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New Hires Orientation

I just started working here, and my predecessor had not moved everything out of the office. Some of his papers were on the shelves, and some of his personal files were still in the computer. When I asked my boss what to do, he said to throw all of his stuff out. I did it, but I am not happy about this kind of a start. Should I mention my concern to my boss?

You may well have been hired to clean up a mess left by your predecessor, but that should not include having to clean out his papers and files.

One of the most basic steps in bringing new employees on board is to make sure that their work area is clean and ready to go. Advising a new employee to throw out his or her predecessor's belongings raises real questions about the company itself.

The first few days and weeks on the job play a critical role in determining a new employee's attitudes, expectations, and commitment. When a company halfheartedly prepares the new employee's work area, the most common reaction from the employee is halfhearted enthusiasm for the job. It will be very enlightening to see what your company does from here.

On the one hand, perhaps this cleanup operation was an aberration, in which case you can let it go, at least for now. However, if you are seeing other indicators that point to a larger tendency to ignore newly-hired personnel, then you should go to your manager to discuss your concerns as well as your suggestions. It's obvious that your office was not ready for you, and it will not take you long to figure out whether the company was ready for you.

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