First two days of work

So I want to write about my first two days at work.  First of all, people get to work much later than in Indianapolis.  I have arrived at work between 7 and 7:30 for the past two days, just like I would in Indianapolis.  However, most people are showing up between 8:30-9.  I’m leaving work around 4:15, and everybody is still there!  I feel bad leaving when everyone is still there!  Either I’ll have to get over that, or I’ll have to shift my work schedule.  However, I like getting to work early so that I can actually get a parking spot.  There are not enough spots for all the employees, so you should see what people do for parking!  There are people parking in the grass, on the sidewalks, and even double-parking and blocking people in!  As long as we get there before 8am, I don’t think we will have a problem getting a spot.

One of the first things I noticed on my first day is that the keyboard is different!!  It is mainly the same, but there are some slight differences that make it very difficult!  First of all, the shift key on both sides of the keyboard are only half as big.  Therefore, when I go to hit shift with my left hand, I actually hit the “\” key which is placed where the shift key should be!  And if I go to hit shift with my right pinky, I hit the “#” key.  So whenever I’ve been writing and trying to finish a paragraph, I inevitable just put # keys at the end of the paragraph and it looks like this.##

Additionally, since the shift key is so far away for the pinky, whenever I go to capitalize a letter, I instead put a slash and then the letter. \the beginning of my sentence looks like this one.

Finally, the @ key and the ” key are switched!!  What is that!  I keep screwing up people’s email addresses!!

So that was the first thing I noticed.  Next, I noticed that people were answering each other’s phones.  Literally, someone would be away from their desk, and their phone would start ringing.  The person across the aisle would get up, go over to the other’s desk, and answer the phone!!  I thought this was crazy.  I watched it happen for the entire first day before I asked on the second day.  It turns out that the phones do not have voicemail, and people answer each other’s phones to take a message.  Additionally, I can answer anybody’s phone in my bay area by picking up my own phone and pressing *63.  This just seems crazy to me because in Indianapolis you would never answer somebody’s phone!

Sort of along the same lines, nobody locks their computer screen!  In Indianapolis, if you get up from your desk, you lock your computer screen.  However, here nobody ever locks their screen.  They can pack up for the day, leave to go home, and their screen will still be unlocked.  For example, I went to pick up some papers from a coworker in an adjacent building.  He wasn’t at his desk, so I asked his neighbors where he was.  They sat down at his computer, and checked his “diary” (calendar) to see where he was!  His computer wasn’t locked, and they just hopped right on.  Isn’t that crazy?!  I don’t think you would ever do that in America!  Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s quite strange.

So those are the most strange things that I’ve noticed during my first two days of work.  There are some other things like they drink this instant coffee that doesn’t look very good, and they call the supply cabinet the “stationery cupboard.”  There are some other vocabulary things that are weird, but I’m too tired to think of them right now.  I will update you as I learn more.  Cheers.


7 thoughts on “First two days of work

  1. You are me 3 years ago! I was shocked that no one answered a ringing phone-Angela pacheco put me in my place on that one! I learned pretty quick that you NEVER ever answer someone else’s phone in the US! Still don’t understand it to be honest, but I wouldn’t dare challenge it!! As for the computers, that’s a new one on me!!! I love hearing how you view my old world, so weird!! Keep up the posts! Love from your originally British, now very American Mich xox

  2. Interesting post. I wonder if those quirks (answering each others phones, keeping data visible) is consistent across all workplaces in the UK, and to an extent, Europe. That definitely doesn’t fly in the States since we’re held accountable for just about anything.

  3. I love reading about your days at work in the UK. I know it will be fun and interesting to learn the different reactions of people. I read doug’s postings on Facebook re; shopping @ Ikea and visiting the pubs near your apt. Have fun, keep me informed, make lots of friends !!
    Love You, Mormor

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