#43 Be nice to the new kid.

When I was growing up, my parents thought it would be amusing to scar me during my formative years by making me switch schools three times. THREE TIMES. (Grade 1, Grade 5 and Grade 11.)

When I recently switched jobs, I felt the familiar trepidation in the pit of my stomach as I walked into my new office on the first day. Braces have been shed, acne has cleared and chicken legs have filled out – yet being the new kid still sucked.

Luckily, I had one kind soul take me under their wing and show me the ropes during those first few shaky weeks. I’m eternally grateful for the kindness she showed me – taking time out of her busy schedule to make my transition easier on me.

This past month, a new colleague started in my department. When we sat down for our first meeting, she admitted with a sheepish smile that she was feeling overwhelmed and thinks she may have made a mistake. I decided at that moment that I wanted to pay forward the kindness that had been shown to me.

Since then, I have taken the time out of each day to book meetings with her, walk her through everything she needs to know and help her hit the ground running in her new role.

Yesterday during a meeting when I was struggling to answer a question in front of a large group of executives (hangovers do not lend themselves to quick thinking), she stepped in to save me. I knew at that moment that I had made a difference in a colleague’s transition, but had also gained a new friend [insert awwww!].

Total Kindness Cost: $0

365daysofkindness

16 Comments

  1. I love reading your posts. Have a similar incident to share. Four years back had changed my job, and was in a similar situation… but had no one to help me out of..But few months later, another colleague changed and i did everything to ensure that she did not feel the way i did. one act of kindness and lifelong of friendship.

  2. Love this post. I return to work on Monday from vacation and will welcome a newbie to our team with warmth. I also have had my child change schools three times, just in elementary. He started at a new school today for 6th grade. We changed schools this time for academic reasons. I’m sure he would sympathize with your trepidation.

    • It’s okay – I turned out pretty awesome despite the three school switches! 🙂

      That’s so awesome that you’re already going into the situation with that frame of mind. I’m sure they’ll be very thankful for you taking them under your wing.

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. You moved schools three times? Is that all? You should try having a military father. I moved school SIX times, and attended schools in three countries. I didn’t know that was unusual because all the other kids were just like me, always moving to a different school. When I went to college and discovered that most other students had lived their entire lives in just one town I thought they were all really weird. So when I started a career of short-contract research jobs, moving to a different job at least every 3 years, that was just normal for me.

    The idea of staying in one place for any length of time is too horrendous to even contemplate….

    • Oh man – that’s crazy! So interesting how that has affected your personality and that you now enjoy the novelty of new places. I myself have laid down roots now in Toronto and can’t imagine moving – but who knows what life will bring?

      Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Really enjoyed reading this.

  4. I am thoroughly enjoying reading your posts, and especially liked this one. It’s true, kindness can cost nothing yet can be super empowering for both the recipient and the giver.
    I am thankful that I always stayed put in schools. It was a big fear of mine – I have no idea why because Mum and Dad never looked like moving! I think I just knew that my security of my home meant the world to me and to switch that up would shake my core. Consequently, I always felt for the newbies at our school and would do what I could to make them feel welcomed. One girl is still one of my best friends all these years later!
    Have a fabulous day x

    • Thanks, Dominique. That makes me so happy to know that you’re enjoying reading these.

      Glad you didn’t have to experience the same childhood trauma – but were still the kid who was naturally inclined to feel for the newbies. 🙂

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