“Bleedin’ graduates” one of the first words I heard from someone I worked with on the first day of my first full time job.
I was a newly qualified engineering graduate, assigned initially to work in the Buying department, with one long serving and highly knowledgeable and highly experienced member of staff, who I shall refer to as SB. This could have been a really useful, enjoyable and productive start to my working life.
Except for one small detail, SB really did not like ‘graduates’. This was not personal to me there were other graduates who ‘enjoyed’ a similar experience. It was just that according to SB we were largely a waste of time, something to be tolerated rather than people who could benefit from their vast experience.
Looking back I can see that working within that department was rather like working alongside a large spider. One who watched and waited for you to get caught up in your own mistakes and yes it did happen from time to time. When a word of advice or support could have helped, SB chose to watch from the sidelines rather than step in.
Luckily for us there were other people who stepped in and were able to put right some of the mistakes that inevitably happened. We did sometimes get things wrong, like forgetting tolerances, miscalculating conversions. The result of which were parts not fitting together properly and the shop floor managers with infinite patience having to work around your ‘problem’.
So what did we do? Well we generally kept our heads down, and learnt pretty quickly when it was critical to double check our calculations. We built up strong relationships with those on the shop floor. I knew who I could go to for some sensible advice when I needed to, it certainly was not SB. I opted to move to another department as soon as I could, realising pretty quickly that to SB I was always going to be a ‘problem’. Better to take this on the ‘chin’ and move on.
Photo Credit: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/dunechaser/161509182/”>Dunechaser</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>