Thursday, March 16, 2017

Office Work, Mock and Real

Lately I've been thinking about how preparing for an accreditation site visit is like preparing for Comprehensive Exams.  The date is set and has been for some time.  The preparation/studying is done.  I find myself wishing that I could just go ahead and take the leap--and then, occasionally, with a bit of panic, I say, "No, wait, I'm not ready yet."  But I am ready, as ready as I know how to be.

Still, there are binders to assemble.  Once I just threw things together.  Now I am careful to label everything in exactly the same way, to insert tabs, to label the tab pages.  Instead of giant binders, I'm now more likely to make smaller ones.  For example, instead of a binder with every syllabus, I'll break it down by program.  If our faculty files weren't already this way, I'd put every document in every file in exactly the same place.  Convenience counts, and I don't want to force accreditors to search for a document.

Yesterday, as I was peeling the backs off of the labels to stick them on binder spines, I thought about a childhood game.  My sister and I used to play office:  we would unplug the phones so that we could pretend to answer them and transfer calls, and we would file, and we would shuffle papers.

It was the late 70's--why weren't we preparing to be astronauts?  And yet, many of us have grown up into administrator jobs that are similar to the mock office my sister and I created.

This morning, I worked at my other "office job."  I submitted fiction to 2 literary journals, which I like to do from home, since most places require a small fee which I pay with my credit card.  I'm willing to pay it for fiction, since the postage costs would cost as much if not more.  The same is not true for poetry.

Later, I will order transcripts for my spouse's two new schools where he will be teaching soon.  He can line up as many adjunct jobs as he can juggle, and so, he's gotten two more gigs.  Each new school means a set of transcripts sent, and much assorted paperwork--again, much like the mock office of my childhood.

And then, once the home office paperwork is done, it's off to my other office.  I often think about my love of office supplies and keeping journals/records, and how that helps me in my work life--all of my work lives.

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