Friday, May 29, 2020

Feeling My Way Forward

I've been the new chair since Tuesday, and I'm learning about all the things I need to start actually learning.

On Monday, I had an email conversation with the deanling Dan (not their real name).  Dan wanted to talk on Teams, which is fine, so I told him when I had stuff to do, and he sent me one of those outlook calendar thingies.

And then he sent an email that said "your calendar is grey" and sort of chastized me for my calendar being grey.  It doesn't look grey to me.  In the past, I've never much used the outlook calendar because I carry a calendar book, and like being able to flip pages easily and see things, which honestly isn't the same.  Anyway, I remembered this incident, when a student was able to make an appointment in my calendar somehow.  (The magic of blogging is that I can find stuff that happened way back when if I can remember a searchable keyword.  "Calendar" in this case.  Deanling Dan is the "deanish" person whose incompetence in checking how things should be done resulted in this post.  Fortunately, Dan seems to have learned a LOT in about ten years.)  And I remembered someone helped me figure out how to make people not able to change my calendar or even see it.

In the past couple of weeks, preparing for chairness, I've reset the calendar so the admin assistants can see and add things if they need to (because I trust them both to take good care of the department).  So I went in and reset the whole thing so that anyone can see when I'm busy.  And then I emailed deanling Dan and that was that.  I seriously have to check that outlook thing way more than I have been.

We "met" virtually yesterday, and I learned a lot.  And holy cow, that's a whole lot more to learn!

I need to find a system of keeping track of pending stuff easily.  I'm thinking a board with post it notes would do (in addition to my bullet journal and calendar).  That way, I can quickly see and review them, make sure anything that needs to get done is done, and then remove the post it.  But that doesn't really work unless I'm more or less in one place, and there's an organized office sort of space.

We're going to play office dominoes.  The previous chair needs to move our of our chair's office (which is close to the department office, and on a corner with big windows and a gorgeous view).  But the chair will be moving into an office previously occupied by Adjunct A.  Adjunct A got hired by the communications department onto the tenure track (hurray!  nothing could be better!), and is probably waiting to get a real office over there to move into.  (We're hoping he'll have his stuff out of our office by mid June.)  Then the previous chair can move, then I can move.  And then one of our new hires will take my office.

The things that have happened so far have been sort of, "yes, these happen, some not too often, some pretty much every week, and you need to figure them out" things.  No disasters yet.

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