On first days

Today is a big day.  Big day!

I had a full schedule planned and was supposed to be at an important breakfast meeting along the Lake shore. Up with the birds, driving in the dark, greeting importants and making everyone feel welcome.

But in the middle of all that, I made an offer of employment to someone I’m very excited about “on-boarding” (corporate words for hiring/acclimating an employee).

And to complicate things, my team and I are off to a conference next week. She needs to come, too. So HR said “she needs to start sooner.” As in today. Friday.

Add another layer of complications, an important agency asked for a meeting mid-state.   She’s on the East side, I’m on the west, the agency office is in the middle.

Decision made.

A few other employees were scheduled to appear with me at the breakfast meeting so they’ve got it covered.

I will leave shortly, take the meeting and then boogie on over to where her office is. Coffee up!


I remember my first day: I had a cubicle, a pen and a note pad. No computer. No guidance. No agenda. No direction. No colleagues (in meetings).

I did what I do best: I made a list.

Eventually someone hauled in a computer, a few days later it was up and running. In the meantime I met my office mates, asked questions, learned about the company and started figuring things out.

My first day, week, month weren’t great but they were definitely memorable. And a learning experience x 10!

You only get one first day.


And I want hers to be memorable … but for all the right reasons!


“In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” ― Tina Fey, Bossypants


Do you remember your first day at work? What was it like? Did you feel like someone prepared for you or were you “tossed into the mix” like I was?


Categories: Attitude, Determination, fear, Gratitude, Growth, Life, Personal, Thoughts, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “On first days

  1. Hope all goes well – I have a feeling with you involved, it will!

  2. It was my third day at my last job that was memorable. My boss was fired for falsifying her time records (she was the then head of HR — the corporate moral compass). As she was packing she advised me to “go back to where I came cause this company sucked.” Wisely I decided not to take her advice and the rest is history. I will admit, I was shaken to the core and I was in my early 50s.

    • O.M.G.
      It’s hard to believe that such unethical people exist but they do.
      One year we had a health benefit where employees rec’d a discount on health benefits if they were non-smokers. My boss was a chain smoker and signed up for that benefit. Winking he said, “they’ll never check.” And they didn’t. Eventually he got his but it’s amazing how many people have no moral compass or only have one when someone else is looking.
      ((Shaking my head)).

      Glad you didn’t listen to her – wow~! MJ

  3. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    A memorable moment for me also, was the first day of last job. Accurately my boss’s assistant was better to me than my boss was. Too this day we are BFF and I stayed for 12 years. This person is very lucky to have a boss like you, MJ. A good boss is a great treasure Oh, and by the way that assistant (Linda) became my boss and what a blessing that was. ❤

    • That is awesome that the assistant became the boss, love those stories. Today is my 15th year anniversary with the company I work for – I started as Dept Assistant moved over to Data Administrator/Analyst then up to Manager and eventually Department Head. The point in sharing isn’t to brag but to rejoice that I out-lasted the BAD BOSS (man) and learned a lot about how to treat (or not treat) employees. That experience directly helped me shape my new employee’s first day and I have had others, and her, thank me for doing so. I agree a good boss is a treasure and a bad one is a detriment. Thanks for weighing in Shirley, I always appreciate your feedback 🙂 MJ

  4. First day. Orientation. Fingerprints. Discombobulating!

  5. Sounds exciting! My first weeks at my old shipping job were beyond stressful. There was no one who took the new recruits aside to do training or orientation. When some of the other mariners talked about orientation, I inquired and was told there wouldn’t be one. ??!?? I kept asking the old timers where to go and what to do. They were helpful, but the first few months on that job actually left me with clumps of hair falling out, that eventually stopped falling out.

    • I don’t know why that is but so many companies FAIL on thinking through what the first day should be like for a new hire. Pet peeve of mine. Sorry you lost hair over it – yikes!! MJ

  6. cooper

    I spent my first 8 days at work with no computer, no phone, some pens and reading material. They were not very organized as far as first day impressions go. I’m happy to say that by the time I left we had turned that around into a documented battle plan for the first day of every new person that arrived.

  7. I like that you are empathetic to her “first day.” Good job, MJ. She’s got a great boss.

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