Thursday, June 11, 2009

Work Starting (finally), by Mitch Paschen

This is my second blog post for AAPD.

One week ago, David and I took the Metro to the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center to meet a shuttle that was going to take us out to CBP’s Boston facility (not actually in the city of Boston!). On the way, I noticed the most peculiar thing: traffic into the city was jammed bumper to bumper and traffic going out of the city was sparse. Being from a small town in Wisconsin, I have never quite seen traffic behave like that before.

After obtaining our ID badges, (which were mistakenly colored tan instead of yellow, but that didn’t matter) David and I hopped onto another shuttle to Kingstowne where we would actually be working. CBP’s Kingstowne facility is located on the top two floors of an office building in the Kingstowne shopping center out in Springfield, VA. It is a strip-mall type layout typically found in the suburbs. I can see this becoming a nice place to commute to each day outside of the crowded city, even though the Metro ride is 40 minutes. Another advantage of working at a strip mall in the suburbs is that food for lunch is cheap and plentiful.

Our first day on the job, David and I met a former AAPD intern who had been rehired by CBP to work for the summer. He helped show us around the office and told us about the best places to eat lunch. Most of the first day consisted of introducing ourselves to staff and obtaining access to the network. As a nice treat, some of the staff took David and me out to lunch. They even paid for it. At the end of that first day, David and I boarded the Kingstowne shuttle to the Franconia-Springfield Metro station and slowly made our way back to GW.

The next Monday, a shipment of 152 new computers came in and I was put in charge of making sure every computer got delivered. I then had the daunting task of unpacking each one, which took three days. Starting either tomorrow or next week, reimaging will begin and the real work of my internship will ensue.

I have never worked in a corporate office environment, but it was similar to what I imagined it would be. People were always cheerful and friendly. Everyone has a cubicle and there is a dedicated copy room with supplies and a kitchen on each floor. The one thing I found peculiar is that you need your ID to use the restroom. I just started imagining some poor soul who might forget his/her ID at their desk and wouldn’t be able to get in the restroom.

Overall, I have enjoyed my first week of work. There hasn’t been too much to do, but I am still getting acclimated to the environment.

P.S. I have also discovered that reading The Express on the Metro makes the ride go much faster.

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