My first day of work was on Tuesday, August 28th. Technically, I started the day before but that was another training at PlusTime in Chichester... so that doesn't really count here. Anyways, I work at the school district's administrative offices. I showed up and met my site director (with whom I had only met once during the interview process), Donna Mostovoy, and she showed me around. Apparently, there are guidelines for what is supposed to happen on your first days. I was scheduled for a 3 day orientation (yep, now that I had finished my pre service orientation) at the site.
Honestly, I was really surprised. I still wasn't sure about this whole VISTA thing though I was optimistic it would be both an educational and enriching experience. Donna had already acquired a magnetic swipe card thing for me so that I could actually get into the district offices (you know, authorized personnel only kind of stuff), as well as cubicle space, a chair, and a desk was available for me as well as the laptop I've been using ever since. Luckily, I didn't have to use the crappy desk straight out of the 70s with the broken drawer because a coworker was leaving her position and had purchased a desk that she never used... which I promptly jumped all over and spent at least half of my second day at work building.
For about 4 hours I put together the nice, L-shaped desk using only a screwdriver and one of those silly little hex tools, you know, the Allen wrench. I had been given a short tour of the district offices and had met many people though I remembered few names. Many people, I found, were just walking around wondering what the hell I was doing (and who I was as they had forgotten as well). Thankfully, everybody here at SAU#37 has a little sheet on the edge of his or her cubicle/office stating his or her name, position and department. But that really only helped them as they were at my cubicle and could read my name but I still had no idea who they were... this problem persists to this day as well. I really do not know a lot of the people around me here. I know the names of most of the tech guys, some of the Federal Projects people, and some of the Accounts Payable/Payroll/Business Administration but there's another 50 people here I still don't know and they probably have no idea what I'm doing here.
Which brings me to one of the first things I learned at my site as a VISTA - the Manchester School District is a very funny place to work. Funny, however, is not "ha ha" funny here but more of the "odd" connotation. I can't judge every person who works here, but the district as a whole seems a bit dysfunctional. However, that will be a post unto itself as that involves the unique circus spectacle that is Manchester politics.
Anyways, my first week went well. Donna took me out to lunch (even though I had brought my own but I just didn't have the heart to tell her) and nothing was really expected of me, I felt. It was a very low stress zone in which I found myself having time to acclimate to my new surroundings. This turned out to be pretty necessary as the beginning of the next week things turned into "real life" and it was time for me to deal with my (dun dun dunnnnnnnn) Work Plan...