Thursday, September 9, 2010

First Day of Training

Wednesday (technically yesterday since it's 1am and already Thursday) was my first day of training. I was worried that I might fall asleep during training because I last night had slept very late and woken up very early. The worrying was unnecessary because training turned out to be very interesting and engaging and fun. Our trainer was this guy called Hariz, and he answered all our questions and guided us through our first through modules. He also showed us around the office.

Before all that but after waking up, my dad drove me over to 1 Tech Park since all the other cars were in use. For Thursday I'll be able to use Aunty Rosie's, though. Anyway, once I got here I just waited for three minutes for the other trainees to arrive. The other guys were Sean, Ganesh (a more experienced fellow from Brickfields), Jonathan, and Eddy (the guy who had more experience than computers with me. He used to work for Apple). Our training started at around eight and ended just after four-thirty.

The first thing we learned about was Australian privacy laws. They're very important, mostly because there's a $150,000 fine for the company and a $50,000 fine for any individual who breaks them, but also because breaking them means instant termination. As such, I'll try to just mention trivial things here and you won't be learning much about how HP Customer Support works. Sorry, but this job is awesome and I don't want to lose it. Also, $50,000 is a lot of money.

We have a hundred-page training manual with eight modules. We've already covered two. They came to us unbound and I took them to reception to be bound. We had computers, but we don't have accounts so we can't use them yet. We'll be getting access soon, along with work e-mail addresses.

We were told that we'll occasionally get racist callers, so we're encouraged not to reveal our last names and if we have a foreign-sounding name, we should adopt a floor name. Hariz goes by Harry. Ganesh has to figure out something for himself (Garry?). Having two people with the same sounding name is confusing, so Sean's agreed to go by Tuck or Tucker, since that's what his friends called him in primary school. It's good because it means that I can still be Shaun and also because I can now say I know someone named Tucker. Tucker is a cool name.

We got to go to the DC Cafe on the third floor for lunch and break. The food there is great. There are pies and desserts and hot drinks and everything is affordable and the quality is spectacular. Not just spectacular for an office building; if this place was in the middle of a mall or something I'd definitely stop by after movies and stuff. The strawberry cheesecake tart was ludicrously good. It is truly a cafe worthy of Elo's initials. Well, the DC actually stands for Datacom but if you're reading this then you've probably read her blog so you probably know what I'm talking about. Anyway, during lunch I spotted Zac. He was just wrapping up a survey. I talked to him for a bit, but then a stern lady with a clipboard showed up and I figured I'd better leave before he got in trouble.

When we returned from lunch with our newly-bound manuals, Hariz brought in a dead computer for us to dissect. I suspect that he was just trying to get us to remove the hard disk for him since he told us to leave the hard disk out because he needed it for another computer. Ulterior motives or not, though, taking apart a computer was fun. That's when I learned that Eddy knew more than me about computers. Anyway, Hariz came over and explained how the industry works and we got side-tracked talking about new technology like firewire and blu-ray and flash drives (apparently they're made with nanotechnology. I thought nanotechnology wasn't possible for at least the next five years. I must have read that information five years ago or something) and how Microsoft owns the patent on one of the iPod components (I think the scroll wheel) so a fraction of money made from each iPod sold goes to Microsoft which is maybe why all the new stuff is all touch screen and scroll wheel-less. We also learned that there was a new (well, new to me. It's from '09 so in IT time it's quite old) HP TouchSmart thing in the office that we could play with after work was over.

At a quarter to four, Hariz told us we were close to wrapping up. I told him that was a shame since we were being paid by the hour, so since he is awesome he extended the training a bit so that we could be there until 4:31 so that we'd be rounded up to a full hour. After we were done, Jack called us in for a quick meeting. He told us that there were 10 new open spots for part-timers that we could tell our friends about, and they'd have all day tomorrow to interview for the position. Our friends could show up to interview right up until 4:30, but he'd prefer it in the morning. Also, the HP operation might extend until November instead of closing in October, and if that happens we can stay on for longer, too.

Sometime during Jack's meeting my dad texted me and said he was here. Since he was early, I told him I'd be down in ten minutes, and then I went with the guys to check out the HP TouchSmart. It was a real beautiful piece of technology. I started to geek out over it, but I managed to compose myself enough to ask the other guys if they'd like a go on it for a couple of minutes before I fulfilled a nerd fantasy of mine. They said it was fine, so I went to Conquer Club and executed my war strategy like one of the generals in a war room or something. It was brilliant. I hope they get a holographic one in soon so I can pretend to be that badass antagonist mercenary general from Avatar. That would kick major amounts of ass.

Wow. Next time I wonder why I don't have a girlfriend, I'll just have to refer to the above paragraph.

Anyway I went down to my dad and told him how awesome the job was and how I had just earned something like five serious Burger King meals' worth of money that day for the training, which was awesome and interesting and super great. I can't wait for tomorrow. Well, I can, but that's the metaphor that best expresses my feelings.

When I got home I think I took a nap. Aunty Rosie and Ian tried to wake me up for dinner, but I was in too deep a sleep to hear what they were saying. They heard me mumble and saw me roll over a bit, but that hardly counts as a response. Next time you want to check if I'm awake, ask me to add two two-digit numbers together. If I can't give you an answer, I'm probably sleep-talking and I won't remember what I said to you.

Anyway when I woke up my dinner was cold and we have no microwave, so I wanted to go out for KFC instead since I've been craving KFC. Jan didn't want to come with me, so my dad offered to come instead. As usual, there was a transsexual behind the counter. "Anne" was a friendly and efficient bloke/lass, though, and he/she did a good job with my order, so I didn't mind so much. Because it was Raya, though, all the good foods were unavailable. There was no jelly ice cream, there was no garden salad (the first time in years when I consider ordering a salad and it's unavailable. Just my luck.), and worst of all there was no popcorn chicken. I ordered a dinner set and some large wedges to go.

When I got home I was very happy with my meal, but I had made a mistake by saving the best piece of chicken for last, because by the time I got to it I had consumed so much grease and chicken skin that I was feeling a bit sick. I pulled off all the meat and gave it to the cats. Faith had some difficulty eating the bit I gave him. He's a carnivore, it's meat; why would that cause him trouble? Sometimes I worry about him. Mercy chased him away when he tried to eat her scraps. She's a mean mother. I don't know why she was so protective, anyway, she had plenty of leftovers and she's probably going to throw up whatever she ate anyway. Why is she even bulimic? Who's ever heard of a cat who cares about her figure?

Anyway Wednesday was a great day and I'm going to bed soon so I can wake up early and eat McDonald's for breakfast. In the meanwhile here is another Bollywood thing that Jan and I laughed at and here is what happens when a cruise ship draws the card that says "Joseph Gordon-Levitt hallway fight scene from Inception" for charades.

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