Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Writing and re-writing

Oh what a hellacious week this has been (or two weeks) of writing and re-writing job descriptions.
Almost 2 years ago we became a part of a different college. This transition has happened twice since I have been in my position and we have both times had to "meld" to the corporate structure of another institution.
This is a PAINFUL process. There are some things that are great, some things that are fun, but many, many growing pains and some things that are just downright nasty. Add to that the joy of doing this all the second time around in a recession.

In the most recent incarnation of our work life we are trying to meld two campuses, in two different communities, with staff represented by three different staff associations and a union.
People on different campuses in the "same" job - work different hours for different pay with different benefits and we have been trying to work it all out. add to that the people with the same job title who do VASTLY different jobs., then the people who do a conglomeration of many different jobs, and those few people who have no idea what they are doing.

A consultant was hired to oversee the reclassification of all jobs on our campus for all members of the union. We all went to workshops on what was expected and then back to our respective offices with more questions than answers. An email came out requesting that all jobs be rewritten  and turned in by April 01. So, the past two weeks we have been spending time writing, then re-writing the job descriptions on this campus to fit into a form developed years ago on the other campus, but first changes had to be made to the form to make it representative of the union.

The form arrived. It was NOT a "fillable" form that one might expect, certainly I expected it. It was a very pretty Microsoft Word document with nice lines and well spaced, good looking boxes that needed to be filled out. Only it was not that simple. So add to the stress of having to re-write your job description now the additional stress of trying to fill out a form where text didn't wrap, boxes could not be checked off, the printable version was outside the borders and so the ends of sentences were cut off... just to name a FEW of the problems with this very attractive, very DISfunctional, form.

I know, I have high expectations. Honestly the drama over this form almost caused me to blow a gasket and my gasket blowing days are far behind me. I am someone who spends considerable time working on the computer, and to try and get the other staff in this area whom I am responsible for who DON'T use a computer to fill out this form was so disastrous that I ended up doing all but three of the inputs myself.
I LOVE working with data. I love forms. I love making them. I love spreadsheets. Excel makes me happy. For fun, really for fun, a co-worker and I used to have competitions making the prettiest form on excel. I ENJOYED IT. (don't tell my spouse). I know how to make a fillable form. yeah, it takes time, but there are really great programs out there designed to do it. I have to say that I "oozed" a little of my frustration over work email (which I NEVER do) and it was a complete joke. One person made the most asinine comment about how the form was very easy to fill - as she had done with a pencil! Only what she doesn't realize is that no matter how easy it was for her to fill out, someone had to input all of her info into the computer
And joy of joys, I had to do this form not once, not twice, not thrice, but SEVEN, count it, SEVEN times. It has been the nightmare of my waking hours. Finally on Friday I thought I had all but two remaining to submit.
On Monday I submitted what I thought were the last two, but no.

What I came away from the training with was not at all what my supervisor wanted from the forms. Re-write.
Now it is 4:30 in the afternoon on TUESDAY and these revisions are just getting stupid. No word of a lie, the administrator in my office has now printed, in the last 15 minutes of her day, FOUR front pages. The first time it didn't save, the second time we saw the word "manager" was spelled "manger", the third time we saw that job duties title "A" was identical to job duties title "B" which somehow we missed in the past 12 reviews so we needed to come up with two new titles, print number four I don't even remember what we missed.
HOPEFULLY. HOPEFULLY. We are finished. I know my brain is finished.
Unfortunately the stress of the process has only just begun. Now (if they don't need more revision)  they go to committee for review and for placement on the pay scale. We should hear by SEPTEMBER what has happened.

And my mom wonders why I am not working on my thesis!

No comments: