This is it, University is over, the beard grown whilst I had my last few months of freedom before settling down for working life has been completely shaved off.
My skin has forgotten what it is like to be clean shaven and feels like it is ready to peel off but that aside I am ready for my first day.
I’m starting with a few others, we’ve got the overexcited and over friendly loud one who is already grating on me a bit. I’m sure that’s more to do with nerves than anything he is saying and at least whilst he’s talking to everyone I can pretend to listen whilst we wait to be met by a senior member of staff and get told what we’re doing today. I’ve committed to a cup of water from the machine in reception, no-one has had one but my tactics are to not drink the water but use it to keep my hand cool as it’s boiling in here and I don’t want to come across as the sweaty nervous mess that I’m starting to feel inside.
“Good morning trainee brokers, follow me”. We’ve been met, no handshakes but a warm smile before marching off and loud mouth jumps up to follow first through the door. I heard it was going to be competitive but I’m going to save myself back for what matters not compete to push through the door first.
We’ve been sat down and given a folder of induction training and a plan for the week. All looks pretty reasonable and relaxed. We’re all being kept together for now and of course when asked if anyone had any questions, loudmouth has had to make one up to try and “stand out” and “show an interest”. We’ve got the job, we’ve stood out and we’ve turned up on day one showing a clear interest, no-one was impressed by a lame question that we all knew the answer to so let’s get on with it.
We’ve been introduced to a few different people and it’s been a good morning. The receptionist makes a point of calling me “trainee” in a lowered voice and asks me “how I’m getting on?” as I return from lunch. The “trainee” comment being an impression of everyone we’ve met and introduced ourselves to deciding to completely ignore our names and calling us trainee, graduate or newbies. A lovely position to be in compared to my game of listen to their name, I say their name as I shake their hand and then make a mental note of it afterwards before doing the whole process again with the next person and forgetting the previous person’s name by the time I have finished.
An afternoon of shadowing the desk and reading back over areas of the handbook has left me bored but hungry to get on and start working. We have the rest of the week training and learning before we get started in our roles, which I for one can’t wait to get on and be doing something practical. Its shortened days whilst we soak up everything and digest it all and the hard work starts next week which every person I meet seems to be there go to for a finishing comment. A final tactical hanging back from loud mouth, looking flustered and going through his bag whilst saying he’ll catch us up. No doubt outstaying his welcome whilst keen to show he’s the last one there.
Lastly a “see you tomorrow trainee” from the receptionist has brought to a close, a fairly gentle introduction to financial services and the first day of the rest of my life.