Things associated with being a n00b

I just spent 20 minutes looking for a seminar I wanted to go to. I gave up once I realized I was going to miss at least half of it, if I ever found it at all.

When I do find seminars, I end up being introduced to a LOT of new people. Being a bit of an introvert, I never know how to act when I meet so many people at once. I usually lead with some inane bit of trivia so that they think I’m friendly and intelligent, then retreat back into my office when an awkward lull in conversation allows.

I had a dental emergency come up the first week we were in town, but had no dental insurance card in my possession yet. I got to know the HR staff really well those next few days.

People in the department – I think mostly students and postdocs – keep stopping what they’re doing and watching me when I walk into the break room. I haven’t had a lot of time to meet people outside of some of the faculty yet, so I think some of the lab workers here are trying to figure me out.

It took me 3 weeks to find my mailbox, and the only reason I went looking was because I got an email asking if I had signed a form they dropped in my mailbox last month.

I ask a LOT of questions – where do we keep file folders? how do I buy a stapler? how do I check my phone messages? where is my mailbox?

I keep breaking the departmental printer.

After giving a departmental fax number to our son’s old pediatrician office for a form to request the forwarding of his medical records to his new pediatrician, I realized the department had multiple fax machines. I spent the next 10 minutes wandering from one office area to the next to see if anything had shown up. I would have asked, but I’m running out of office people to annoy and would like to save my questions for more pressing matters.

Everyone here is exceedingly nice. Especially the office staff, a couple of whom are probably wondering if I’m an idiot, since I keep asking questions and breaking the printer and wandering in front of the fax machines.

The most exciting thing that happened this week, apart from the delivery of a refrigerator from Sears to my new lab, was the appearance of a name plate next to my office door. I officially am no longer the inhabitant of a presumed broom closet.


2 thoughts on “Things associated with being a n00b

  1. I’ve been here for not quite a year and a half and still get asked by some folks whose lab I work in……I have started to enjoy their face turning red, when I politely reply, ‘My own’. 🙂

    Good luck with the musical faxes….

  2. Yay! The name plate was a huge deal for me, too, especially because the standard format here is for it to say “Professor _____.” Before the glue had even dried, a picture of that thing was up on facebook 🙂

    And happy new fridge! Pretty much every piece of equipment that arrives, no matter how mundane, is a big deal. Hope you’re enjoying it!

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