I Survived A Week In Hell And Didn’t Even Get A T-Shirt

, , | Working | July 9, 2020

A new coworker fresh out of school and with no experience starts at the worst possible time. We are swamped with work and have little to no time for her.

Me: “Welcome to your week in Hell. Unfortunately, I will have no time for you this week and will require you to do as I ask when I ask it. Next week, I will explain to you what you did this week and it won’t be the most interesting jobs, but rest assured, what I’ll ask you to do is necessary work.”

I don’t think she believes me. I notice her becoming unhappier and unhappier and regretting her life choices that brought her to this point every time I give her a routine, no-skills-necessary job — basically photocopying and filing. Finally, Friday noon brings much-needed relief.

Me: “[Coworker], let’s talk. I know you are unhappy, but I can assure you, the job is much more than what you did this week. I won’t deny that the tasks you did this week are a part of the job but it entails much more and more interesting things to do. We’ll make a fresh start on Monday and I’ll start your training properly. Trust me: weeks like this do happen but, luckily, not often, and next time you will be more prepared.”

I got the impression that she didn’t believe me this time, either, and I couldn’t blame her based on her experience, but she did show up the next Monday. It was a rough start of her career but she survived and worked through it and turned out to be a talented new member. I’ve moved on since, but I sometimes wonder if she remembers that first horrible week.

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