Dear First-day-on-the-job Larrie:
It’s April 11, 2005 and you are tired because you actually had to get out of bed and get to work by 8:00 a.m.
Congratulations on getting hired by a good company. They’ll talk about your benefits tomorrow and you’ll have to go through this big folder to figure out how to set it all up. Today, the HR rep is going to talk to you about how you have to be their employee for five years in order to be fully vested in the pension and profit sharing plans. That seems like an impossibly long time. You’ll easily surpass it. You’ll actually work here over 3600 days, more than 87,000 hours, and for an entire decade.
That’s right: A DECADE.
Here are some of the events you’ll see and be a part of in all of that time it takes to be vested and then some.
Be very glad that you have real insurance now as you’ll need it to help pay for eye doctors, contacts, glasses, dermatologists, an ER visit, an ambulance ride, an MRI, ortho docs, physical therapy, toe surgeries, one titanium toe, x-rays, ankle braces, knee braces, chiropractors, massages, medications, ultrasounds, and one c-section.
Right now, you think that you’ll finish your bachelor’s degree and then go off somewhere to find a real career, but turns out, you’ll find one right here as you’ll have six different job titles in those ten years. You’ll even turn down a few different job offers, but work for five different supervisors, never leaving the IT department. I guess you just fit in that geeky world.
Holidays at work
You’ll never have to work Christmas, but you will have to ring in the New Year’s in a meeting room with other coworkers. They’ll call their spouses; you won’t have a spouse yet so you’ll go back to your desk and deal with support calls and emails. People will celebrate other holidays such as Talk Like a Pirate Day and St. Patrick’s Day. This is usually accomplished by somebody bringing in donuts or bagels.
Right now, you are impressed by this nice, fancy building you will be working in, with the two-story fountain and waterfall out front, the subsidized vending machines with free hot chocolate, the onsite clinic and gym, and the robots driving around in the labs attempting to deliver specimens. Those robots will disappear one day (too many bugs), the vending machines will no longer be subsidized, and they will send most of the IT department to a rather decrepit building down the hill where the walls will leak, the windows are single-paned, and the cobwebs are plenty. However, the parking is really easy so you’ve got that going for you, which is nice.
Stuff you’ll learn
You’ll finish your bachelor’s degree. You’ll manage to get admitted into a master’s program on probation (poor GPA from that first degree) and then surprisingly graduate with honors. You’ll learn how to do your work from asking Google. You’ll get certifications in project management and scrum mastering, and you’ll learn how to play the game of politics.
You’ll find, over the years of working, that you’ll be drawn to people who are one thing: kind. Remember that bit about politics? Well, it ain’t fun. So when you meet coworkers who are successful and KIND, you’ll be impressed and inspired. You’ll also make a lot of friends outside of work from church, singles’ groups, soccer teams, writers’ groups, and neighbors. You’ll live at your parents’, then in a condo, then in a rental, and then buy a house in Bountiful. I know. You can’t believe it, but you will; you’ll live in Bountiful. It’ll be great.
You’ll date plenty. There’s this one guy that you met today in orientation that will ask for your phone number and you’ll go out a few times, but he’s, well, very interesting. Nice guy, though. You really won’t date people that you meet at work. Instead, they will be set ups or from church and I can’t tell you too much, but you’ll have a blind date one day that really pays off. Basically, you’ll marry a total hotty and start your family and your sweet little boy will go to daycare here at work because they will open one up in a few years.
So you see? Lots of great things will happen in ten years. There will be hard things, too, but I don’t need to warn you about those. You know that they’re guaranteed to come; you’ll get through them, you’ll grow, they will be hard, but you’ll still be happy.
Oh, and one last thing: you won’t always drive that old Volvo. I know that seems like a sad thought so just enjoy the days that you have together while you still have them. It’s a good car. And take the table and golf clubs out of the trunk so you get better gas mileage. Seriously.
Love, ten-years-experienced Larrie