First week at Ancestry

This was my first week as an employee of and it has been a week of adjustments. Everything is new to me at Ancestry. Here is a quick list of some of the things I had to adapt to during my first week:

Being totally clueless

After almost ten years at Morinda, I had a very good idea of how things worked and who the key people were—I was very comfortable. I’m still in the I-have-no-idea-what-I-am-doing-here mode at Ancestry. I hear acronyms tossed around in a meeting and I have no clue what it means. I heard IRL a couple times on my first few days and I couldn’t figure out what it meant, despite even googling it. Nothing seemed to fit. Days later I figured out that we have an office in Ireland, and the mystery was solved.

People come over to ask a question about how this-or-that process works and I’m really glad I wasn’t the one answering the question because I didn’t even know the company was in that line of business.

I ask a plethora of really stupid questions and constantly bug my co-workers with my ignorance. I have a lot to learn.

Eating lunch on-site

At Morinda I would go off-site for lunch very often, but Ancestry does a very good job at making me want to stick around.

One of the less-publicized perks offered by Ancestry is a pretty well-stocked cafeteria called the Shaky Leaf Cafe. During work hours it offers fresh berries (my favorite thing so far), cereal and milk, hot chocolate, sodas, frozen yogurt, and fruit. All of these things are totally free.

Frozen yogurt at the Shaky Leaf Cafe

The Shaky Leaf also provides lunch and also breakfasts on Thursdays. These meals aren’t free, but they’re subsidized and end up being very affordable. I only went off-site once this week as a result. My weakness so far is the salad bar. I can load up a pretty delicious and healthy salad for about $4.

Wearing dot com attire

I ran into a buddy of mine on Tuesday morning in the company cafeteria. I was dressed in a nice button-down shirt and some khakis. He gave me the ol’ elevator eyes and said something about my clothes and trying to make everyone else look bad. I confessed that I still needed to work on my dot com wardrobe selection.

He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt, sneakers, and a hoodie. Like just about everyone else. I’ve even seen shorts and flip-flops. I have a few casual clothes, but most of my wardrobe leaned toward the nicer end of the business-casual spectrum. I need to drop a load of stuff off at the DI and then go shopping.

Knowing no one

I’m not sure how many employees are at Ancestry HQ, but it’s a big number. I meet someone new every day and almost immediately forget his or her name. I often consult the online employee directory to match up names and faces. After the second or third time seeing someone, I can usually greet them by name, although I’ve made plenty of mistakes. The good thing is that being new is a great excuse for forgetting a name—so many to remember!

While I have a lot of new things to get used to, I’m very excited about my new job. I will continue to grow, change, and learn, and eventually I’ll figure things out at this new company and settle into my role.


3 thoughts on “First week at Ancestry”

  1. Yeah, I can see by the pic of the cafeteria that things are a little upside down there at Ancestry. You needn’t worry about remembering anyone’s name as they are all just someone’s ancestor. Probably just holograms, I suspect. You’ll get used to them. Have fun… 🙂

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