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Re: The New Job

by dragonchild (Archbishop)
on May 17, 2005 at 20:01 UTC ( #457981=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to The New Job

  • Keep your mouth shut. No-one is dumb; they had a good reason to do it a dumb way. Find the root cause and fix it. That root cause is never your colleague.
  • After 6 weeks and before 12 weeks, you should have a project that you're championing. Sounds like the testcase automation is a good one for you. Demonstrate how you're a win for the company.
  • Keep your mouth shut. You have no idea what the political landscape is - you don't want to step on a landmine.
  • The first guy who talks to you is desperate for friends. Don't be his ally.
  • Read a random chapter from the Camel this weekend, to get into the mood.

  • In general, if you think something isn't in Perl, try it out, because it usually is. :-)
  • "What is the sound of Perl? Is it not the sound of a wall that people have stopped banging their heads against?"


Comment on Re: The New Job
Re^2: The New Job
by gaal (Parson) on May 17, 2005 at 20:06 UTC
    > The first guy who talks to you is desperate for friends. Don't be his ally.

    Ouch.
Re^2: even more OT: The New Job
by Forsaken (Friar) on May 17, 2005 at 20:25 UTC
    # The first guy who talks to you is desperate for friends. Don't be his ally.

    Ouch, that's harsh ;-) Besides, try avoiding any alliances whatsoever in the beginning, and preferably in the long run as well. Company politics is a good thing to keep tabs on, but unless you're a real shaker and a mover it's generally better to just stay out of it altogether from my experience.

    Remember rule one...

Re^2: The New Job
by djantzen (Priest) on May 17, 2005 at 22:21 UTC

    Keep your mouth shut

    On the other hand, do:

    • Smile and greet your new coworkers daily
    • Ask questions frequently
    • Express your enthusiasm (assuming it's real)

Re^2: The New Job
by elwarren (Curate) on May 17, 2005 at 23:12 UTC
  • The first guy who talks to you is desperate for friends. Don't be his ally.


  • Maybe that should read: Be his friend but not his ally. I think first to talk is just too broad. Some people are more friendly than others, while some people just don't know how to make friends.
Re^2: The New Job
by jhourcle (Prior) on May 18, 2005 at 02:45 UTC

    Two of dragonchild's comments reminded me of some of my grandfather's articles for the journal Chemical Technology from 1972-73, as a series called 'Survival Manual for Technologists')

    Here's part of the 'new employee' advice: (the full set is over 12 pages, and I don't know what all of the reprint rules are for the journal, so these are just excerpts from the articles)

    Carl Pacifico, 'Survival Manual for Technologists: Part II', Chemical Technology, vol.2, pp.340-2, June 1972.

    Carl Pacifico, 'Survival Manual for Technologists: Part II', Chemical Technology, vol.2, pp.587-9, Oct 1972.

    (all typos, etc, are my fault, and not from the original article)

      If I had to work with anyone who was following that advice, I'd suggest firing them. Particularly the second article.

        Well, I've been fired for using sarcasm .. but it was the manager who was following the advice in the articles. (specifically the 3rd article, which is about how to mismanage).

        Oh...and from my grandfather's notes, he originally wanted to name the series 'Surival Manual for Incompetent Executives'

        It's also not quite obvious from the selections of the first article, that the whole thing is a joke ... the first article starts off by explaining ...

        We will start by adopting one of the cardinal principles of the business world: The attention to be given to any decision is inversely proportional to its importance. The decision to enter the industrial world, rather than teaching, academic research or government service must be considered a major one, so plunge right in without analyzing your prospects for success or happiness. If you find later on that this is a critical mistake, you can adopt another common practice; criticize the system, cry foul, and insist that you were mislead.

        The next decision to be carefully avoided is that of seeking the proper company. As with people, each company has a special personality, with its own atmosphere, mores, and criteria for success and failure. The principle to be noted here is that alternatives in any decision situation are problems, not opportunities; careful analysis of multiple-alternative decisions leads only to confusion.

Re^2: The New Job
by Tanktalus (Canon) on May 18, 2005 at 04:07 UTC

    I have to pipe up on that "first guy" bit. As I've said before, I'm often the first guy to talk to the new hire. I'm not desperate for friends or looking for an ally. I'm being paid to bring junior members up to speed quickly ;-)

    And in the same meditation, the second point is communication: I'm looking to feel out the new guy to see how well he will perform (the first point in that meditation), to see how willing he is to get help when he needs it, without overburdening his reporting structure.

    (And the only reason I keep using "he" here is because our new student is a male - I used the same strategy when bringing women on board as men.)

Re^2: The New Job
by tilly (Archbishop) on May 18, 2005 at 05:09 UTC
    I have to speak up on the "first guy to talk to you" rule.

    I'm generally one of the first guys to talk to new hires. That's because by an accident I've developed a reputation for knowing everyone, and I have to work to keep that reputation up. (The irony of it is that I'm really quite terrible with names.)

Re^2: The New Job
by ghenry (Vicar) on May 18, 2005 at 07:56 UTC

    Keep your mouth shut. No-one is dumb; they had a good reason to do it a dumb way. Find the root cause and fix it. That root cause is never your colleague.

    I love this one! How true!

    Walking the road to enlightenment... I found a penguin and a camel on the way.....
    Fancy a yourname@perl.me.uk? Just ask!!!

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