First Day–Be Prepared

Posted on Wednesday 30 August 2006

At one moment today, sometime between 11:32 a.m. and 6:27 p.m., I realized I was subsisting on a handful of soggy French fries soaked in malt vinegar and a nibble of Sweet Tarts stashed in my briefcase. Yes, that’s right, my briefcase.

Restaurant Gal had to bring a briefcase to work? Restaurant Gal actually owns a briefcase to bring to work?

No.

Yes.

I brought my lap top to the new job as a nod to “Just in case, because it’s my first full day on the job.” But I really didn’t have to bring it in. I simply believe in being prepared, even when I have no clue what I am preparing for. And for me, being prepared for a new job means drawing upon all that’s come and gone from past jobs. With 20-plus years in the publishing biz, and one in restaurants, it adds up to bringing in the lap top.

But I had to ask Mr. Restaurant Gal where my briefcase was. And it was layered in dust.

I loaded her up, nevertheless, and hauled it onto the subway, up the escalator, down two blocks, up one more, into the main dining area of the restaurant, through the kitchen, past the employee bathroom, and into a surprisingly serene office. Where the lap top sat, snugly ensconced in its black nylon nest, until I left at 9-something tonight.

Which just goes to show two things: I am prepared for nothing on this job. I am prepared for anything.

It took me a few hours to get this.

At first, I wanted to hire people who looked good on paper, but who I would have cringed at weeks later. One was too nervous and silly; another was too brazen and a know-it-all. In the old job, a manager would have hired them in a second, and I would have had to deal with the resulting carnage later as their peer. At my new job, my GM reminded me to listen to my instincts, to not settle for “maybe” when considering whether or not to recommend someone to hire.

It was a heady moment. I could use my very best skill–reading people–and have it viewed as a valued commodity here. It means something. It counts.

Absolutely nothing stored on my lap top could have helped me in that arena.

Which just goes to show one other thing: I need to believe in how prepared I really am.

3 Comments for 'First Day–Be Prepared'

  1.  
    Joe
    August 31, 2006 | 8:50 am
     

    Congrats on a good first day! I hire for a living, always hire for fit… You can teach skills… Personality and attitude matter most… My best hires and longest running employees are usually ones who needed some training but were wonderful people.

  2.  
    August 31, 2006 | 3:31 pm
     

    Hooray for you!

    My boss is the best at hiring people who fit together. Our office is growing but we still feel like a family.

  3.  
    September 9, 2006 | 8:58 am
     

    That sums it up… that need.. the need to believe! Congrats on a new start. Thanks for posting at my site, so I new to come back and find you here! =) I’ll catch up, but don’t want to miss anything!!!

    Keep Believing, Gal!

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