Saturday, March 15, 2008

It's Tough Being New

There has been quite a bit of turn around at work in the last four months. I work for a doctor as most of you know. I’m the main receptionist/scheduler/pretend-a-nurse/and whatever they need person. It’s safe to say that I keep busy.

The other office staff consists of an office manager and two part time workers. One works in billing and the other is a file clerk. The lady in billing quit four months ago and they hired a very capable gal to take her place. She trained for two weeks, worked for one, and then gave her two weeks notice. Apparently she got the full time job she had interviewed for. The lady who took her place, trained for two weeks, worked for three weeks and then quit with no notice at all. The office manager hired a new gal. She took a while to catch on, but she’s been here for longer than the other two combined and is doing fine.

The file clerk worked in our office for about five years. She got into an argument with the manager and quit. She did more than file. She helped me with the overflow of phone calls, taking patients back on occasion, etc.

Enter the new gal. She’s been here about two weeks and never worked in a doctor’s office before. It’s been tough on her. I can tell she’s losing heart. I find myself asking her if she’s okay. I tell her all the time, she’ll catch on. She’s trying very hard. It’s tough being the new person. My heart goes out to her. Everything is foreign to her. She realizes how much she doesn’t know and gets flustered. I think part of the problem is she wants to be perfect at everything right away.

Nobody is born knowing how to do their jobs. There is a learning curve. So next time you have the trainee, remember to be kind, smile, encourage and be patient because of it’s tough to be new.

© Nadine Z. 2008

29 comments:

Delina said...

So true. I've been in my job a few years now and I've learnt lots, but I know there is still lots more to learn. In fact if we get someone new I always tell them that even the people who have been there for years still have new stuff to learn so not to worry.

The new girl in your office is lucky to have such an understanding colleague like yourself!

Scarlet said...

Everyone's been the new girl at one point (if you're a girl, that is :) ) and you're right, it's not easy and a supportive staff will not only help her learn, it'll make her want to help you. You said the one who left helped you with the phones, she escorted patients to their rooms, etc., and in time this one might, too...w/ kindness and patience in the beginning, she'll come around.

Thanks for reminding us to look at it from the new girl's perspective and to show her some encouragement.

Karen said...

Pre-babies I worked in a psychologists' office and you're right - there is a learning curve in a doctor's office. I worked there for a few years and each time we had a new office worker, they struggled for a bit before getting into the swing of things.

Your compassion toward 'the new girl' is an excellent example!

Shionge said...

You are so right Nadine, we were 'new' once in our workplace and I remembered hearing nasty remarks by senior staff about 'having some common sense' etc....

I usually break the ice when I'm with new staff....hope she is better now..slowly but surely ya!

Tammy said...

I'm glad you're there to be supportive- some people would be just impatient, making things ten time worse!
Whenever I've been new somewhere, my confidence has taken a beating sometimes and I end up feeling plain dumb...and then in my stress, I don't even learn as quickly...vicious cycle!
So glad you're a woman of compassion, Nadine! :)

Laura said...

This is so true. I had a trainee serve my kids and I at Baskin Robins last night. Even though she was slow, she got our order correct and she a pretty decent order to fill. 5 ice creams of varying nature; to go. I told the people she works with that she did very well; hopefully that will make smile. :)

Karolee said...

You are building a great relationship with this gal through your patience. Thank you for showing her Jesus in you.

Cheri said...

I think it's very easy to forget that. Thanks for the reminder.

SaraLynn said...

If only everyone was as compassionate as you....the world would be a better place for it!

Lala's world said...

ahhh sounds like my work place!! we have gone thru 15 people in the catering department in 6 months!! crazy! not to mention the lady I job shared with and now I am a little nervous about finding a replacement for me and that person staying long enough for me to get out!! ahhhhh

Keshi said...

thats so true Nadine...how very well-said! Learning never ends...from the day we r born up until we die.

Keshi.

Keshi said...

and yeah I've been NEW at my workplace too. but I continue being NEW somewhere, to someone else, every NEW day :)

Keshi.

jennifer said...

I am a slow to train person and it IS frustrating. I have been out of the work force for 12 years and I know it would be REALLY hard for me to go back at this point.
Your compassion for this newbie is very sweet.
Jennifer

Penless Thoughts said...

I've always gone out of my way to acknowledge and help the "New kid on the block". I don't care how smart you are, or how much experience you've had I always said it takes at least 3 months before you really begin to add value to your employer. You are right....there is a learning curve to their way of doing things.
Susan

Mel's World said...

Nadine,

That stinks that there has been a "revolving door" of sorts, but good for you for helping nurture and care for (which I am sure you are amazing at) this new girl.

It is hard starting something (anything) new and we could all be on the look out to be more kind and gentle to others.

Melissa

Debz said...

I think she will do just fine, and she will have you to thank for "just being you" and encouraging her.

Dawn said...

The good news for my retirement is that one of the other ladies in the office is taking my place. She doesn't know any details, but she does know have some idea of what I do. The bad news - I am supposed to be writing a desk manual of everything I do. How do you have time to write it down when you're so busy doing it??? It is overwhleming.

theresa said...

What excellent advice! I'm about to be the new girl at a job I know very little about. And I tend to be a perfectionist.

It is wonderful that you have such a compassionate attitude.

Kristen Andrews said...

it is tough for the newbies and the folks that have been there for a while. I managed a large office in my pre mommy days and you have one of the toughest jobs!

pinks & blues girls said...

I am sure having you there to help her and reassure her means so much! It's always nice to have someone smile and take you under their wing when you're new. You're a true gem, Nadine!

Jane, Pinks & Blues

chelle said...

Being new in any aspect is totally hard! It is awesome of you to be kind and reassuring! So need more of that in the world!

elizabeth embracing life said...

That is a really good reminder. When I am somewhere and someone is taking an extra long time. I will ask if they are new. If I am in a hurry I just take a deep breath and try to encourage the person. It's never easy being the new gal. You sound very patient and helpful.

Shadraq said...

Yep, it ain't easy bein cheezy

Cherrye said...

Good reminder. It is easy to forget that "we've all been there." She is lucky you remember this.

Art said...

That is so true. I deal with this kind of thing all the time and your advice is right on target!

Louise said...

That is a great reminder for me not because I train in a work environment but rather for me at home with my kids, they too take a while to learn and I need to be patient when it seems they are not catching on...thanks again for the reminder!!

Knitting Mania said...

I know all to well what it feels like to be the "new" person in the office, been there, done that, got the T-Shirt, not fun!!!

I've also been on the other side of this coin and had to be the trainer, and beleive it or not, I really enjoy training new people. Once you've experienced being the trainee, you know what it feels like. So I would go slow and get very detailed, watch them write things down, or I would already have an outline prepared for them. Extending grace and mercy to one another is always the right thing to do, I think.

eph2810 said...

It is so true, Nadine. Being the new kid on the block can be very frustrating. I know that I like to know everything from the start - but just can't. The basics might be there, but every workplace is different in their operation.

I am sure that through your kindness she will be just fine.

Damselfly said...

How good of you to be so encouraging to the new person. I've figured out that it takes me about five months to get a job down *really well.* Except, ahem, parenting, I guess.... ;)