense of peace and joy that has filtered back into your life.