The weird thing about quitting OldJob during the pandemic is that I have to keep reminding myself that it’s now officially OldJob and I don’t work there because OldJob and NewJob are both remote for now so my office hasn’t exactly changed.
NewJob is really excited. Literally every onboarding email says “We’re really excited” and is filled with lots of exclamation points. NewJob kind of reminds me of a hyperactive puppy. It’s flattering and I’m looking forward (more to saying good riddance to OldJob, but also to starting NewJob), but also somewhat exhausting. Still, it seemed like things would go well.
Then NewJob sent a bunch of “getting to know you” questions to introduce me to the team in a fun way.
This may sound hard to believe seeing as I have a whole blog dedicated to myself, but in offline-life, I don’t really like talking about myself. I found this exercise more challenging than it should have been. For example:
1.) What’s Your Favorite TV Show?
I prefer re-watching shows I’ve already seen vs. watching new shows. Like I can re-watch my favorite episodes of Leverage again and again and still not get sick of it, and I would generally prefer to re-watch Leverage than start a new show. But this seems like a stupid thing to say.
2.) What’s Your Favorite Season and Why?
I didn’t even think this was something normal people had strong preferences on. I don’t have a favorite season because I actually slightly hate all of the seasons. Winter sucks because it’s too cold to want to do anything and also, Shabbat starts obnoxiously early. Summer sucks because it’s too hot to want to do anything and Shabbat ends way too late to do anything. Fall & Spring suck because they mean balancing work, Jewish holiday adulting tasks which I suck at, and teaching job tasks which I also suck at, which means I get to fail at more things than usual.
3.) What Languages Do You Know How to Speak?
Does bad French count as a language? How about Hebrew only for the purpose of reading Torah and Haftarah? Anyway, I feel like these answers make me look bad, so I didn’t answer this question.
4.) Are You a Morning Person or a Night Person?
I am a “Sleep 4-5 hours a night and still not manage to accomplish anything in my non-sleeping time” person. I think this is too much honesty for Day 1 of NewJob.
5.) What is Your Morning Routine when Working from Home?
NewJob is something of a wellness-oriented company, so I know the correct answer to this question: exercise, make a smoothie or acai bowl for breakfast, meditation and yoga, shower, multi-step skincare routine, tend to others (humans, animals, plants, etc.) in your household, read a motivational self-improvement book, and get ready for work.
I cannot convincingly pretend that the above is my morning routine.
6.) What is Your Favorite Meal to Cook and Why?
Does microwaving leftovers count?
I just don’t love cooking and I’m not especially good at it.
7.) What’s Your Favorite Place of All The Places You’ve Travelled?
I never know how to answer this question because Travel Experience Enjoyment = The Place Itself + The Things You Did + The People You Were With + Your Mental State At The Time. And really, it’s more of a weighted average than a simple addition.
For example, I enjoyed my trip to Brazil to visit my friend, but is that because I really liked Brazil as a place, or because I enjoyed spending time with my friend? I think my trip to Hong Kong could have been quite enjoyable, but between the time difference and the late night dinners, I feel like I slept a grand total of 8 hours over the course of 4 days and I was just so unbelievably exhausted. It’s not that I disliked Hong Kong as a place, but that the circumstances were too exhausting to appreciate it.
Anyway, Israel would be an obvious answer to this question. I have spent more time in Israel vs. other places I don’t live and thus, have more familiarity with Israel vs. other places I don’t live. But given the situation and the fact that I don’t know my coworkers yet, I found myself not wanting to lead with this. And yes, I hate myself for having this initial reaction.
8.) What is Your Biggest Pet Peeve?
I really wanted to answer this question with one or more of the following
- “The use of platitudes and memes in place of empathetic listening and critical thinking”
- “Social media activism”
- “People who don’t respect personal boundaries”
But I thought those might be too negative.
9.) If You Could be Quarantined with Anyone Famous (Dead or Alive) Who Would You Pick?
So many questions about this question. Are you quarantining with the famous person in their house, with their household and staff? In that case, I would pick the richest celebrity with the biggest house and most household staff. It doesn’t matter who it is and whether I would enjoy their company. Their house is probably large enough to avoid them if I don’t.
Or, is the famous person coming to quarantine with me in my shitty living space? In that case, I like the idea of America’s Test Kitchen hosts Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster bringing their cheerful, bubbly personalities and helping motivate me to cook (or better yet, cooking for me). But I feel like the positive vibes would not last long, nor can I picture them having to cook in a far-too-small kosher kitchen. I can’t see this quarantine roomie situation working out well.
10.) Give Us a Fun Fact About Yourself.
Fun Fact: OldJob used to make all the new hires give a fun fact about themselves, and then Managing Director would introduce the new hires at the monthly company meetings by reading these fun facts aloud and discussing them at length with the new hires. Another Fun Fact: These monthly company meetings consistently ran over time. Correlation or causation? Hmmm….
Anyway, the other thing I learned from OldJob is that no one know what “a Fun Fact” means. The new hires would write paragraph long bios (and the new hires in higher leadership positions would write multi-paragraph bios), and Managing Director would read every word aloud to a forced-to-remain-captive audience. I think welcoming the new hires is important, but after these introductions, it was hard to not dislike them.
By the way, everyone wrote the same thing. Everyone wrote that they love travelling, trying new restaurants, cooking, interior design, some type of exercise class (yoga, Zumba, or SoulCycle), and that they were fans of a popular non-embarrassing TV show. Everyone wrote about their unique household of partners/children/pets. Maybe there is a book out there telling new hires what to write for their “give us a fun fact about you” and everyone read it. Or we really are all special snowflakes.