robotech_master: (energy ball)
[personal profile] robotech_master
I started the day in my temporary cubicle at work; I'd been told they didn't have have my computer for my permanent one yet so I had to use one of the "Work At Home" cubes—the cubicles reserved for people who work from home to come and use when they need to.

It kind of amused me to see the big "WAH" nameplate when I looked up, because "wah" is a nickname I've heard used for the red panda by folks in some of the furry forums online. (Because that's what their vocalization sounds like.)

Subsequently, it turned out the supervisor had been mistaken about where my cubicle was, and my computer was actually in the right one after all. So I moved to the new one shortly after the workday started.

It's a nice space, with plenty of room and storage space. I should bring in my MCI trophies to put up there tomorrow. If I stand up, I can see the window at the end of the aisle of cubicles, which has a little table next to it where I could take my lunch and sit and eat while I admire the view. It's on the 5th floor—the top floor of the building—with a great southern facing view. I can look right down Virginia Avenue toward the interstates and Fountain Square. I can also see the Eli Lilly complex due south, and the edge of Lucas Oil Stadium to the west. (Or I can step to a westward-facing window about the same distance away and look directly at it. My cubicle is near the very corner of the building.)

I'll kind of miss being on the northern face of the building, where I could view the downtown skyline and watch the trains go by, and I'll miss being right next to the window the way I was at the last job, but all in all it's not at all bad here.

Some interesting discoveries from the first day of work yesterday. First off, I'm in for seven weeks of training (or more correctly, five weeks of training and two weeks of apprenticeship with an experienced rep from my division). The training will be 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the time being. Then when I actually go on the phones, I'll start with the 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. shift until such time as earlier positions become available.

The shift won't really be too much of a hardship, on the whole; I worked the noon to 9 shift back when I was with Geek Squad. The bright side of it is that if I get to bed early and get up early, I'll have a couple hours in the morning before work to get errands done.

The annoying part is that my schedule will no longer sync up well with a good friend of mine in California. Due to my habit of sleeping a split shift, I'll often get up in the middle of the night and watch videos with him via a Rabb.it session. But once I'm on the 11 to 8 shift, I'll probably go to bed before he gets off work, but get up right as he's going to bed himself. So I suppose we'll be taking a break for a while at that point. Ah well; a break will probably do us good for the long-term viability of continuing to watch stuff together.

Another interesting thing is that it turns out I'm the only full-time hire in my batch of trainees; the others are temps like I was for my last position. (The supervisor said that they're just temps until they get hired on, and better to say when for that rather than if. Hopefully that works out for them; they all seem like nice people.)

The training session is a virtual session, using Adobe Connect in a voice-and-whiteboard-only connection to a trainer in Wisconsin. It's not my favorite method of training—it would be nice to be able to see the instructor face-to-face—but it won't be the first time I've had training that way, and I'm confident I can pick up what I need to.

One irony is that, while the nifty cafeteria here was part of why I wanted to work at Anthem again, my 11 to 8 shift will mean I largely won't be able to use it. When I get to work, they'll be doing lunch when I'll be ready for breakfast—and they close down in the early afternoon, well before my lunch period, so I'll have to find my lunch elsewhere. (I think that's why the 11 to 8 schedule provides a whole hour for lunch—they expect I'll have to go somewhere else to get it.)

I kind of wish I could spend that extra half hour at home—I'll just be drinking Soylent or otherwise bringing my lunch most of the time, for budgetary reasons, so I won't exactly have much use for it. But I guess it'll be nice to have it when I need it, too, and it will make it easier to get downtown errands (like getting more counter checks printed out at the bank) done over lunch. And down the road if I should need to take an extra hour or two of time off for a doctor's appointment or some other errand, I could presumably devote that extra half hour a day to making it up so I wouldn't have to take PTO for it. (I'll have to ask a supervisor about that.)

One a bit less salutory discovery came when my supervisor sent an email to the group reminding us that work computers are to be used for no personal browsing whatsoever. Which I guess shouldn't come as a surprise—it's the understanding I had when I started my Anthem customer service temp job 8 months ago. However, soon after starting that job, the supe made it clear that it was all right if we used our computer for personal purposes between calls, as long as we always minimized everything when a call came in. And that was nice, especially in the late days of the job when the calls tapered off due to the call center we were overflow for getting up to speed. I got a lot of reading done via online ebook sites.

It's a bit disappointing to revert to such strict principles again after getting used to that level of freedom. But I'm a grown man; I can deal with it. I suppose part of it was that, as temp employees, we weren't subject to the sort of rigorous monitoring and auditing permanent employees (like me now) get. Or perhaps it's a difference in the rigor of the types of position. But in any case, being employed is a lot better than not being employed, Anthem offers some amazing benefits, and I don't even know fully what this job is going to be like yet—how interesting or satisfying it will turn out to be. I suspect it's going to be harder than the customer service work, and perhaps harder than I expected when I signed on. But no matter how it turns out, this job won't last forever. Sooner or later I might be able to move to a more interesting role within Anthem, like trainer or writer. Meanwhile, maybe I should get a fidget spinner to help keep my mind off things while I do my best to bring my "A" game to this one. :P

Much of today was occupied in going through computerized audiovisual training courses, including one fairly annoying one I'd had at the start of the last position too. Why is it that so many audiovisual training courses adopt such a patronizing tone, with cartoon characters and corny dialogue? Do people actually remember information better if the mode of presentation annoys them? Got more to look forward to tomorrow, too. We're still in the early stage of training that combines extremely basic stuff with utterly complicated stuff out of left field that we don't have the context to understand properly yet. But I'm sure that'll start to come after a couple more weeks.

Meanwhile, I didn't sleep too well last night. Hopefully I'll do better tonight. I really need to be well-rested to devote my full attention to all this training.
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