I started working at Tri-C (Cuyahoga Community College) last Monday as a Programmer/Analyst in the Distance Learning department. So far it has been a fun and interesting experience. The first day was spent on orientation. About a dozen of us new employees were doing orientation that day. Human Resources helped fill out forms. We talked with Parking, Payroll, and Benefits. We also viewed a few videos about the college.
Since orientation let out a bit earlier than I had expected, I decided to get my ID card (My Tri-C Card) that day. The card serves as my identification. It also allows access to some door. Additionally, I can use it to buy items at any of the vending machines or stores on campus. I spent my first week buying lunch at the local store. If I had somewhere to sleep, I would not have to leave the campus! I will bring my lunch most days. However, it is nice to have other options.
The next day, I reported to the building I would be working at. I was not quite sure where I was allowed to park; the lot next to my building does not include staff parking. I drove around until I found a staff parking lot. Then, I spent almost a half hour trying to track down where I needed to be. Fortunately, I had allowed enough time so that I could arrive on time. Actually, I arrived early; I had to wait for someone to unlock the offices.
I have spent the past two weeks setting up my workspace and immersing myself in the process. I figured I would not be completely productive for at least a month. But, I have had good conversations with the rest of the team and I hope I have provided some meaningful insights.
My department is underground. The downside is that there is no view. The upside is that the offices can double as a bomb shelter. Speaking of offices, I was actually surprised to receive my own office. It has been a few years since I have had my own office. I do not mind working in a cubicle. However, it is nice to occasionally close the door.
Of course, the next challenge is getting keys to my office. My credentials were updated yesterday meaning that I can finally use my ID card to get into the main door. Previously, I would either have to press the doorbell and wait for someone to let me in. Or, I would have to go upstairs or find my way back down if no one was available. The office doors require a physical key. So, until I get that set of keys, I have to rely on my coworkers to let me in.
I know that it would take me quite awhile to fully integrate me into the system. I am just so anxious to be a productive member of the team. I will just have to be patient for the time being. Since I do not have any specific tasks yet, I have been exploring what the college has to offer. I recently signed up for a few free Health and Wellness classes. If I complete enough of them by the deadline, I will receive some money used towards paying my medical benefits.
I wish I lived closer. However, the commute is a bit better. It is difficult to tell though as traffic has been bumper-to-bumper lately due to poor weather. I have noticed a gas savings already. I used to have to fill up every two to three days. Now, I think that I can get by with once a week.
All I can say now is that I am happy that I picked Tri-C. I was getting sick of filling out applications, handing out resumes, doing interviews, and performing skills tests. I am also tired of receiving offers from companies who were obviously unaware of the market rate for programmers. One offer was about twenty percent below what I was the going rate. One software company had an interesting entry on their application: Write an original 40-60 word poem about your current or most recent job. That was a bit unexpected. My poem must not have helped. But, I thought it was cute:
Writing HMI programs was fun.
But, my life at GED is done.
The housing market took quite the dip,
Now I have been told to take a trip.
I am at home now, down with the blues.
Hoping for a job; no steel-toe shoes.
My skills are sharp, companies will race.
Hire me, and find out why I’m called “Ace”.