1. The most technological part of the interview process is a phone call.
The interview process is insane. The hiring manager wants you to travel many hours for your first interview (and this isn’t the only one.) Skype isn’t even mentioned. You forget to hide the YouTube channel of your younger self slamming poetry full of expletives and revolutionary ideas. They don’t Google you, so it doesn’t matter.
2. Hierarchy in the workplace is not defined.
You accepted the job with the explanation of the pecking-order of the workplace. Perhaps you are supposed to be number two or three. During the first week on the job you realize the part-time staff is trying to walk all over you. You stand your ground. You prove your intelligence and know-how, and are met with considerable resistance. You sit down with your manager and ask if they have informed the staff of the hierarchy. The response? “They will figure it out.”
3. Resistance to free efficiency-producing technology.
You are starting to realize that tasks that would take you ten minutes take an entire day or more for staff to complete. One day the phone rings and the person on the other end is looking for a coworker. You know they are not in, but realize that you don’t have access to a staff calendar to let the caller know when they will be in. Once you realize that this obvious bit of technology isn’t being utilized you create a personal calendar that you make available to all staff. You then sit down with your manager. You don’t expect push-back to your pitch for Google Calendars. That is why you are shocked with what happens next. “I don’t want staff knowing my schedule. It changes too much.” You say “Well, then you can update it. We can even use Google Calendars, a free service that has a proven track record of success in my previous work places.” “No, I don’t want people knowing when I am gone, because when the master is away the monkey will play.”
Over the next few days you open your eyes to the lack of calendars, and see numerous examples of people not being able to get in touch with each other. You pitch paper calendars to management, they still say no. You are at a loss. Who knew that the calendar was too state-of-the-art for antiquated management? Perhaps you should find a job working for an Ancient Mayan.
4. Paper. Everywhere.
You look around and realize that everything is written down. Email and the network shared drive is rarely used. Credit card information is written on papers that are put into file cabinets that make you feel like you did searching for things before Google. You ask for information on customers, and the answer is to point at those cabinets. There are online databases for the business, but no one uses them.
You meet with your manager to talk about ways to increase efficiency in these systems, and you get brushed away with the tried but true “it has worked for 20 years.” Sorry trees, it looks like you are still getting cut down. Recycling? Yeah, your workplace doesn’t do that either.
5. Complete disregard of past experiences.
So you are a manager? You have been a manager at multiple workplaces in the past. You have trained staff, hired and fired people, and lived all over the country. Your superior disregards this, and talks all of the time about “your first professional position” and “when you leave here you will be ready to be a supervisor.” Didn’t you get hired because of your experiences? Are you seriously being judged based on the belief that one career is all people have? Yes, you are. Congratulations on your job! It’s your first one ever, right?