what would you do on your first ever workday?

What would you do on your first ever workday?


It is my first work day today.


Step 1

I entered the office before 8 in the morning. Everything was higgledy-piggledy (a new word I have recently picked up on BBC Learning English) in the room. We had moved in from another office during the summer vacation. There was dust everywhere, on the floor, on the desks and chairs, and on the cupboards. So I took up the broom and gave it a sweep first. A younger colleague joined me while I was doing so. Then I mopped the floor. Well the others sat there as if it was my business alone. I had to shuffle between the toilet and the office for I had to wash the dirt off the mop. Near the end of my effort, a younger female colleague helped me do the last corner of the room.


Step 2

My books and other stuff took up too much of my drawers, my desk and my cupboard. I put them in order so that there was plenty of room for my laptop, my briefcase and my tape-recorder. I am quite careful with my laptop. I normally carry it along when I go to and from work. I never let it stay the night in the office. Several teachers have had their laptops stolen one way or the other. But even during the day when I have to be in the classroom, I still have to lock it in the cupboard, just in case. Last year one teacher went to a meeting and some of his students were using his laptop when he left. When he came back from the meeting, the students were back in the classroom, the office door open and the laptop gone. He cried many a tear, for he had lost years of work.


Step 3

After I placed my laptop, my briefcase and tape-recorder, I found the wiring on the desks taken off and we had no access to power and the Internet. I asked the school worker in charge of the matter for help. He said we would have to wait for a number of days. Well, that would be too late. I walked to the nearby supermarket and bought five connecting sockets for the English teachers. The problem of power was solved. But still Internet access was a problem. We had to wait.


Step 4

By now most of the 20 teachers sharing the office had arrived. They were busy doing their own tidying. I was a bit thirsty. However, the water dispenser was there, dirty and not working, waiting for someone to get it on. Why didn’t those of my colleagues do the job? I had no idea.


With the cut in my finger of the right hand, I had a hard time washing the water dispenser, bringing water from the toilet and filling it. Still I did it. I turned it on, and then started working on my laptop.


Step 5

Some time later, I made for the library and there we were supposed to get our new teaching materials – books and references. No luck, they hadn’t arrived yet. Well, nothing strange, just the standard practice. I have been working for many years in the school, but I have seldom got my teaching materials on time, let alone ahead of schedule.



If you were a new worker in a work place, say a company, a school, a hospital, or a government office, what would you do on your first day? Would you sit there, waiting to be served, or would you be active in doing the office chores and giving your co-workers a hand? The answer is obvious, yet the mistake is repeated. I am one of the senior members of the staff. I find myself doing a lot of office chores – cleaning, fetching water for the water dispenser and getting the materials ready.


The office this semester should be a bit noisier with over 20 people sharing it. It is crowded. It is on the top floor of the office building. But it is good. I believe I will have to talk less to help kill the noise. One of the biggest headaches in a shared office is chatting and hot debating (on whether the pork price is falling or rising in the supermarket) among the teachers. I must not join in the chatting.


Of course I will try my best to do the office chores and to help make a nice working environment.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. happymengmeng
    Aug 22, 2007 @ 02:29:25

    Hi,shengliver!This is MMZ.
    I am quite agree  with you. Working in a shared office is not easy and every one has to give a hand to make a harmonious environment .Though, at  presen, you have to do  a lot of office chores alone, someday the other co-workers may find this and join in the chores. Additonally, your kindness is bound to be respected.
    Good luck!


  2. Shengliver
    Aug 22, 2007 @ 11:52:43

    Haha, welcome in, MMZ. Thanks for your comment and good luck in Shanghai. When online, come in and have a read. See you.


  3. happymengmeng
    Aug 23, 2007 @ 11:23:26

    I made some grammer mistakes in  my comment.Hopefully,the less people see it, the better.
    I have read some pieces of your articles, and they are really very wonderful. Congratulations to you on your English!  I wish my English could be  as good as yours.
    God luck!


  4. Shengliver
    Aug 23, 2007 @ 12:28:15

    MMZ, I bet your English is very good now. Don’t fuss over the small error. Of course we are constantly learning. You will beat me!


  5. maysouthocean
    Aug 27, 2007 @ 11:28:56

     Chat less is the basic way to concentrate on our professional task, I bet I wasted too much time being disturbed by it, i am always interested in their chatting on fashion and current affairs, this is the key reason why we are so different:you have reached the top while Iam still at the bottom
        regretful Endeavor…….


  6. vivien
    Aug 28, 2007 @ 11:24:37

     i know you on UC. Reading your passages is like breaths of fresh breeze. Athough i am an english teacher,i can’t do just what you do. you are the man gifted with talents. Admire your great ability.


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