Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The job description

When one begins a job, one is given important documents to help them function effectively. There are forms to fill out for the government, promises to make regarding honesty and crime checks that hopefully will come back NOT having the applicant listed as one of America’s Most Wanted. One of the most important documents, however is the very understated job description. The importance of such a document is clear, I’m sure.
I mean, one cannot truly complete a job without said job description, now can one?

I write today to warn you readers to guard your job description. Hold tightly to its type. Watch its font and size. In my nearly two years here now, in a job I truly love and count as a blessing, the job description has proven itself to be a slippery eel. The type has rearranged itself many times, and always when I’m not looking.

I thought I was going to sit at a desk, answer the phone and send appointments in to see the Pastor. In truth, I do have a desk. And I do sit. But my chair is a bit bipolar and we engage in a constant battle of sit, no stand, no sit, no stand. The chair at times holds me tightly for hours on end, and other times, I can’t seem to aim right and find that at the end of the day, I have not ventured near my desk chair at all.

As far as sending appointments in to see the pastor, well, it’s a race. I’ve explained this all before. The chase is on when someone enters the building expecting to see my wonderful boss. I’m an Olympic jumper these days, my hearing is set for the sounds of foreign feet outside my office as they near the Pastor’s cave. We Try Harder should be on my door. I try hard to run interference for the sole purpose of accomplishing a job that was at one time listed in my job description. “ The Pastor will see you now” doesn’t get used nearly enough, though not for lack of trying.

Calendaring sounds a bit like gardening. Planting the seeds of events into the ever growing organic calendar so that they may prosper, flourish. Shoot, I read that and thought, piece of cake. I have come to learn that placing events on the calendar mimics the action of picking up marbles with greased fingers. The events roll around to different times and days, once they hit the day and date, there’s no telling where they might end up. I recall having a very special poultry event become so on-the-loose that we nearly gave up and changed to bologna sandwich dinners instead. A big annual chicken dinner, held in late winter began showing up in Spring, summer, or not at all. It became a joke at staff meeting. “So, where’s the chicken dinner hiding out this week?” I wondered if chicken dinner therapy might help. Or if DBT, dialectical behavior therapy might come in handy. Were the chickens chicken? Did they not want to be dinner? The dinner eventually settled into a spot and stayed there. This year it seems a little more stable. I’ve pretty much decided that it was all a matter of personality conflicts between poultry and Microsoft.

My point being that the job description of what calendaring is , well, it really isn’t. We have a lovely form called a facility use form, but for those of us in-house, well, we’ve come to know it as the BLUE SHEET. The sleepy soft blue sheet rules all activities. ALL. Plan a meeting- fill out a blue sheet first and hope we can put you where you want to be. Plan a bathroom break, good luck buddy. Schedule a practice, rehearsal, fill it out and go to the end of the line. The blue sheet rules this building .and sometimes, it rules my day. Let me summarize for you, simplify if you will-If you have a cold, and you begin a sneeze in room 328, you’d better darn well have submitted a blue form before you finish that sneeze, or someone who has scheduled the room will beat you to it. People are afraid of the blues. I mean the blues give me the blues sometimes, too. Sometimes I dream in blue, too. Sad, I know it is.

Calendaring doesn’t stop there, though. Oh, no. I get to dance with the maintenance team, too. Every day, and twice on Fridays we dance through the set ups and take downs. Sounds simple enough if you are dancing the same dance, right? Right. Most days, I’m foxtrotting, and the other side is hustling. Different rhythms, different directions. We make it work though. Let us not forget that when one has parented 4 children, one tends to continue to use successful parenting tactics when needed regardless of the age of the other parties involved. Actually, the team works okey dokey and we play well together the majority of the time. Once again, though, my point is that the original job description morphs. Take note, oh ye who are considering such a job as this.

Part II Money Matters

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