Published: Apr 01, 2021
8:00 AM: Arrive at the office and start the morning with your daily review of the news wires to see what developments are afoot in the energy world: corporate merger rumors, congressional legislation proposals, updates on the latest accounting scandal, announcements by a foreign government about a new infrastructure project or environmental policy.
9:00 AM: Your phone rings – it’s a Legislative Assistant from a Congressperson’s office on "the Hill." She wants to get more information about the press release your group issued last week, which called attention to an energy policy change you and your colleagues found buried in the latest congressional appropriation bill. This LA’s question is fairly detailed, so you pass her on to your legal specialist down the hall.
9:15 AM: Your main task for today is to call and email a long list of local activist groups, congressional staff, and reporters, spreading your organization’s message about the harmfulness of the 11th-hour policy change that ended up in the appropriation bill. You start down the list with the reporters, hoping to get one of them to pick up the story for tomorrow’s paper.
12:00 PM: The policy director is going to lunch with someone from one of the foundations that funds your organization, and asks you to come along to discuss the initiatives you’ve been working on lately. While the energy policy bill is your latest overwhelming concern, this foundation wants to hear about work on the topics it earmarked its funds for: a recent campaign about municipal waste incineration emission standards, and an ongoing study about nuclear waste disposal alternatives (of which you are to be the primary author).
4:00 PM: Fielding and placing calls related to last week's press release has taken up your whole afternoon. Now you carve out a few hours to work on background research for that nuclear waste study – you have a hefty reading list to get through, including a stack of company annual reports, magazine articles pulled from an online research database, and existing studies by other research organizations.
8:00 PM: After a long day, you walk down the street to the neighborhood bar and have a few beers with your friends who work at other nonprofits. Your college roommate had emailed an invitation to a cocktail hour at a posh new lounge, but you declined in favor of $1 drafts. Sometimes it bothers you to not be able to keep up with your banker buddies’ lifestyles, but then again, you find your chosen career very fulfilling – while they chat over martinis about the prospect for a next promotion, you will enjoy an animated intellectual debate about the virtues of offshore windpower development.
8:00 AM: After waking up in the Holiday Inn in a remote part of Iowa, you get in your rented SUV and drive into town to have a breakfast meeting at the local diner with the mayor. Your development team has optioned a hilltop in the area for developing a windpower facility, and you are now in the process of negotiating a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT agreement) with the town.
8:30 AM: Come in to open up the office. Since you are the first person a visitor sees upon entering the office, it is your responsibility to ensure that the reception area is neatly kept and that there are plenty of brochures about things to do in Washington, DC.
“New hire’s remorse”—at least under this name—is a recent phenomenon that we broached last week. Also called “shift shock,” it arises when an employee regrets taking a job because it isn’t the right fit or is completely different from what was expected.