There is one boring day that we all wish we could get over.
Also, it is a great shock to the system especially if you have been out of work for a while.
It starts when you arrive, with a 15 to 30 minute wait in reception while your busy project manager does something far more important than come and meet you.
When he does come down to greet you and to take you up in the lift (he may even send someone for you, just to show how little importance he attaches to your joining the company). The conversation, as you walk along the corridor and up in the lift, is stilted in the extreme.
When you get upstairs you are extremely glad if he asks you if you want a cup of coffee or tea.
He then takes you into a room where he ‘welcomes‘ you with a short induction to the company.
If you are very unlucky you will be told that you are the first contractor that they‘ve had there.
This means that they will expect you to be much more knowledgeable than they are and to work much more quickly, and to act as a guru in your spare time.
Then follows the bit where they take you around to meet everybody. As you meet each person you try to think of something interesting to say to each person (but usually can‘t). You just feel extremely awkward and stupid.
The people you meet look just as put out to be introduced to you as you are to them.
After that you are sat down at your new desk. You are told by your boss that he will ‘sort you out a password‘.
That could come anytime in the next two weeks.
Then the boss comes back with several manuals and documentation which explains the project and what you will be doing.
You greet these with great excitement (not).
Your task for the next two days will be to stare at these and pretend to read them. You may find something of use in there, but you are not able to work out what it is.
You are desperate for lunchtime. If you are lucky someone will ask you if you want to go to the pub or the canteen.
If you are unlucky everyone will ignore you, and you will have to ask where the canteen is, or take a stroll out by yourself to try to find a bite to eat.
Lunchtime seems to be over very quickly.
If the morning was excruciatingly dull, the afternoon is much, much worse.
The likelihood is that no one will say a word to you. That’s especially as they don‘t know you and don‘t have any work connection with you yet either.
The most that is likely to happen is that your boss will come and ask if everything is OK.
You try to make sense of the documentation, but it seems almost as if it is written in a foreign language.
You look at the clock every so often only to see that just another ten minutes has gone by since you last looked at it.
It is especially bad if you have been out of work for a while and are not used to the 9 till 5 graft.
Three o‘clock comes, as does five past three, ten past three etc. etc. etc.
Your only break from all of this ennui is when you go to the coffee machine. However, you can‘t seem to make that spin out long enough.
A visit to the toilet is your highlight of the afternoon. However, you know that there is only so often that you can go before people begin to talk.
Boring Day End of Play
Eventually the longest day comes to and end. There will be better days, but it will only get better gradually.
You wish it was the weekend already and you wonder how you can put yourself through that again the next day.
There are some contracts where you are extremely lucky and people come over and introduce themselves and stay for a chat, where they invite you to come with their group to the canteen or invite you down to meet everybody at the pub.
There are also jobs where they throw you in at the deep end and give you some useful work straight away, telling you if you need any help just to ask.
However, the norm is that you spend the first day of a new contract just wishing it would end.
I wish there was something that you could do about it, but you are not in control, especially on your very first day.
That’s the most boring day in an IT Contractor’s life.
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