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!
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