New job

Somewhere up in the clouds, hundreds of feet above the ground, that’s where you’ll find me during working hours. My new job is up on the 27th floor. Although I don’t have a window seat, the view is terrific. But being so high up means getting used to express lifts.

It genuinely frightens me that a metal box that you’re standing in can travel so many floors up (or even worse, down) in such a short time. On Thursday I foolishly went down in the lift for lunch, eating a banana. Not a good idea. It almost leapt back up my throat.

And the job itself? It’s pretty good. I’m back at a company I used to work at (that big phone company that starts with T), and half the people I’m working with seem to know half the people I used to work with – who are only three floors below me anyway.

As with all computer jobs in the history of the universe, you spend the first day reading lots of documents so you try and get the remotest idea of what’s going on. Then on the second day you generally start delving gently into some actual work. This has been no exception.

So in general it’s going well. In fact, compared to my last job, it’s going exceedingly well:

Last job This job
The contract Three months programming Six months programming
Location Suburbia, big maze-like corporate HQ, commonly known as The Death Star. City, in a humungous shiny new skyscraper.
Commute 10 minutes walk plus 20 minutes on bus with shouting students. Got a seat every time. 8 minutes walk plus 20 minutes on express train with studious commuters and outnumbered (and therefore subdued) students. Although the odds are against it, I’ve so far managed to get a seat every time.
Nearby A handful of shops, a couple of parks, and a most picturesque view of a quarry and the freeway. Just about every type of shop, restaurant and facility imaginable.
Location in building Ground floor, overlooking front garden sprinklers and main road. 27th floor, overlooking the Queen Vic market, Elizabeth Street and most of the north of Melbourne
Distance to junk food Five minutes’ walk to bistro and queue. For hot chocolate, add an average five minutes’ wait at the Southern Hemisphere’s Slowest Coffee Counter. Chips and choccies in charity tray thing in kitchen, thirty seconds’ walk away. Location of Coke and hot chocolate inside the building undetermined as yet.
Got desk Week five. Before that we were nomads, wandering around the building all day. First day
Got stationery Second day, got a bin and loads of pens, pads, highlighters, pencils, floppy disks, and everything else you could think of. Found all I need so far in the desk
Got key and/or pass Week two. It involved a multitude of paperwork, getting my photo taken and waiting around for the card machine to do its work. So far I’m still having to ring through and plead for colleagues to let me in, or assure someone else entering that I really work there.
Got phone Week six. Mobile phone usage was well above average in the weeks before! First day for outbound calls. Should have my own number Real Soon Now.
Got LAN point and cable Week five. First day, everything plugged in and working.
Got computer Never got it, unless you count that day in the second last week when I cut the pictures of computers out of the Harvey Norman catalogue and left them on everybody’s desks. First day, all setup with correct software. Correct in this case being Windows 3.1, but I’ll survive. In fact it’s so long since I’ve had a computer at work I think I’m in heaven.
Got logon No idea, never had anything to logon to. First day, I was even told what the initial password was!
Started real work Never, unless you count the snippets I did at home to show them what could be done when we got started working. Second day and productive already, wow!

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.