administrative prattle

Posted: December 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

We are winding down to year’s end, and this week one of the tasks I am focusing in on is:  calendars.  While there are parts of my ob that I don’t care for (typing minutes and investigating lost items reports top that last), I really enjoy putting together the annual calendar. 

The challenge with this project:  to present a 1-page, 1-sided document that has a “year at a glance” calendar at the top, and at the bottom, a series of schedules for various regular meetings, holidays, etc.  It needs to be clear, concise, and easy-to-read.  It should be complete enough that staff or board members can use it as a single source document while planning their vacations and such. 

Tasks like this are a strange but sure comfort to me – I am somehow soothed and simultaneously entertained as I gather and configure the information.  Part of it is a sense of all-is-right-with-the-world, some of it is a delicious feeling of control and accomplishment, and there is a dose of inspiration in there as well, as this process pushes me every year to think about vacation, visits, etc. for the coming year.  There is the pure pleasure of knowing I am producing a useful document that will help others, and I’m not gonna lie:  I am usually hoping to do it in a way that makes someone say, “Wow!” ‘Cuz I’m like that.

The calendar has a nice way of not moving around on me.  A somewhat similar project that I work on is far less satisfying:  the in-house staff phone directory.  With almost 300 employees, just keeping the key staff members’ names and phone numbers up to date is frustrating in its slipperiness.  I always know:  I will make my very best effort to publish a correct-up-to-the-minute document, and then the minute will change, and so will the darn list.  Someone will get promoted, or someone will get a new cell phone.  SOMETHING will change.  The quickest way to guarantee the list is going to change, it seems, is to polish it all up, print a pile of copies, and distribute them.  In a matter of days, I will get new information and need to start over.  The calendar doesn’t do that to me so much.  Sure, we change meetings from time to time, but not at the pace that the phone directory changes!

All in all, I love my job.  There are endless fun and/or challenging tasks to do, and the good ones far outweigh the frustrating ones, the tedious ones, and the ones that make me feel like I’m in over my head.  I am blessed to be where I am. 

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