Saturday, November 19, 2011

Let's See Where My Fingers Take Me

It is a roll of the dice this morning. I can't quite make my mind settle down on one topic so I shall let my fingers wander the keyboard and see what they have to say for themselves.

First off, can I say how happy I am that it is Saturday?!?

It isn't that I don't love my job. But it is getting so exhausting not knowing the people I am working with. As a secretary, a good half of my job is sending calls or tracking down people in the school. When I have no idea who is standing next to me a great deal of the time, this is a tiresome challenge. I mix up names and data because everything is Greek to me. I wish that every school came with a directory of Who's Who. That would be the first thing that I would do, if I became King of the Schools.

The second thing that I may do as King, would be to ask that employees document the 'timeline of their day' in a fashion that someone walking into their job (and not knowing a thing) could pick up this handy-dandy to-do-list and they could maneuver their way through the day without asking a bazillion questions. Little things ... like where to locate various items (eg: a pen!).

It is not that anyone has given me a moment of grief because I am bothering them with questions. It is just a matter of self preservation. I feel more independent when I can get through the basic elements of the day without relying on someone else's knowledge.

One other thing that I would do if I became King of the Schools, would be to develop a quick reference guide for new employees. Phone numbers, contact names and email addresses of who to call when you have a question about _______? I am finding out things by trial and error. A great deal of the time, I would not need to bother someone with a phone call. The ability to communicate by email would be a great time-saver to the person on the other end of the question.

I am feeling a great deal of angst about an (almost) three week position that I will be filling in December.

I have been booked to work Tuesday - Friday at the same school for three weeks. I will be filling the Admin Assistant's role. I am not Admin Assistant material. These secretaries know the school like the back of their hand. They are the heart and core of the operations as they balance a myriad of roles. Me? I will know how to answer the phone and do attendance.

As I sit here and wonder what else it is that I know how to do without assistance, my mind goes blank. I must know something else. But frankly ... I am feeling (more than just) a little nervous about this.

I know that a person learns the most when they are immersed in a sink or swim situation. I am currently practicing my survival techniques. I am learning all that I can, from the people that I am working with at the moment. They have told me to call them if I need help. I have a life line.

The secretary that I am replacing is leaving me a detailed list of what-to-do and how-to-do-it. She will be accessible and she has told me that she will call in from time to time to check on how things are going. I have help at my fingertips from other secretaries within the system. It will be okay.

It's just that this new-job-anxiety has been going on for too long. It has now been three months. And due to the fact that I am working as a substitute, most days still feel like a first day.

The last month has been a completely different kind of anxiety. It is all self-induced. Prior to that? I was dealing with other stressors beyond my control. Unhealthy stress. This past month? The anxiousness is only because of the newness of the job, the staff, the school and situations are unique and new at each school.

But the people I have been working with? Life savers. I am not exaggerating. The staff have been wonderful to me at a time when I really needed to be treated with a little bit of respect and patience.

I guess I had a few related thoughts going on within this head of mine after all. Who knew? My fingers did. That's who! When my fingers do the talking, I usually find the underlying cause of my restlessness.

Now that I know what I'm thinking, I can act on it and become proactive.

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