I'm currently on a full stack developer internship at a software consulting company. I'm in my second month, and have experienced the weirdest culture shock. I have done an internship term before, at a startup where the culture was much more welcoming.
The first, is cups. People there are obsessed with their cups. Cleaners come in every night after work, and collect all dirty dishes, wash them, then put all the cups in the drawer in the common kitchen. Some of the cups have letters on them, representative of an employee's first name. In my second week on the job, I didn't know the significance of the cup, so I just randomly took one from the drawer, about to pour hot water in for tea. The apparent owner of the cup starting whining about how I was taking her cup to use. Taken aback, I gave the cup back to her and took an un-lettered one from the cabinet. Apparently, I'm not the only one who has make this mistake. It happens time and time again, and people are just completely obsessed with their cups. Every time someone talks about "their cup", I internally face-palm and feel like I have time travelled back into the drama days of high school.
And the second, is kitchen etiquette. After bringing my own cup to work (and leaving it at my desk at all times), I often go to the kitchen to get water from the kettle. One time, I poured my cup of water and left a cup or so of water remaining for the next person. As I was walking out, a colleague called me out for not leaving enough water in the kettle (she wanted me to refill the kettle until the water line was visible) with the audacity to say "We value respect here." I was also taken aback by this, so I just filled the kettle and walked away. There was no mention of this during my orientation.
Third, I feel like whenever I ask for assistance, I don't get a positive response. For instance, our development environment requires setup on the client side using VM boxes. Every morning during standup, I mention I'm blocked by how slow the VM is (think of slow XP in the old days where you can duplicate window top bars). For the new developer that joined a week before me, after they complained for 1 week, the boss went through the process of issuing them a clean, new instance. For me, I've been mentioning this at daily standup on and off for the past month, and the most the boss tells me is, turn it on and off again. It's frustrating because I want to be able to do my job and it's incredibly hard to do so.
Not all the people who work there are obsessed with water levels and cups. Some are really nice and have helped me get to know other nicer people, and are genuinely curious about my own interests. But the negativity leaves a bitter reminder.
Does anyone have any recommendations on how to deal with this kind of culture?