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I started a new job as an accounting trainee. It's a YDP (young development program) in Sudan. It targets new graduates to give them insight about work life. I have a supervisor but she is so unhelpful in terms that if I ask about something I don't know (and I'm the type of person to ask so many questions to understand the full picture), she would immediately answer with "Don't you know that already from school?".

So a few weeks later I stopped asking her even though I don't understand the system fully and everything just seems super complicated. The problem here is that she's leaving in a few days for her annual vacation and she's leaving me and I truly feel like unable to handle this job on my own. The stress of messing up or just looking like a complete idiot is haunting me. I just feel super lost and kind of depressed.

I also feel like I graduated college with zero knowledge in my head since the system and the works just all look weird to me. That's why I feel am not fit for the job.

Do you have any tips that can help me cope through that period, anything that can calm me down?

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    Who will be your supervisor left in charge for when she leaves for vacation?
    – DarkCygnus
    Dec 14, 2021 at 17:16
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    Welcome to The Workplace minna. I took an edit to your post in order to improve its readability (I still think it could do with a more meaningful title). Feel free to edit it further if I missed something. Also, take the tour and read the help center to start to know your way around here. I also posted an Answer for you to consider. Let's see what other users have to add.
    – DarkCygnus
    Dec 14, 2021 at 17:34
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    What does "trainee" mean in your country? There are very different systems in place in different countries. Can you please add a country tag?
    – nvoigt
    Dec 14, 2021 at 18:04
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    My other supervisor will be the team leader but since she's supervising me they're expecting she showed me everything Dec 14, 2021 at 18:27
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    It's a YDP ( young development programe in) Sudan it targets fresh graduates to give them an insight about the work life. Even though we are trainees we are considered employees and are supposed to preform as one but for someone like me totally new the that sitting it do3make sence Dec 14, 2021 at 18:31

1 Answer 1

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she would immediately answer with don't you know that already from school so a few weeks later I stopped asking her even though I don't understand the system fully and everything just seems super complicated.

Don't be ashamed to ask. You are a trainee. You should be asking a lot of question to grasp the whole system and get knowledge on its use and considerations.

Perhaps your supervisor is not being 100% polite or professional by saying "don't you know this already?", but don't let that stop you from asking. If you don't ask you don't learn, and thus won't be able to understand and handle the system.

Having said that I have two points/suggestions that you may consider:

  1. Politely find our who will be your temporary supervisor while she leaves for vacation, so you know who you can ask your queries while she's gone.
  2. Consider reflecting on your own behavior and way that you ask these questions, to see if there is anything you could adjust in order to be a better communicator.
    • Do you interrupt her when asking each question? Do you ask them as they come to your head, or do you try to do it on your own and then ask if you still don't get it? Are there many many questions you are asking perhaps? Could those many questions be condensed into fewer as to not saturate her with queries?
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    Also, is there anybody else at the company you could ask? When I was junior, I would try and spread my questions around to as many people as possible so that I didn't feel like I was constantly bugging the same person. Dec 14, 2021 at 17:55
  • Also, are there resources to go to so you can try to figure out the answer first? Then when you ask the question, you can say that you've already looked at A and B, but still don't understand. Dec 14, 2021 at 18:07
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    Only 3 people work in the accounting department but all the work load is given to her Dec 14, 2021 at 18:25
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    @minnaMurtada that's a bit of a red flag, because the knowledge is "siloe'd" and "only her" seems to know how it works in depth... anyways, If the other people that work in the accounting dept. also know about the system (perhaps not as much as her but surely not zero), consider asking them some of your questions, as to not saturate her with all your questions (as Robin suggests in a comment above).
    – DarkCygnus
    Dec 14, 2021 at 22:18
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    @minnaMurtada : so 3 people should be able to answer your questions. Spread out, and group the questions so that you don't disturb them too often. You can even try to set up short appointments to ask many questions at once, so that they are not annoyed too often. But others are right : you are a beginner, you need to ask questions, a lot of questions. And if you don't get answers, find other ways to ask questions.
    – gazzz0x2z
    Dec 15, 2021 at 13:50

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