The Quick Quit

by Evil HR Lady on May 5, 2014

Have you ever arrived at work and realized you don’t remember driving there? It’s kind of a weird feeling, but your consciousness was somewhere else while your subconscious did all the work of traveling, turning, merging and parking. You can do this because your commute is so ingrained that it doesn’t involve any real decision-making.

Now contrast your daily drive with that of your new hire on his first day. Every bit of the experience requires concentration. New employees are unfamiliar with the traffic patterns — whoops! Missed the exit! Is a right turn on red allowed here? Where to park? Gah! Should have left 10 minutes earlier.  

Once inside, he or she doesn’t know where to go, what to do, where to get a cup of water or how much to contribute to the coffee-fund jar. Is the creamer in the fridge communal? Where’s the bathroom? What’s the lunch protocol? Do people eat at their desks? Maybe everyone runs out to get burritos. Then there’s the paperwork. Pick the best insurance plan for your family. Which 401(k) plan has the best balance? Would you like to participate in the employee stock program? Oh, by the way, there’s actual work to do!

To keep reading, click here: The Quick Quit

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Camellia May 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm

This is fantastic! I wish this could be mandatory for everyone!

Also, let’s not forget the folks that are not new hires but are new to a group or a department. In the last group I moved in to, NO ONE showed me anything, not even how to use their primary work system. I had to bug people even to get a single question answered. Thank goodness I am a self-starter and quite experienced in my field so I managed to make do, but my ramp up time was much slower than at any previous time.

I did get some insight into why this was the case, though. When I tried to help the next new person to the group by answering some questions (for maybe twenty minutes) I was called out by the team lead. She thanked me for being willing to “help out” but reminded me that I “had other things to work on”!

I do project work with deadlines of weeks, not days, so I was not neglecting anything critical. But now I can understand why no one wanted to help me.

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Evil HR Lady May 5, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Wow. What a bad team lead. Doesn’t she realize it’s faster to help the new person than it is to let the new person flounder?

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Camellia May 7, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Well, the kicker is that this team actually thinks they are doing knowledge transfer. They talk about it and sort of ‘pretend’ that they schedule it, but the reality is that it doesn’t actually take place.

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Ed May 5, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Another issue I’ve run into several times is a tight-nit team basically hazing a new employee. It say to the new hire “We don’t care if you’re technically qualified. You also need to prove you’re good enough to be part of our group”. It took me almost two years to be excepted at my current job. Even the manager had the attitude that he went through the same thing in the past so it’s not a big deal. I’m a 40-year-old man so being accepted isn’t my primary goal at work (or life) but a younger employee likely would have left.

The funny thing is all managers were recently sat down because we’re having a huge growth spurt and can’t retain enough new employees to support it. 1-to-1.5 years is the average stay for a new hire, just long enough to realize they don’t like the way they are treated here and things are unlikely to get better. Old employees stay here forever so most managers think that means it is a great place to work.

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Evil HR Lady May 5, 2014 at 8:57 pm

I like to think Hazing doesn’t happen in business because, come on, we’re not 12. But, unfortunately, I’m sure you’re not the only person who has faced this.

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