No matter how much people tell you there are no dumb questions and that you should ask everything you don’t understand; there is something about not wanting to sound stupid that makes you think twice before just saying anything. Moreover, when the people around are experts dealing with the business you are trying to understand… you really don’t want to be that blank “puff” brain sitting in the middle of the meetings. .
So tip #1: Always take note of those million things you didn’t understand then go to your desk and figure them out! You can Google, research or ask the next youngest employee to explain them to you (trust me he had the same or maybe even more questions). So, really is not that bad…
Now, what about that other type of questions that you never get any training on? I am talking about things like how to get the stupid coffee machine to brew decent tasting coffee, or how to get the fax machine to work on the first attempt, or how to reach the people that set the air conditioning at crazy temperatures that make me feel like winter in Ohio, even how to find the conference rooms in an office space were the number sequence makes no sense at all.
As much as I have avoided looking intern-like, I have been defeated by some of this anti-friendly tech office equipment so I am going to tell you some of my stories so you can laugh with me and not at me.
- When I started working at Dow, I though my emergency contact list was only for Houston, and since I didn’t know at the time the company calling codes, I ended up calling Midland Michigan. Guess what, they can’t do anything about the temperature in my Houston office
- Fancy coffee machines are not easy to use.. not going to say any more about that
- Read the safety guide.. People don’t like or lets say REALLY don’t like when other people break the rules.. (Even though if its just holding the handle of the exit stairs)…
- For a fax within the USA you still have to dial one. Am I the only one that thinks this does not make sense?
- Ask for help finding the printer that your computer has as a default. It’s not easy when there are at least 20 on each floor and even worst when it’s your first day and even going from your desk to the bathroom is a problem.
- You have to learn your maps when office 2301 follows 2419 . . . go figure that out!
- Yes, you are required to go to that meeting your boss’ boss invited the whole team to (but you). No, you are not in the server and yes, somehow you have to figure out it is happening and you are ALWAYS free. Got it?
Anyways… just wanted to share some of the funny beginner mistake I have done so far and I think in a way admit the fact that you can’t always be a super intern. Its hard to feel comfortable asking many questions and not sound dumb to yourself, but others are actually expecting your questions and its better to ask them before making silly mistakes, loosing time or playing with your or others security (from now on I will always hold the stairs handle.. I promise. Ha-ha-ha