Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lessons learned from Dodgeball

What a difference a week makes. Last week this time I was nervously awaiting the start of my next adventure at @Task. This week, I am wondering if someone got the license plate of the trunk that ran me over (being metaphorical here...).

I think that the most apt analogy for what working at @Task in the IT Operations team is like is the game of dodgeball that I participated in last Monday. It was the tenth birthday of @Task, and what does one do on their tenth birthday? Yes, you are correct, you throw inflatable balls at one another.

As the week moved on, I realized that I would be well served to remember the lessons learned in the dodgeball game:

1 - The best defense is a good offense
2 - Do not take your eye off the ball
3 - There are those who will try to deceive you into thinking that they are not armed. Be ready for anything.
4 - Your team is the most important asset you have. Put your trust in them to protect your blind spots.

The first week at a new company is always stressful and surreal. You are an outsider, and everyone you meet has the same "who the Hell are you" look when first introduced. You also have this strange halo effect which causes people to think that you are smarter than you really are. Actually, this halo effect has a half life of about six weeks, but starts to decay after about four.

Adding to the first week bizarreness, my boss was out for the last couple of days, so I had to jump into the deep end of the pool, grab an anchor and start swimming. I actually would not have it any other way, but it is still unsettling to take that leap.

I am still getting my bearings and will be gathering copious amounts of data over the upcoming weeks, but the good news here is that I have been here before and know these waters well. In fact, this opportunity fits perfectly within my sweet spot and I will be able to use all the clubs in my bag.

I am very glad that this weekend was relatively tranquil as I needed it to decompress and gird myself for the upcoming week.

I find myself thinking more and about the lessons learned from Dodgeball and I am nervously awaiting the whistle blow.

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