Back to work!
Although it was nice to be on vacation, I had been waiting to get back to work. And not just any work. My new job. In my first non-audit role since 2000 when I had switched over from external auditing at PwC to their brand new Siteminder security implementation consulting group. That only lasted for a year or so, but it was new and interesting and different. I’ve been working in the Internal audit space from 2002 until now, and I was ready for a change.
The new role is in Newport, one of the nicer neighborhoods in Jersey City by the water. Newport and Exchange Place are the two big areas in JC across the Hudson River from Manhattan where a large number of financial firms have back office functions, especially IT. My new commute is a little longer these days, but it’s not bad. Just a little more complicated.
I’m now up by 5 am (ish), and out the door after I prepare kids’ lunches for the day. I try to catch the 6:30am train from Princeton Junction, which is 15 mins from my house. This is the station that is closest, but I’ve been on the wait list for two years now. If you remmeber, I started using it last month after they recently expanded one of the existing lots.
It’s a 36 minute ride up to Newark Penn, where I jump on the WTC PATH train, transfer at Journal Square, then ride that train to Newport. 5 mins walking to the office, and I’m there. Not bad, and the mornings are like clockwork. Minimal traffic on the way, and trains are plentiful.
The commute home is, unfortunately, not like clockwork. I have a commitment to pick up the kids by 6pm every day from school. I spent most of the week plotting what times I need to leave and routes that I need to take to get me to the school on time. I leave around 4pm, but the evening rush hour PATH trains don’t come regularly at Newport or Journal Square, and when they do, they are stuffed. So stuffed, sometimes I need to wait another 10 mins and hope the next train has some room to squeeze onto.
After some trial and error, I’ve come to the sad conclusion that there is one train at 4:52pm that I actually have a shot at catching to get me back on time. Just one, that’s it. I can’t catch the earlier one. If I miss it, my goose is cooked.
Once I do catch the train, that portion is okay. Unfortunately, the traffic out of the parking lot is slow and congested. Somehow I still make it to the school by 5:55pm. Not a lot of margin for error. I’m not generally an early morning riser, but I’m doing my best to get to bed at a reasonable hour, and my wife is generous with the sharp elbows at 5 am when the alarm goes off. 😉
One other note, I got moved on my first day, and now I have a “corner office.” I have this odd unused space between my cubicle and the windows – I wonder if I could make this a small waiting room with furniture. 😉
Besides all that, I spent most of the week acclimating myself to the company, and the group. There’s a lot of work — I had four meetings on my first day. I spent the rest of the week getting my remote access set up, admin application access, phone working, and working on things to help out.
And I’m heading to Seattle on Monday.