Monday, April 02, 2007

The New Guy

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. The new guy started at work today. While the new guy should be the one on edge, it seems like our staff was the one trying to impress him. In the ritualistic dance of office dominance, the established veterans lost round one. Don’t worry, we’ll be OK. During a staff meeting last week, all of us good team players discussed all the ways that we could haze; I mean welcome, the newbie. We ran them by the boss man but surprisingly, he wasn’t that enthusiastic. After all, the goal is to have a new employee be excited about their new job, not mortified by it. Although what fun is there in that?

The first idea was to clutter our desks with as much paper, file folders and reports that we could find. Along with that, all of us would have our hair mussed and act as though we are all over stressed. I decided that at some point in the morning after meeting new guy I would tell him ‘you know; only 6% of all new hires make it past the 15-day probationary period.’ That one was popular with the co-workers. So was telling him that our medical benefits have great psychiatric coverage, which is a good thing because we’ve all had to use it. In fact, we can tell him that we’re there so frequently we’ve been given an office discount.

We also thought of yelling at our clients on the phone about what would happen if they threatened us one more time. The phrase ‘I swear on my relatives’ graves that if you try to sue me one more time I’ll cancel your contract,’ was bandied about. I decided against picking up the phone in front of new guy and pretending to ask my client if he could instruct his staff to stop pulling knives on me because they should know me by now. I thought that placing a call to my insurance agent stating that my car was broken into for the third time this year while visiting one of my clients was a good idea. Our case was so easily helped when my boss had to interrupt us saying that one of our clients had been shot by one of their employees. It turned out to be a rumor, but we could not have scripted it any better, believe me.

Of course all of that stuff is just the warning part of welcoming the new guy. We also were excited to give him our tips of the trade as well. The staff thought that new guy would love to hear that two-hour lunches are the norm as is casual shorts Friday and bring your dog to work Thursday. Although I’m not sure what we’ll tell him when we all show up in our shirts and ties this Friday. In hindsight, telling him that ANYTHING he buys can be expensed out may have been stepping a little over the line. If that’s the case then I guess it makes giving him a Sharper Image catalog to order from almost sinful. Oops.

Don’t get me wrong. We are a loving and forgiving people at the office. We do nice things for each other all the time. We buy the office donuts, share paperclips, announce loudly so that all can hear when someone’s performance numbers fall just in case that person wasn’t aware of it and we usually return whatever we borrow from our coworkers within the same quarter. In fact, we didn’t even talk behind new guy’s back while at lunch today. Granted, we didn’t invite him to dine with us either, but we decided that was for his own protection. We felt we should wait at least a week until we criticize company policy in front of him. And when I say a week, I mean two business days.

It’s great having another coworker around the office, and I’m not just saying that because it lightens the workload we’ve been handling while there was a vacancy. Hopefully he likes playing our song of the day game where we pick a word and then everyone has to come up with a song title containing that word. Hopefully his palette can grow accustomed to eating at the same Mexican food place every day, because it really is nice walking into an establishment where everyone knows your name. Maybe this will be the elusive coworker who DOESN’T make fun of NASCAR. Just to be sure, I think I’ll forget about office dominance for a while and work on getting on his good side.

That reminds me, I need to tell new guy tomorrow that no one cares if he plays computer Solitaire when he has a little down time. Well, I’ll tell him once he figures out the password we entered to lock his screensaver and make his mouse move super slow. The only problem is that no one seems to have written it down…

16 comments:

Cece said...

This is bad, but I hate new people at work. I especially hate training them!

My girlfriend told me that one of her co-workers left their PC unlocked & someone went in & "hid" all their desk top icons. I'm just saying...

mist1 said...

I get so lonely all by myself.

thepinkangel said...

your office sounds like a riot. I love to hear the antics you guys are up to.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

I'm quite glad that I don't work where you work...however, this is just a tad scary as I've just been thinking that I should look for a new job...

Michael C said...

Cece: We didn't think of that trick...there's always tomorrow ;-)

Mist1: You are welcome to come work with us.

Thepinkangel: The antics keep us all from killing each other I guess ;-)

silverneurotic: We're not that bad. We don't bite. Well, I'm not sure about one of the coworkers.

Stacey said...

They keep hiring so many new people at work that we can't keep up. It makes it hard to bet on how long it'll be til they quit.

Odat said...

I love new people too!! hehe...
We train them well also...
I love the "song of the day" game...I think I'll start that tomorrow!
Peace

Lizza said...

Your office sounds like a big playground! I wish I could've gone to a place like that. New Guy will be so grateful when another New Guy/Gal comes along!

captain corky said...

A couple of weeks ago we had a new woman start and on her first day one of the guys in the office said, "welcome to hell". She quit the next day. There were other circumstances but I'm sure the warm welcome didn't help.

Sher said...

If you told him about bring your dog to work Thursday, I'm surprised you forgot to mention the boss' Prostitute Appreciation lunch every third Monday.

Very funny post!

Michael C said...

Stacey: Yeah, it's important to be able to accurately determine the over/under and odds of how long a newbie will last.

Odat: Just remember that when someone comes up with an incorrect title, you have to launch a paperclip from a rubberband at them over their cube wall.

Lizza: Yes, New Guy will most certainly be looking for someone new ;-)

Captain Corky: Sounds like she received a lot nicer welcome than I ever got.

Sher: Shoot, I forgot about that Monday staple.

Robin said...

Dang..where do I get job application?

CSL said...

This reminds me of a conference call interview with a potential new hire. As she was discussing her work history, someone (okay, it was me) noticed a lizard on the wall. We al jumped up to have a look, while the interviewee talked on, unaware. We used to start the disrepectful behavior even before people hired on!

Violet said...

Before I left one of my old jobs I had the task of training up a new member of our team. I was really unhappy at my job and found it almost impossible to avoid saying bad things about the place, in front of him. Fortunately, it didn't put him off because his previous job had been at MacDonalds and his current one was therefore a relative "dream" job.

Abigail S said...

An office discount at the psychiatrists office! Funny stuff!

Love the picture!

Patti said...

I'm dying here. It seems that no matter where you are, office antics are the same!! :)