Saturday, October 07, 2006

First day on the new job

What a long boring day. Meeting after meeting, briefing after briefing, all saying pretty much the same thing.

Anyway, I’ll be working 8-5 with an hour lunch for the AIT branch of the Human Resources Directorate. AIT is the school soldiers go to after basic training where they learn their specific job training. I’ll be the one typing up their orders to their next duty station, plus a few random other things. The lady that will be training me (she’s a riot, I love her already) pretty much said it’s an easy job once you get the hang of it. Sounds good to me.

My direct supervisor, on the other hand, doesn’t seem that likeable. At least as a first impression. I didn’t get much of a chance to talk to her today, but we have an appointment first thing tomorrow to talk about the time off I need. She wasn’t too happy about this vacation that I’m taking next week. She made a comment essentially saying between the lines that I should cancel it. But I’m not gonna. I’ve already paid for the tickets, told Justin, and made all the arrangements, AND it’s the last chance I’ll have to take such a vacation for a long long time. So too bad for her. Sure the timing stinks, but it’s not like I planned it that way on purpose. I think she’s just ticked because she’s the one currently doing what will be my job after I’m through training and my vacation basically means she has to do it for another week. Oh well, that’s the breaks, lady.

I found out a bit of good news, though. My second line supervisor suggested that I take advance sick pay (she said I can request up to 240 hours, conveniently enough that’s 6 weeks) while I’m out with Kaden to still get a paycheck. I’ll just be in the hole forever. And if I need to take a sick day, I can just take regular leave. I get 20 days a year (well, I have to accrue them at 6 hours per two week pay period), so that’ll be plenty. I won’t be taking any real vacation again until Christmas, so I’ll have more than the time I need for that accrued by then. I need to talk to Darrell about it, but I’m definitely thinking that’s the way to go! (edited to add: he's all for it...)

And better news – one of my fellow new employees asked about the whole other job offer thing. She’s in the running for a GS5 job. The third guy I was with said he’s also up for a GS6 job. And of course I’m up for the GS7 job. The secretary for the big man himself (the director of HR) said that the director would be the first person to shake our hand in congratulations if we were to get a better job. He totally understands that GS3 is crappy money and that you have to look out for yourself. !! So, if I get the phone call to interview for that position, you can bet your bottom I’m going to be there. If I ever hear anything more about it, that is.

Other than that, I got the tour of our area, met a ton of people (and I know I won’t remember who any of them are), and was shown to my desk. As crappy paying jobs go, I have a pretty decent area. There’s a little kitchen/eating area/file room right next to our workspace (with a fridge, microwave, and toaster oven). I get basically an open cube-type space, but with plenty of room to make it “mine”. I need to find a cool plant after vacation.

All in all, I think it’s something I can get the hang of pretty quickly. It’s not glamorous, but that’s okay. It’s a paycheck. My coworkers seem nice enough (one of them mentioned the need to throw a baby shower soon – first off, I hardly know these people and don’t want them spending money on me! Secondly, I don’t need anything… But the fun and food will work.) I hope I have the wrong first impression of my supervisor. That’s my only concern so far.

Still need to look into life insurance (may ask to withdraw from the basic automatic plan, but need to find out how much it costs, there are some not-so-good long term ramifications for turning it down), find out if I can withdraw from health insurance (and see if that means more $$ in the paycheck), and ask about the student loan repayment thing (got a contact name/number, just need to find the lady and ask her about it). Oh, and read a TON of crap, fill out a TON more paperwork, and sit through a TON more briefings over the next few days.

Originally posted: Tuesday April 4, 2006 - 09:56pm

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