No one likes the new guy. And, if you’re the new guy, you always want to avoid the first couple of dudes to talk to you. They are looking for an easy friend because no one likes them. In one way or another, you have to prove yourself to be accepted by the new tribe or company culture, otherwise the two weirdos who asked your opinion on their multi-national conglomerate conspiracy theory will be your only “friends”.
For me, it’s always been the same whether it’s the Army or the Business world. You just have to get in there and show your stuff. Get in a few firefights, put some rounds down range and get some patrols under your belt. Open up a couple new accounts, run the C-N-C machine without any issues or clock in and work everyday for your 12 hour shift without issues. It just takes time, and you have to have the patience to let relationships grow organically.
I’ve never minded being the new guy. Most of the macho BS that you see in movies isn’t real, and instead your just tasked with unsavory duties like burning the latrine pits after a grueling, multi-day patrol, or putting in the mandatory overtime at the chemical plant. Once you do that a few times, and show you’re a hard worker, it’s pretty easy.
Yes, I’ve had to do this multiple times. It is as bad as it looks. Remember, you have to take the pot out, mix it up with diesel fuel and then light it.
Bullies might try to take advantage of you every now and then, but they are a blessing in disguise. After a week or two of hard work, most people in the unit or the team will recognize you’re an alright person and when you confront whoever’s giving you a hard time, you’ll generally have the support of the masses. Many people make the mistake of standing up to a perceived bully the first day or two, or thinking someone is a bully when really all they are is burnt out. I will admit though, this was easier to navigate in the Army when a “discussion” in the woodline wasn’t an HR and police record issue, just a few punches between soldiers who disagreed.
If you’re a millenial, or zoomer, relish that “new guy” label. The Baby Boomers will always view us as some upstart generation that needs to learn how to write a letter, and practice giving out firm handshakes. Let them worry about “synergy” and being a “company man”, we’ve got work to do and the world to save.