Friday, 17 April 2015

Starting a new job

I’ve been working at UMass Boston now for more than 6 months, but I still have a lot to learn. I’ve found it somewhat surprising how simple things can trip you up when starting at a new place of work, so I’ve made a randomly ordered list (I know, I’m obsessed with lists) comprised of things that might confuse new people. If every company/University/government office would hand us each a “new employee” manual that contained the answers to these sorts of questions – I think it would make things run much more efficiently.

1.     Where are the pens?
2.     Where are the other office supplies?
3.     How do I get set up with email/wifi/etc.?
4.     Where can I find and get access to the important websites, like:
  •  HR
  • Class schedules and roster
  • Blackboard 
  • Maintenance requests
  • Tracking spending on grants/startup $
  • Websites for specific things such as graduate admissions documents (if you are on that committee)
5.     How do I print?
6.     How do I make photocopies?
7.     Where is the library and how do I find and check out:
  •  Journals 
  •  Books 
  •  Interlibrary loan items
8.     Who are the PR people to contact for press releases?
9.     Who are the grants office people?
10.  What is the standard overhead rate for grants? Do we get any of this back?
11.  What are fringe benefits and how are they charged on grants?
12.  Is there a lactation room, and where is it?
13.  What shared lab facilities exist, and where are they?
14.  Where is the bathroom?
Who do I call for help?
15.  What teaching supplies exist for lab classes?
16.  How do I get new teaching supplies for my classes?
17.  How do I order supplies for my lab?
18.  Is there an on-campus stockroom where I can purchase items?
19.  How do I get my own website?
20.  Where can I store and heat up my lunch?
21.  When and where are any recurring seminars held?
22.  What public transport and parking options exist? Are there discounts?
23.  How do I sign up for instrument/boat/etc. time?
24.  What if my assigned classroom is not set up well for teaching, and/or the ceiling starts falling down when it rains?
25.  How are graduate students supported?
26.  How do I recruit graduate students?
27.  How can I incorporate undergraduate students in my lab (independent study, volunteer, work study, etc.)?
28.  Are there any on-campus health facilities that I can access if needed?
29.  How do I use the exercise facilities?
30.  How do I get basic supplies like paper towels and soap in my lab classroom?
31.  How do I take students on fieldtrips? 
Is there an adorable toddler who gives out protective eyewear and air fresheners somewhere on campus?
32.  Is there any organized safety training that myself, students in my lab, or students in my lab classes need to undertake?
33.  Who do I call if I have a hazardous waste spill in the lab?
34.  How is hazardous waste stored and picked up?
35.  How the actual F- do I keep the lights on or off in my office instead of relying on the automatic motion detector thing that doesn’t work?
36.  How do I get a phone and/or what is my phone number?
37.  How do I dial out? Long distance?
38.  How do I access new software licensed or purchased by the University?
39.  Where is the best/worst coffee on campus?
40.  What childcare facilities are available on campus or nearby?
41.  Where should I live for ease of commuting, quality of life, schools?
42.  What kind of specialized gear do I need to buy to deal with the new climate into which I am moving?
43.  Do I get my money back if there are 4 blizzards within the first month of spring semester?
44.  How do I get an ID card?
45.  How do I get keys/access to my office/lab/building?
46.  How does incoming and outgoing mail and package delivery work?
47. What is the emergency phone number?

I’m sure there are other questions I’ve forgotten – and I haven’t even brushed the surface when it comes to moving countries! But that’s another story.

What other items would you include in the ideal “how stuff works here” manual?

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully everything will become easier soon! Hang in there, Jess!