Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Orientation hell

Today I went to orientation for my new job, except not really. The orientation was for all new employees of the hospital system without being specific to anyone's job. I can see the advantage of covering general information that applies to everyone like benefits and safety. I could do without the extensive examination of the over-long mission statement. Plus there's the fact that I just went through the same orientation a year ago. I didn't sleep well the night before, so I was a little irritable when I arrived. Here are some notes I made:

It's only five minutes in and I'm already simultaneously bored out of my skull and preoccupied with violence. Hmm, not the best mindset for a healthcare job. Clearly I need to be fired immediately. Hee.

There are many awful jobs, cleaning pig pens or cold-call sales for instance, but high on the list must be leading weekly orientation sessions. Repeating the same information every time, answering the same insipid questions, forcing a smile every damn week when some self-amused joker cracks wise at the start of Q&A by asking, "When do we get paid?" Ha, ha, ha! Ha, ha, ha...ha. Sigh. Someone jam a pair of forceps in my brainstem and stir vigorously. That's what I'd say if I had the job.

As soon as I walked in this morning I said to myself as I scanned the room, "Don't sit at the all-guys table. It's nearest to you with several empty seats, but you know for a fact since you did this last year that forced camaderie and lame art projects are on the agenda. Guys generally aren't good at these things. Sit at the table with the sparkly-eyed women who glory in this crap and they will allow you to eschew enthusiastic participation with only mild looks of disapproval." Alas, I hesitated and was lost. The HR folks sent me to the guys table (wouldn't HR want to prevent such a concentration?). At least at this table nobody is going to nosily ask what I'm writing.

Sitting at an all-guys table has some distinct advantages, a minimum of forced conversation and the barest effort to complete lame, "team-building" exercises being the two that come to mind. The primary disadvantage is that no one wants to volunteer to be our table's speaker. Fortunately we have a go-getter dad at our table and it practically defaulted to him.

Orientation is over. Note to self, do not quit your job and then go back to the same hospital system for another job more than six months later cause then you'll have to sit through this again.

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