I recently heard from a friend who is starting a new job. He said:
I think I feel about most jobs/professions the way some people feel about romantic relationships: it doesn't take me long to get the lay of the land and at that point the intellectual challenge seems to just fizzle out. And once that happens, I lose most of my motivation to do the 'good worker' thing. I swear, this is my revelation of the year. I've felt that way about every position I've ever held -- every single last one. Even when I worked with published authors and renowned 'experts,' I distinctly remember getting that familiar feeling: "Ah, so that's the way the game is played here." Every single time.
So with this new job, I have a different attitude. I'm just going to stay humbly grateful for a decent-paying, relatively flexible position that doesn't leave me bored out of my mind....
I'll vouch for this guy: he is extremely intelligent, and has spent his life somewhat underemployed, working at jobs where he must inevitably have been far more intelligent than his bosses. (He didn't say this; it's just my assumption.) And, like all employees who are smarter than their bosses, he has felt all of the frustrations and even contempt that situation usually entails.
One of the things people who are starting a new job will say most frequently is, "Oh, I really like the people there!" (The subtext is always, "They're not like those assholes at my old job!") And every time I hear that, I think, well, that's just because you don't know them that well yet.
It always reminds me of that old joke:
Q: What's the definition a normal family?
A: One you don't know well.
It's like, as my friend said, starting a new romance. Things are always best at first, when you don't know each other that well yet. Then, once you each become acquainted with each other's weaknesses, and discover the limits to each other's repertoire, the infatuation tends to fade.
Anyway, this guy seems to have had all of that anticipated. But he's also right to have his stated attitude of humble gratitude for a steady income and flexible hours.
(I'm not betting his attitude will necessarily last, but as of now, it's a good one to have.)
And, at least he won't be disappointed as he becomes better acquainted with his coworkers.