On The Job

Although I started on 1st Feb, with two days out sick and 1/2 a day moving last week, I’ve just now completed one working week on the job. I’ve gotten some questions wondering how it is, so here’s some initial observations.

1) Longer/Harder Working Days, but Fewer of Them
The work day in my new position is nominally 9-6 with an hour lunch, which is already a full hour longer than standard NYC hours (although interestingly, the college as a whole has a contractual 35 hour work week just like in NYC); and no one seems in a hurry to leave at 6 either, and there seems to be less idle time during the day. I was actually asked point-blank by a co-worker about whether I think they work harder in London or New York! The answer is they work harder in London, but I on average Londoners get 22 vacation days a year compared to 12 in New York (from UBS worldwide survey, with which I am now familiar as a professional benchmarker!). For me personally, I am going from 15 vacation days to 25, plus additional college closure days at Christmas and Easter that I didn’t get in NYC.

2) small work spaces!
I am in a very small office with two others, and continually bump backs when coming or going from my desk. In addition, though, other work spaces I’ve seen have also been quite small and/or quite lacking in privacy. Most large office scenes seem to feature open desks with no separations instead of cubicles, for instance.

3) No Worries About AM Punctuality
There is no need in my new gig for morning punctuality, mostly due to errands, dealing with kids, and overcrowded transport (probably in reverse order). This seems to be a broader trend here, probably for those reasons (in particular, morning crowding on transit is insane, and there’s no room for more as the economy and city population increases) as well as the advent of technology that allows working from home and working from trains (wi-fi/blackberries/i-phones).

Overall, I’m quite happy with the new job, and especially looking forward to the travel opportunities – I’m already scheduled to go to Milan at the end of the month! The work is somewhat different, being more research and benchmarking as opposed to my old job that was more directly tied to transit operations, and that will take some adjustment (nightmares of college term-paper deadlines come to mind). I think it will be educational, fun at times, and career-building all at the same time.


Posted on 10/02/2010, in Transit and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Glad to see you guys are doing well. We’ve been thinking about you. Congratulations on making it through your move. We want to try to visit you guys this year and are trying to figure out a plan.

    I’m subscribing to your blog in my feed reader. 🙂

    Take care!

  2. Alex, we are so proud of you! Sounds like an amazing opportunity. Love, ywm & Dad

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