Over the past week, I’ve started a new job at an animal shelter and I really like it. However, like all jobs, you have to go through a training period and I hate training periods. I wish I could just skip it and get to the part where I actually know what I’m doing and not wandering behind my coworkers like a lost puppy. I try to jump in and help where I can–I mean, I’ll even go scoop poop just to have something that I can do–but there are a lot of ropes to learn at an animal shelter and it doesn’t help when the animals are constantly coming and going. I’ll finally learn who a dog is and suddenly that dog is adopted–which is great! We want our puppies adopted, but I finally had that one in my memory banks and now I gotta clear it out to make room for the other pups we get in.
Its definitely the first day that’s the hardest for me. I go in and stand around, titling my thumbs, and not knowing where the shift starts, Then, a coworker snags me as their shadow and I follow them around, watching how things are done around the shelter. Just watching…standing there and watching…
I hate watching! I want to help! I want to get my hands in there and do my part, but when you don’t know the routine, you can just stand there and watch until you’re told what do to. “Go get this.” “Grab that.” “We’re going to go do this now,” and I’m tagging along like a pup biting at the leash. Then, there’s all the little things people think of when they’re explaining stuff to you. The typical: “Oh, by the way…” that may have nothing to do with the task at hand, but is important for something else later on, and you gotta remember it.
Thankfully, my new coworkers are awesome and they understand that things can get a little overwhelming–especially with covid going on. I’m doing my best to remember things and build the muscle memory of certain tasks and I’m sure some of my coworkers might be getting frustrated with my questions (I’m really bad at names, so I’m constantly asking: “Ok, who was that?”). I’m grateful for this opportunity and I’m hopeful that I won’t let my coworkers or the animals down. I just hope I can get past the part of being a puppy at the ropes soon, but we all gotta go through it.