How Was Your First Day?

firstDay-bannerNew Day and New Excitement

How many of you recall your first day at a new company? I do—sweaty palms, dry mouth, the feeling of uncertainty welling up inside of me as I mentally sparred with the temptation of knowing my vehicle was only 14 steps away and it’s not too late to change my mind. But my nerves weren’t limited to the typical first day jitters.

 To add to the mental chaos that I was fighting desperately to ignore, I arrived three hours late. Who shows up three hours late on their first day at a new job? Me, apparently! Oh, the embarrassment. But it’s not every day that I receive a call from my child’s school telling me that my kindergartener was exposed to COVID, and I’m required to meet with the school nurse and sign a waiver to have him tested before he can return to class. Okay, that sounds reasonable. After all, his school is only a few blocks away. I can knock this out and then go to SWECO (Stanion Wholesale Electric Co.) and own my first day like I was the poster child of the 1990s No Fear clothing campaign.

But wait, it wasn’t that simple. There’s only one school nurse for the entire district and she won’t be in until later that morning. Oh boy! I had to call in late on my FIRST DAY. Suddenly, I drifted back to my sophomore year in high school and found myself standing next to home plate, bat in hand, and dozens of people watching silently to see how my ability to hit the ball would determine the fate of our entire season. Here’s the pitch---swing— “Strike one,” grumbled the umpire! The crowd roared with words of encouragement, then quickly fell silent as I stepped back up to the plate. Anxiety filled my body, and fear crowded my mind at the thought of letting down my team. It’s the same anxiety-filled knot in my stomach when I imagine meeting my new assistant manager (the branch manager was vacationing in Mexico) after arriving three hours late.


Holy smokes, that’s hot! My trip down memory lane was suddenly interrupted by hot tea that I clumsily poured down my leg. OUCH! As I fumbled around for napkins, my mind was quickly redirected back to worst-case scenarios and the many negative outcomes that could result from arriving late on my first day. I envisioned a calm, but very irritated, assistant manager, whom I would be spending countless months trying to prove myself to after completely bombing my first impression. Sure, I had a legitimate, but very unfortunate reason. But when employees offer reasons, employers see excuses. Right? Isn’t that how things typically pan out?

Here We Go

So how was my first day, you ask? I owned it like a boss, a lady-boss, or a lady who may eventually become a boss. You get the point. But in all seriousness, I marched into Stanion Wholesale Electric Co. with my head held high and my nerves in check---well, because jamming to great music during a 30-minute car ride has an impeccable ability to soothe the soul. Almost immediately upon entering the building, any fears that remained stuffed deep inside all the hidey-holes of my brain were immediately alleviated after being greeted by the assistant manager who offered nothing less than warmth, kindness, compassion, and empathy. But why? How had this man managed to turn my fears and preconceived notions upside-down in one fell swoop?


As I share this experience while finishing up my 14th week, I have come to realize that I was welcomed into my position with open arms and without unreasonable judgement because that’s who SWECO is—it’s who they are as a company—it’s what they represent due to their careful selection of employees who embody and represent the values this tremendous company was founded upon. Employees are valued on every level, respect is given equally, and that disgusting concept of micromanaging is far from existence thanks to our wonderful corporate management team, along with great leadership from my branch, assistant, and warehouse managers. But what about my colleagues? Okay, time for the dirt—all right, not really, but I had to make sure I still have your attention. The truth is, I have been blessed with an amazing group of warehouse workers who have kept me from drowning while I’m barely learning to get my feet wet, specialists who have made me feel like family and have offered non-stop entertainment since day one, inside sales associates who find me each morning for our daily fist-bump, counter sales associates who brighten my day with their witty banter and by offering patience for my seemingly endless amount of questions, management trainees who will unquestionably stop what they’re doing to help guide my learning, automation specialists who offer in-depth explanations to increase my understanding, and an administrative assistant who makes every day better with her warm smile and willingness to go above and beyond for anything I may need. So, I don’t care what my mom says—sometimes it’s okay to brag. My SWECO team is the best!


So, if you find yourself reliving that frightening first-day-on-the-job experience, try to keep a positive outlook, because you may be as fortunate as I was to find a company who will accept you like family, encourage you like a friend, challenge you like a coach, and support you like a team! So, what’s next for me at SWECO, you wonder? Duh, silly! I’m going to knock it out of the park like I had on the second pitch. (Disclosure: Softball story was exaggerated for excitement. I only hit a double.)



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