Yesterday was my first day at Legg Mason and as first days go, this was a pretty good one. This experience will be unlike any I’ve had in the past and comes with it’s share of pro’s and con’s. The work seems challenging and exciting even if the environment is a bit stuffy. The company does not seem to have a focus on creativity but more on business related results. The building couldn’t be in a better place downtown but paying for parking is a pain. As of today, I’m looking forward to a few years at LM.
It was your typical first day of orientation: history of the company, ethics, mutli-cultural awareness, sexual harassment, benefits, etc. At least they kept it only one day instead of an entire week another company I worked for which shall remain nameless (but their initials are IBM). In fact, orientation was over by 2:30pm and we were off to start work.
When I got to what was to be my cube, I realized that I was in for some very new experiences. The computer was an older Dell Optiplex GX-260 workstation. These were just coming in to GRC in 2003 when I left there. I’ve never been to a place where I didn’t get a brand new laptop to use. In fact, very few people at LM have laptops. Technology is no where near bleeding edge, in fact, I would say that LM is an adopter of “established” technologies. I’m pretty sure I can live with that though.
The work environment lacks a lot of the freedoms I’ve been used too. Most places I’ve been have allowed periodic personal use of the computers and Internet so long as it didn’t interfere with work and was not inappropriate. LM seems a little more stern with their policy and blocks sites like gmail, yahoo mail, and other personal web sites. We were even told in orientation that if we plan to look at sites like colleges to investigate education, we should give our managers a heads up “in case” they get report of our Internet usage. I will say this though, they don’t ask anything of you that they don’t ask of their execs. The top officials in the company are in plain site on the top floor. They all share one large room where their desks are next to each other and in plain site from the hallway. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that LM is focused more on work than on creativity.
My actual tasks at LM seem very interesting and plentiful. Which is exactly what I’m looking for at this point in my career. I’m willing to give up some of the freedoms I was used to in order to find work that challenges and excites me. Working downtown is pretty cool (so far), I love the sites and I love being close to everything. Paying for parking stinks but supposedly there are some employee benefits that help pay for parking. I’m still looking into a lot of things.