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blakemasnor's avatar

Any interesting or awful First Days on the job?

Asked by blakemasnor (312 points ) July 23rd, 2010

Describe the your most interesting, embarrassing, awesome… first day at your new job

(I posted a question a while back about your best or worst interview moments but I think this deserves it’s own thread.)

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38 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

My first day here was working their booth at the hardware show selling products I had very little knowledge of. That was awkward at best but I bagged the biggest account this company ever had. They decided to keep me because of that! :))

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I went to a party and whooped it up the night before I started a job at the Humane Society.
Hundreds of barking dogs and loads of poop were what greeted me on my first day giggles

blakemasnor's avatar

My first day of work in a suburb of Memphis was awful.

I didn’t pay attention to the directions my boss gave me and drove thirty miles in the wrong direction. He planned for me to go to a farmers market, but I went to the main orchard instead. But ‘went’ is maybe too strong because my car ran out of gas a few miles shy of the wrong place I was supposed to be. My boss, the nicest man alive, picked me up, drove me to a gas station where we filled up a jug, drove me back to my car and helped me find my job. I was so surprised he didn’t fire me.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Dogs and poop! What could get better?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe -Not much! It was as close to paradise as one could get! ;)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

At my first job out of college, we were always ballbusting. We hired a new guy and as usual sent out an interoffice memo to all other employees giving a little background info, etc. He had been a longtime volunteer with Special Olympics, so that was mentioned in the memo. We just changed his copy of the memo to say he participated in Special Olympics. Juvenile, but fun.

Scooby's avatar

First day at a machining place I was informed by one of the guys that I was replacing a bloke who had the misfortune of having his arm mangled in the machine I was to work on, while setting the tool! “ he’ll most likely lose it” said he! “they still haven’t reinstated the light guard since the accident” he went on to say… needless to say I wasn’t there for too long… got the hell out ASAP… :-/

NaturallyMe's avatar

I started my first job on my b’day. Fooey. And on that day i left my ID in the office when we went out, so i couldn’t go with the guy from work into this one building, where he wanted to show me the procedure to do something, so i had to wait in the waiting area while he went inside and did whatever.

Coloma's avatar

I started working part time at a local river/camping second hand store this year in my tourist community.

My boss is a riot..I love that I have attracted a supplementary job with somebody who shares my humor and is easy going and allows me to do whatever I want in terms of putting a creative spin on showcasing our merchandise.

The first day I opened the store he left me a printout of opening and closing procedures.

At the bottom of the list after closing he wrote:

” Go home, sit in spa and have an umbrella drink. ” lol

He also added to the list of emergency contact numbers:

” Out of beer- 911 ” hahaha

I am having a blast playing in ‘my’ store!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Coloma Any other openings? sounds like fun.

BoBo1946's avatar

If you read this, could be dangerous to your health! Could cause a sudden rise in blood pressure!

In 1980, resigned from coaching and teaching and took a job with a major insurance company as an insurance adjuster. On a Friday, packed our stuff into a large U-Haul. Got no sleep over the weekend moving our stuff into our home. Reported for work Monday morning. Met everyone in the office and told my secretary had several things to do about my lights, gas, etc. As I was leaving the office, over heard my secretary taking a total fire loss. There was another adjuster in the office and he was experienced. My thought he would handle this loss since this was my first day. didn’t even know where the bathroom was located!

When I returned to the office, my secretary said, “your boss is on line one!” BTW, my boss was located in another office 150 miles away. When I picked up the phone he said, “what in the Hell did I hire you for, you just cost me a $1000 damn dollars….this loss was sent to an independent adjuster that cost a $1000 damn dollars!” I was so shocked….a word could not come from my mouth. He ranted and cursed for about 15 minutes and I never said a word. Just listening. Finally, he just hung up with no comment from me. After getting off the phone, just sat there in a daze looking out the window. My biggest thought was, “what in the heck am I going to do!” Thought about moving back to Memphis and taking my old job back. The position had not been fill and had a great relationship with my principal. But, had bought a house, and you know the rest of the story.

So, I sucked up my pride and went to work. 10 years later, my secretary said, “your old boss is on line one!” (he took a better position about a year after i was hired..thank goodness) The first words out of his mouth was, “I’m calling to apologize how I treated you that first day on the job!” I liked to fell on the floor. We had a civil coversation and that was that….

Worked there for 25 years and took early retirement in 2004.

BoBo1946's avatar

@blakemasnor loll..where did you end up? I once lived in Memphis!

Coloma's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe

Well…it’s a long way from the east coast. lol

Yes, it is a lot of fun, and, I have a shop dog too!

Doesn’t get much better than that! ;-)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Coloma I take back all the nice things I’ve said about you, you weasel. A dog too, you blow. :)

cookieman's avatar

My first day at my current job.

I was told by the owner upon being hired that I could rearrange/setup the office any way I wanted to (it was a mess). I also arranged to bring in my own equipment on a temporary basis as their stuff was beat up and antiquated.

Problem is, he forgot to tell the woman I work with that A) they hired a new creative director and B) I was gonna be making some major changes immediately.

So on my first day, I started at 6AM. By the time she arrived at 2PM, it was a whole different office. She LOST IT. After an extended, and quite dramatic outburst of yelling and screaming, she stormed out and went home in tears.

Three-plus years later, we’ve never had a good relationship.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@cprevite Personally, I don’t blame her.

The best new co-workers and supervisors sit back and absorb the work environment for a week or two before making suggestions about changes. They should assume that we do our jobs well, or we still wouldn’t be there. If it isn’t broken, don’t attempt to fix it.

And after time, they then suggest changes that would raise the bar on production/efficiency. I appreciate those that ask the group about their ideas in order to get a general consensus.

Dutchess_III's avatar

People just can’t handle change @cprevite. What things was she saying?
@Pied_Pfeffer Why do you not blame her? In the big scheme of things it’s a tiny bleep on the radar.

cookieman's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer: Thank you for your opinion (one which I generally agree with) – except that in this instance I was hired “fix it” as the owner had already determined it was “broken”. Furthermore, the owner is the one who encouraged me to change things around and start fresh on day one. Unfortunately, he forgot to mention this to my co-worker.

I didn’t even know she (or her position) existed until she walked in that day.

Coloma's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe

Hahaha, yeah well… ;-)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Dutchess_III and @cprevite Thank you for the feedback and continued questioning, as it is important to explore different perspectives.

@Dutchess_III A lot of people I’ve worked with balk at any mention of change in the workplace. Should they come in and find something as simple as a filing cabinet moved to a different location, it may rock their world. The mover may be right, but it takes buy-in to achieve a mutual understanding. And that takes communication before action.

@cprevite I have worked for several people that have been brought in to a work environment to fix it. One immediately requested that we start providing statistics in an Excel spreadsheet that he was used to from his old company versus learning to read the same information provided by a simple print-out that was automatically generated each day.

I embrace change when it is for the better. A lot of people don’t. It just seems that in order to make a change effective, it needs to be sold to those that it impacts and hear their opinions before it is incorporated. It takes a painful amount of time, but the result is so rewarding.

Coloma's avatar

Nothing worse than the Excel spreadsheet addicted!

OMG!

I was dating this engineer last year that insisted on making a spreadsheet and/or diagram for everything…he was insane! lol

I threw a big bash and he took it upon himself to print out a diagram of my entire property and set up the parking scene, the band setup, create a fire lane, where the food tables and kegs would go, special parking spaces for his friends and deciding where the porta-potties should go, be possistioned the absolute farthest from the food tables.

DUH!

Noooo..lets set up the toilets right next to the food!

Talk about making an epic event out of a party, he even wanted to print out all the emergency services in the area, nearest hosptial etc. :-/

I told him it was pretty simple, either a band aid would take care of things or we call 911 and send in the helicopter to my secluded property. haha

It was kinda funny, kinda not…I don’t do do anal well. lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

Engineers are wacked! That’s for sure @Coloma! It’s always nice (but rare) to find one who can make fun of himself!

That’‘s something I had to learn the hard way…just sit tight for at least 6 months, and if you think something needs to be changed, go vewy vewy slowly. I have a problem in not understanding how people can’t see how OBVIOUSLY better my idea is! But, I’m learning….

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III

LOL

Yeah, free spirts always attract their polar opposites, anal. haha

I wrote a poem about that guy…‘Anal is as anal does, rententive now and always was..’ lolol

Vunessuh's avatar

My grandmother and my mother were waitresses and they both really enjoyed doing it. I thought maybe I would too, so I applied to work at Marie Calender’s. I show up for my training day and they ran out of the uniform in my size, so I had to wear this white t-shirt that was way too small and an apron that was way too big. Needless to say, I was uncomfortable because my stomach and back would become easily exposed if I bent down or reached high.
I was so nervous that my hands and arms were shaking and I would go to set down a glass of water for someone and spill some of it on the table. My voice would even crackle when I went to talk sometimes. My anxiety was through the roof.
The area I was working in was very rich and elderly and most of the customers were very snarky and obnoxious. At one point I went to clear a table for some folks and I leaned across the table to grab a plate. The woman was kind enough to push it closer to me and her husband looked at me and said, ”what’s wrong? Your arm’s broke?” along with something else, I can’t quite remember.
I quit my training day. I just don’t really have the patience or the ability to bite my tongue at such outright rudeness. I knew it would get to me after a while. I’ll never go into the restaurant business. Sorry mom. Lulz.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Vunessuh Oh, nastiness. Did you tell the cook to spit in their food? Should have.

I’m enjoying this! But I have no stories. Yes, we have no stories.

Coloma's avatar

Aaaah…no spit in food, no, no, noooo!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Don’t spit in the food. It’s unsanitary. Urinate in their coffee or drinks instead.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe LOL! Yes! Urine is sterile!

Carly's avatar

First Day working as a photographer for a summer camp:
1) Their internet was slower than my grandparents
2) No one knew which cabin I was supposed to live in for the next 3 months
3) The A/C in my office was broken
4) I found out that I was only going to be paid only about half as much as they promised
5) I realized I forgot to pack tampons and my deodorant. :(
6) The loneliness of not being able to see my bf for 2 months finally kicked in.

Honestly, that whole first week I just kept thinking “FML, FML, I want to hitch-hike back home”

aprilsimnel's avatar

In college, I started my first day of an internship on a TV show the same day that the head writer on that show got the sack. He made Burt Peterson’s screaming on Mad Men look tame. The guy threw a tantrum for the ages. And he nearly kicked me out of the way as he was heading out the door with his box o’ stuff.

I had my back to his office and was alphabetizing files; I didn’t see him coming my way. I don’t remember if he called me a c&$# or a bitch as he went past, and I’d only heard him ransacking his office and calling various people on the staff some vulgar names. I can feel myself tense up at the memory. ::shudders::

One of the lower-level segment producers was mortified at his behaviour and bought me lunch that day. So that was nice.

BoBo1946's avatar

you guys and girls can “crow all your heart’s desire,” but mine first day bet them all! just saying!

still blows my mind, my boss calling 10 years later and apologizing! hope for mankind!

@cprevite that was not your fault. Sounds like she is a “crab to” me!

Smashley's avatar

My first day working as a line cook, I made the mistake of telling my new co-worker, a critical, effeminate, Latino, that I’d never worked a job like this before. He then took it upon himself to start calling me “gypsy” (whatever that means) in such a way that it really started to bug me. “Don’t you know the difference between chicken and fish gypsy?”
“I’ve never seen someone screw THAT up before, even on their first day, gypsy”
“Chop chop with the calimari, gypsy”

I didn’t know such a ridiculous word could bug me so much, and he was clearly enjoying it. I ended up cussing him out on the first day, and we had a few fights afterwards as well. I think in the end, he was just trying to see how I reacted under the pressure of a cooking situation, and since I found a way to thrive and become his equal (if not his superior) in the kitchen, we eventually became friends. Still, what an asshole.

YARNLADY's avatar

My first day on a job as account clerk, the desks were lined up in a narrow room that was one desk and one aisle wide. My desk was at the end of the row, and all the other workers were smokers.

I told my supervisor I couldn’t work there, so he moved my desk just outside his huge office. That made all the other workers mad, and every time they passed my desk, they waved a smoking cigarette at me.

Monday, two weeks later, the real supervisor of the company came back from vacation. Turns out the man who hired me didn’t have authorization to hire and they gave me my first and only paycheck later that day, including pay for the entire third week.

anartist's avatar

My first week of work at a long-awaited government graphics job [I had been out of work a long time during a period of 11% unemployment] coincided with a major and lucrative freelance job on a tight deadline. I worked 24 hours a day during my first full-time work week, occasionally finishing up free lance stuff in the privacy of the darkroom where they thought I was learning how everything worked. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep driving to work on the fifth day [no damage, just a quick nod, waking up when my head hit my chest] but that rough first week gave me a huge jump forward in my effort to get out of debt. And U was lucky that my rough first week was just chalked up to “learning the ropes.”

VS's avatar

My first day on the job at the Commission for the Blind, I was given some documents to copy & I set the copier on fire. No, I mean, really, the copier was ON FIRE! We had to evacuate from the 14th floor along with everyone else in the building while they got my HOT papers under control. I kept that job for several years but never quite lived down my 1st day.

Coloma's avatar

@VS

lol

Years ago I worked in a small assisted living facility.
One night I burned the french bread and it set off the fire alarm.
We ( myself and another caregiver ) couldn’t figure out how to turn off the alarm system.

Had to evacuate the 6 elderly residents and the fire dept. came to reset the alarm system.

Darn.. and I took such pride in cooking everyone a nice meal! lol

Andreas's avatar

@YARNLADY Interesting how you could be hired by someone without the authority to hire. Makes me wonder, What’s the management really like?

@All A lot of interesting tales. Got a few chuckles. Thanks for sharing.

anartist's avatar

My first time ever as a nude model. My college art instructor had started, with some other artists, an art school in an elegantly shabby building that no one would rent. My bf and I were both friendly with him. We learned his wife was the most frequent nude model for our class and she would tell him anything interesting anyone said about him in class if he was not there. I thought modeling was so ‘left bank’ and exciting. When my prof asked me if I wanted to model at the new school I said YES!

Walking into a studio filled with art students just like myself wearing only a kimono that I was soon to lose and climbing up on the platform, I was asking myself “can I really do this?” I got up there, faced the class, and dropped the robe.

Nothing happened.

I didn’t faint and wasn’t struck by lightning and didn’t have a heart attack. Within a few minutes I actually got into the art of it: taking the most interesting [and difficult] pose I could hold for the time allotted. 1-minute poses and 3-minute poses could be more challenging than 10-minute poses. Twenty or 30-minute poses had to be planned with more care [and I loved it if I could work reading a book into a long pose].

The secret was that once I stepped onto the stand, I stopped being a personality and started being a form or object.

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