How do I fit in to a new work culture without losing my mind?
September 27, 2009 4:54 PM Subscribe
I'm exhausted from trying to understand the working environment at a new job, and hoping the hive mind can help me figure out how to become better at this job.
I started a new job two months ago doing business analysis for a growing company. It's a new position for the company (they've only created an IT department within the last year) and a new position for me (I've mostly done database and software development for teachers and librarians).
These aren't computer people. I don't expect them to know the intricacies of software and hardware or formal business terms to describe their requests, but I'm finding that I'm not very good at getting information out of the user base and I'm not fitting in with the corporate culture.
Here's examples of where we're clashing:
1. I received a one-sentence request from another new hire to "Install X software on his machine".
I can't find x software documented internally, or any x-ish install programs on any IT-owned servers. I send him an email asking what's X software and where can I find it? What's it used for? Do you mean y software? I get verbally spanked: asking for specificity was perceived as combative and rude.
2. I was tasked with documenting and expanding a series of linked spreadsheets, and warned that each one takes "like an hour" to open. I start working on the spreadsheets. Each one does take within 10 minutes of an hour to open, and I keep asking why the user base is expecting the work to be done in less time than would be possible to even open each spreadsheet if each one takes "like an hour". I get verbally spanked again: taking user timeframes at face value is perceived as pedantic and willfully stupid, because the reported user experience of taking an hour to open each was meant figuratively, not literally - I should have known and reported the speed as indicative of a larger problem.
3. I get a request to run a new data query from a department from a set of written specifications. They're not sure where the data is stored. Or what it should look like. Or if we even store each particular piece of information. I'm told to make a best guess at the content and pass it back to them for validation - and I hear back that the data looks good. Weeks later, I hear that the final result was both incorrect and incomplete. I get verbally spanked for expecting other departments to correctly validate information, and especially not to accept specs or validation from one particular individual to ever be correct.
Jobs are hard to come by right now and I genuinely like the people I work with (although I find the culture to be something that definitely takes some getting used to). Is this just a bad fit?