First day of orientation is rather like you probably all have pictured: a lot of people crowded into a small room, wearing dark suits, slowly oozing sweat, and undertaking one hundred conversations all beginning with, "So, where are you from?" while nervously fingering coffee cups. I was no exception, though being rather addled with the timechange made everything a bit more oblique and fuzzy. The timechange excuse will most likely lose validity as the days go on, but I plan to milk it for all it's worth in the interim. 11:00pm and I'm wide wide awake!
Suit wearing on the first day is a (perhaps unofficial) requirement. Stepping out boldly, I opted for dark brown as opposed to the customary black. While not the only one in non-black, I can honestly say I was the only one in brown. And that's out of 86 people. Of course, I think I was also the only one nodding off while standing, and shooing away offers of coffee on the grounds that it was a diuretic and I was wearing pantyhose. I'm not sure whom I made that comment to, but I am sure he and I will be fast friends.
Naturally, they took pictures the first day. I vaguely recall this happening. The photographer and I share the same last name, but with different spellings. This was an issue he felt required some discussion, so that my photo shoot marked the only break in his 'focus - click - "next"' rhythm. It is a picture I look forward to seeing the way one might anticipate a root canal. Which is to say, not at all.
There were some genuinely nice moments. One was the actual swearing in, done very informally and quickly out in the lobby before classes started. Though apparently only a formality needed to qualify us for our paychecks (a more formal swearing in takes place at the end of the orientation), it was nice to hear us all recite our pledge at the same time. You could look around and see people blinking in surprise at the suddenness of it, as if they'd just stepped out into the sun.
Most of the class discussion consisted of various explanations and form signing, which was fine. Having read fairly thoroughly the material we'd already been sent, I felt adequately up to speed on everything -- fortunate, as I was really regretting not taking that coffee somewhere around the second or third talk.
Oh, we also received our bid lists (the list of openings to which we can be posted). More on that later.
And one final note: "fully furnished" in apartment lingo does not mean your apartment will provide a hairdryer. Which is why I'm taking a shower now instead of tomorrow morning.