Oct. 13th, 2014

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Today was the first day of new job. It was pretty cool -- 69.4 degrees F to be precise, at 40% RH. I know this because the fancy recording thermometer/hygrometer sits on a shelf behind my desk. Step one before measuring anything is to let it sit on a shelf for awhile and equalize.
Met with HR to start; got issued the usual stuff, W4 form, etc. Got a new pair of shoes with steel toes. They actually look casual enough for non-work wear. (And nice that I get to wear out shoes on the company dime. That's something off my budget.) 
Health insurance is the same as at old company, which is nice. Minimal paper shuffling there.

In comparison to old job, the first day was structured. Not so much that it was overwhelmingly stuffy, but to the point where I never felt lost, or that I should know something about how to log in, or use the phone, or whatever. Indeed, there's a checklist for things that I and my supervisor/coworkers have to do for each of the first four days. At old job, they basically told me where "my" (shared) desk was, and that I could do Solidworks tutorials until I was blue in the face, or until someone was un-busy enough to train me on whatever they felt was relevant. In short, disconcerting, because I did a whole lot of nothing (except try to look busy) for the first week or so. Sub Optimal.
New job isn't leaving me to feel lost like that, which is a pleasant change. Also, in contrast to old job, when they talked about hustling me up the pay (and responsibility) ladder during the interview process, new job didn't stop that patter on the first day like they did at old job -- HR specifically brought that up during the morning paper-pushing. IOW, it really feels like they do value my potential. To that end, I officially have a performance review/salary adjustment before the end of the year, and another one at 6 months and the customary 1 year. Given the amount of structure everywhere else, I can believe that they're actually serious about this. (It doesn't hurt that numerous people I've met who were former employees there have attested to this already.) 

On structure: the company is huge on Six Sigma, 5S, and a lot of the rest of lean manufacturing. No kidding, I saw plenty of tool racks with outlines drawn on them, and you can't walk 5 steps without seeing at least a dozen signs plastered all over the walls and hanging from the ceilings. Nothing is left to interpretation.

On training: coworkers have told me about training they've been sent to, including to Brown & Sharpe/Hexagon Metrology in Rhode Island. I'd be thrilled to get sent there; when I was in college, I got sent there to get some parts measured by their contract services department, and was amazed by their facility. But it underscores that the company is willing to invest in training.

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