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I turned up for my first day of a new job at 6.50am, I wanted to leave lots of time for getting lost and parking. I spent the journey juggling thoughts of ‘I hope they’re nice’ and wonderings of whether three months was enough time to get into my stride within the context of a new trust set-up and a new team.
Pulling up at the car park barrier, I pushed the buzzer and explained to the voice behind the speaker that I was a new registrar to the trust today and that I hadn’t been given my parking permit yet.
I wasn’t coming in, I was told. Looking behind me at the queue of early morning faces waiting in their cars, I asked if perhaps I might be able to come in to turn around. Apparently, this wasn’t allowed either.
‘They’ll have to all reverse back’, the voice told me.
Awkwardly I gave the queue of people ‘I’m sorry’ eyes, negotiated a 360 degree about turn and took myself to the next carpark and then next and the next. Fourth car park lucky, I managed to deposit my car in a yet otherwise empty, unlocked, unsecured gravel pit about fifteen minutes’ walk away. I recognised it as the place I was warned by colleagues who had gone before me, not to park after nightfall. I would finish my shift about 9pm that evening, but beggars can’t be choosers, clearly.
My allocated appointment with a medical staffing officer was at 8.30am, so I waited outside a locked office, patiently. At 9am I asked the operator to put me through to human resources and let them I know was still waiting. They said to wait. At 9.30am I called again and it was suggested I phone an extension number for the member of staff. I ventured that I didn’t see the value in standing outside a locked office listening to a phone ringing on the other side of the door. The person sighed, left me on hold and returned afterwards to say ‘actually, he isn’t in the office today’.
‘Oh right’ I countered, ‘well this is my first day joining this trust, what should I do for, you know, an identity card and access… and maybe just a hello and welcome?’. The person on the other end of the phone paused and said ‘well, you could just use a PC and print out the documents yourself’.
‘I could’ I replied, still standing in that corridor, ‘only I don’t have an IT account or knowledge of where I can print or use a computer and presumably I can’t sign my own request for security clearance?’
The voice on the other end remained monotonous ‘well I’ll give you a generic log on and you can find a computer’.
Deep breath, before I lost all sense of reason and told this man that perhaps I should just go home and they could call me when they were ready to welcome me to their trust.
I became aware of a person behind me in the corridor, turning around to a consultant anaesthetist, she said ‘are you the new anaesthetics trainee?’ I said no, but that I did need help. I put down the phone.
‘Well first thing first,’ she said with a smile, ‘would you like a coffee?’
And I said yes, I would like that very much.
What has been your best and worst first day in a new job? Use the comments section below
By the Secret Doctor
Read the blog and follow @TheSecretDr on Twitter and on Facebook
I'm trying to imagine any other company/organisation/job in the country making such a balls up of 'induction' of a new staff member.
Not their fault but I once turned up for a temporary job on the correct day - only to find out the following day that the office had been closed that day due to a staff member's death and subsequent funeral over the Christmas holiday period. In the midst of dealing with that, nobody had thought to let the new start (AKA me) know not to turn up on the Monday as I'd originally been instructed. I felt awful when I did find out because the day before, I'd been cursing them for not bothering to let me know.