The first day of a new job is always rough. From trying to parse out what that written job description actually entails on a day to day basis to figuring out where the kitchen is, the whole thing is confusing. I had my first day of my internship today, and I walked in expecting to fumble my way around like every other first day I’ve had.
And then I was greeted by the CEO of the company less than an hour after I arrived. He was friendly and welcoming, and was seemingly more interested in chatting with me than attending the meeting he was supposed to be at. This seemed to be the theme through the day, people stopping by my desk to say hello and chat for a few minutes. I have never been in a room of more friendly people in my entire life, and I’m a southerner.
I think that part of the warmth comes from the fact that the company that I’m working for, Community Access, not only provides community housing for individuals with mental illnesses, but requires that at least 50% of it’s paid staff to have received Community Access services in their past. The people working for the company have benefited directly from what we do, and have made it out of some of the darkest periods that people can go through.
I’ve already had a few deep conversations with new employees at orientation about their own experiences with being mentally ill and homeless in New York. It isn’t easy, is what I’ve gleaned, but it teaches you to be kinder to people. I so look forward to working with more of these incredible people, and meeting and working with the tenants of Community Access’s buildings.
In the meantime, though, that’s the view from my office window. Not too bad, huh?