I started my first job in this country on Friday night, exactly 3 months since I got here. I’ll be working for an IT company. If it wasn’t for the contacts I’ve made since I got here, I don’t think I would have gotten the job. Networking means everything in the job market in this country. I got the job through an employment agency contracted to recruit contract workers for the IT company. Complicated stuff. Reliable transport was one of the requirements for the job. I don’t have a car yet but I can’t make arrangements to be at work when required.
The employment agency has it’s headquarters in Southfield, Michigan. It has a representative here in Houston. Met her at a Starbucks coffee shop. Tonnes of paperwork to go through, verify legal documents required for employment, a bit of do’s and don’ts, terms of employment, pay check arrangements. I’ll get my first 2 pay checks sent to me before they do a direct transfer.The lady had earlier requested for the go-ahead to conduct a 7 year background check. The offer was dependent on passing a drug test.
I had an option to choose from which Quest Diagnostics laboratory to go to. I chose one closer to where I live. I gave a urine sample and that was done.
I thought it’d take 48 hours for the results to be ready. I was quite surprised when the Agency lady asked me to report to work the following day as the background check and drug test results were back early.
I’ll be working the 3rd shift or graveyard shift as it’s called. I start at 10.40 pm and knock off at 6.40 am. I’ll be working Monday to Friday and Overtime when required during weekends. My host dropped me off early. I felt like a ‘deer in the headlights’. The 2nd shift guys were getting done for the day and 3rd shift was starting. I’d tried to sleep during the day but I didn’t get more that 2 hours sleep.
The majority of the night was spent in orientation by HR. Company policy, data handling policy, hazardous materials training, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) training (never mind that I won’t be dealing with food). There were 2 15 minutes and 1 30 minutes breaks in the 8 hour period. There are vending machines and unlimited supply of coffee in the common area. The coffee came in handy to keep me awake. The last 2 hours were spent getting familiar with what I’ll be doing. It’s a very large building with freezing like air conditioning in place..It’ll take time to get used to that. Glad I had a jumper on. In no time 8 hours were done and I was off to get some sleep.
Sleeping during the day is not normal. The body will need some adjusting but so far so good. It’s a start.
Random observations: Time keeping is of utmost importance. It can lead to termination of employment, Use of cell phones is frowned upon during work hours, Job training is thorough, Rules are strictly adhered to (mishandling of expensive IT components can cost the company thousands of dollars), Discrimination of any kind or use of violence will get you fired, My job pays bi-weekly (after every 2 weeks), Overtime is one and a half times the normal pay.