Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

First Day of School

I'm chomping at the bit to be productive at my new job, but there are overwhelming amounts of procedural overlays to assimilate, not to mention inevitable system setup issues. I'm in a small office, with perhaps 16 people. The exact number is difficult to ascertain, since there are a few people who seem to use this office as a base rather than a daily workplace. Different people here work on different projects, distributed throughout the world. Group meetings are held at endpoint times of the workday and are inconvenient for everybody.

I'm three quarters of the way through day two.

Last week I spent two days at corporate headquarters in North Carolina, drinking the Kool-Aid and Learning the System. But I don't count that in my how-long-I've been here assessment.

I've previously worked with a full one-third of my co-workers.

With the exception of the office manager who is not here this week, it's all boys. The break room is stocked with candy, as if every day were the morning after Halloween. Plus there's lots of soda and sugary snacks of all kinds. I find that the sight of cupboards filled with this stuff extinguishes any desire I might have for it.

What I want to crow about is my new location: I'm based in the Riverplace complex overlooking the Mississippi River across from downtown right at St. Anthony, the original settlement that later became Minneapolis (mostly by expanding across the river). This complex was built for retail nearly 20 years ago, but it failed terribly and became office space. The only remaining retail establishment is a Japanese restaurant which has some reasonably-priced and delicious-seeming lunch specials that I plan to try, every one of them.

The surrounding neighborhood has always been interesting to me, but in the last three years or so it has exploded into yuppie heaven as a result of the expensive-condo-on-the-river boom. The best liquor and cheese store in town -- Surdyk's -- and the amazing eastern European deli Kramarcyk's have always been here. But now there are also two superb wood-fired pizza places, and three coffee shops, and a bagel store, and cute boutiques, and a faux Irish pub. There's a branch of Panera bread which I learned on my first morning sells wonderful breakfast pastries. There are a few good and/or quirky restaurants. My co-workers bring their lunches because they say that otherwise they'd spend a fortune on food. There are a couple of restored historical houses. All of this is within one block from the rear door of my office, or maybe two. This, to me, is vastly preferable to my previous suburban location, lovely as that office and that area was.

In the other direction is the Mississippi river, and Nicollet Island, with lovely parkland and some dramatic views of St. Anthony Falls. I am only a few miles from home, ten minutes door to door through stop-and-go traffic.

When I first came to talk with the folks here last February, imagining myself working here with this commute was a big part of what made me think that this would be a wonderful job.

It will be at least a few weeks before I know whether this is the right place after all, but boy do I love the setting. That's a pretty good start.
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